Many people around the world celebrate the United Nations’ (UN) World Tourism Day, which is celebrated on 27 September each year.
The day aims to foster awareness among the international community about the importance of tourism and its social, cultural, political and economic values.
Tourism and rural development celebrates the unique ability of the sector to drive local economic development and provide opportunities outside big cities, including in those communities that would often be left behind. In addition, World Tourism Day 2020 highlights the important role tourism plays in preserving and promoting culture and heritage globally.
For many rural communities, tourism means opportunity. It provides jobs and economic empowerment to all groups, but in particular to women and youth. The sector furthermore gives rural communities the ability to protect and promote their natural surroundings, as well as their culture and heritage. In doing so, it allows tourists to enjoy unique experiences.
Tourism has experienced continued growth and deeper diversification to become one of the fastest growing economic sectors in the world. Modern tourism is closely linked to development and includes new destinations for tourists. These dynamics turned tourism into a key driver for socio-economic progress. Tourism therefore has become one of the major players in international commerce, and represents at the same time one of the main income sources for many developing countries
However, the COVID-19 Coronavirus entered most of the countries globally and resulted in a complete tourism industry shutdown. The South African Tourism industry was only allowed to open up after alert level 2 with the majority of damage already done. Looking forward, Alert level 1 starts on 1 October 2020 which will see restrictions on domestic and some international travel lifted.
As the Garden Route & Klein Karoo, the focus is primarily to restore trust in the tourism industry through promoting world standard health and safety protocols without taking away from the experience of the traveler and in doing so re-imagining the Garden Route & Klein Karoo as a preferred tourism destination. “We thus encourage domestic travelers to experience the uniqueness of our region and the diversity on offer with the support from our Local Tourism offices and their respective members,” said Mr Denver Johnson, Tourism Officer at GRDM.
The GRDM therefore encourages residents: “To go out, re-imagine and experience our backyard in the Garden Route & Klein Karoo; we’re open and ready to welcome everyone with an elbow shake, virtual hug and an experience that will urge you to revisit”.
Visit our regional website www.visitgardenrouteandkleinkaroo.com with direct links to our diverse towns and their unique offerings.