9 May 2013
South Africa’s heritage and cultural stories will take the spotlight with the debut of the South Africa Heritage and Culture Pavilion at the 2013 Tourism Indaba, taking place in Durban from Saturday to Tuesday.
The pavilion is a collaboration between South African Tourism, the Department of Tourism, and natural, historical and cultural attraction guide the Moja Heritage Collection, to make the country’s tourism experiences more accessible to global travellers.
It aims to build on the record-breaking year South African tourism enjoyed in 2012, when tourist arrivals increased by over 10% and over nine million international tourists visited the country.
“Indaba 2013 is going to be the indaba that unlocks the enormous potential of our richly diverse, fascinating and warm hospitable culture, our intriguing stories, our history and that unique combination of people and place that makes South Africa an extraordinary and unique destination, and one of the fastest growing and most popular holiday destinations in the world today,” South African Tourism CEO, Thulani Nzima, said in a statement on Wednesday.
The pavilion will also highlight South Africa’s eight Unesco World Heritage sites.
These are the Cradle of Humankind, Mapungubwe Cultural Landscape, Robben Island, Cape Floral Region, iSimangaliso Wetland Park, Vredfort Dome and the Richtersveld Cultural and Botanical Landscape.
“The unique majestic setting and physical location of the World Heritage Sites, chiefly in untapped prime rural and semi-urban economies, resonates with the strategic choices of the Tourism Department of initiating programmes and projects that seek to respond to the national outcomes and priorities of governemnt, namely economic development and job creation, rural development and regional integration,” said the Tourism Department’s Leonore Beukes.
“In this context, it is crucial that tourism serves as a catalyst to unlock the socio- economic potential of heritage and cultural tourism products for sustainable livelihood at local community level.”