PRETORIA, The national Department of Tourism has called on tourists to practice what it calls safe and responsible tourism during the festive season.
Lulama Duma, the Deputy Director General responsible for Corporate Management, said this when the department launched a festive season campaign under the theme Do Tourism Responsibly at the V and A Waterfront in Cape Town.
The awareness campaign is aimed at ensuring that tourists, when visiting various destinations and attractions, practice sound cultural and environmental aesthetics of areas they visit and also observe the rules of the road.
I am here representing the Department to spread the message around our holiday season campaign.
We want to encourage South Africans to not only visit our attractions and destinations, but to [enjoy] this holiday season in a responsible manner, hence our theme Do tourism responsibly.
We also want tourists to travel safely during this holiday season by obeying the rules of the road. We know that sometimes people are rushing to get to their destinations and they tend to speed and that is what really contributes to the fatalities. So we say travel safely and obey the rules of the road.
The visit to the V and A Waterfront, which is a popular holiday spot for domestic and international tourists, saw the department handing out prizes and pamphlets to the crowd to raise awareness about the message.
Speaking to SA News, Duma said the department also used the event to encourage holiday goers to be vigilant during the festive season by ensuring that they are safe, especially children.
They [children] sometimes get lost at beaches and sometimes children drown. We want adults to really take care of the children and make sure the safety of children is paramount, she said.
Duma urged motorists to stop every two hours to rest in order to avoid the carnage on the roads caused by fatigue.
Duma also urged tourists to respect local cultures and learn as much as they can to understand customs, norms and traditions of the residents in order to avoid behaviour that could offend the local population.
As part of being responsible tourists, travellers also need to ensure that they do not litter and that they support local, registered operators everywhere they go.
The visit by the department also coincided with the HSBC World Sevens Series, which saw foot traffic at the Waterfront increasing due to local and international rugby fans who came out in their numbers to support their teams.
Speaking to locals earlier, Duma said they should be friendly to international guests and be helpful with that Madiba spirit in order to make them feel welcome. She also urged tourists to preserve water, pointing out that the Western Cape was going through the most severe drought at the moment.
Rashid Toefy, a Deputy Director General for Economic Development and Tourism in the Western Cape government, said the province was proud to be partnering with the national department to spread the festive season message.
Tourism is something you can’t do on your own. So while Cape Town is the lead job creator in the Western Cape, we have to have the support of national government and their campaign, which is ‘Do tourism responsibly fits perfectly with our ethos.
Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK