Tourism Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane has called on South Africans to take a Sho't Left as the country marks Tourism Month in September.
South Africa celebrates Tourism Month in September, which coincides with World Tourism Day hosted annually on 27 September.
Speaking at the Tourism Month media launch held recently in Drakensberg, KwaZulu-Natal, Kubayi-Ngubane urged keen travellers to scoop great deals during travel week, which runs from 23 and 29 September 2019.
"This presents an opportunity for South Africans to tour and experience their own country. We also have SANParks running a week of free entry to selected parks and this year it includes a weekend, starting Sunday the 8th to Sunday, 15 September," said the Minister.
During travel week, travellers can secure bargains with airlines, hotels and tour operators offering up to 50% off on deals.
These deals must be bought during this week but can be redeemed at any other time depending on the service provider's terms and conditions.
The deals are offered as part of the Tourism Department's efforts to make local travel more affordable and boost domestic travel.
The total consumption of tourism through domestic and international tourism for 2018 directly accounted for 2.9% of the country's Gross Domestic Product, and accounted for 4.5% of total employment.
In 2018, domestic tourism contributed R26.4 billion in revenue.
The period from January to April 2019 showed exceptional growth on the domestic tourism front when compared to the same period last year.
Domestic holiday trips rose by 59.7%, highlighting the tremendous impact of the Sho't Left Travel Week campaign with South Africans redeeming their deals and enjoying their country.
Overall, total domestic trips grew by 11% during January to April 2019.
Tourism and jobs
The theme for this year's World Tourism Day is "Tourism and jobs - a better future for all".
The theme highlights the tourism sector's vast capability to create jobs and therefore reduce the country's unemployment rate.
"We remain confident that tourism will contribute to our country turning to positive economic growth desired by our government and also contribute to more jobs to its maximum potential," said Minister.
The campaign also gives potential trade partners the opportunity to upload discounted deals and packages on the Sho't Left Travel Week website www.shotleft.co.za.
"So for those who have not yet registered with Sho't Left Travel Week, I urge you to do so soon," said the Minister.