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Jozi marks World Tourism Day


Tourism remained Johannesburg’s most important economic sector, Nabintu Petsana, Head of Joburg Tourism, the City of Johannesburg’s destination marketing entity, said on Tuesday September 27 as the city joined the rest of the international community in celebrating World Tourism Day.
Petsana said the sector had a positive effect on the entire value chain – from curio shops and accommodation providers to restaurants, tour operators and transport companies.

“In line with our domestic tourism awareness campaign (#Welcome2Jozi), which encourages locals to go the extra mile in showing all our visitors a good time, World Tourism Day provides an ideal opportunity to remind Joburgers that ‘Leisure is Our Tourism Business’, contributing significantly to our local economy,” she said.

World Tourism Day comes as the city hosts COP17, the 17th meeting of International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora at the Sandton Convention Centre. With more than 2 000 delegates from 180 countries attending COP17, the estimated direct economic impact for Johannesburg is over R83-million.

Other leisure and lifestyle events that the City has secured during this time include Age (7-9 October at Ticketpro Dome), Standard Bank Africa Cycle Fair (21-23 October at St Stithians College), RMB WineX (26-28 October at the Sandton Convention Centre), Nataniel in Concert (3 November at Roodepoort Theatre), Working Mothers’ Expo (4-5 November at the Sandton Convention Centre), Soweto Marathon (6 November), UB40 concert (12 November Ticketpro Dome), Gauteng Sansui Summer Cup (26 November at the Turffontein Racecourse) and Cirque Eloize iD (30 November-24 December at Montecasino).

“Visitors to our city make a significant contribution to its economy, benefiting development, job creation and transformation. By giving our visitors the best experiences while in our vibrant city, we’re nurturing and growing tourism’s contribution to our local economy, which is advantageous to all of us,” Petsana said.

The United Nations’ World Tourism Day has been celebrated since 1980 to raise global awareness of the importance of tourism and its multifaceted social, economic and political value. This year it was held under the theme: “Tourism for All”.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said despite the availability of modern technology, there were, for example, one billion people living with disabilities still facing obstacles to efficient transport and access to relevant information and specialised services.

“Accessibility is both an important market opportunity and central to responsible and sustainable tourism policies and business development strategies. I encourage policy makers, destination planners and companies working with people with special needs to work together to remove all barriers, mental and physical, to travel.

“On this World Tourism Day, let us recognise that all people can and should be able to participate in tourism and enjoy unforgettable travel experiences,” he said.