By Florence Mugarula
Durban — SOUTH Africa Minister for Tourism, Mr Derek Hanekom, has invited tourists across the world to visit Ngorongoro Crater and Serengeti National Park. He has emphasized that out there, tourists can witness largest concentrations of wild animals and the most spectacular migration of animals on the planet.
The minister was addressing hundreds of thousands of tourism stakeholders who are attending the ongoing 2018 Africa’s Travel Indaba trade show in Durban, South Africa. He said: “In Tanzania, the Ngorongoro Crater Nature Reserve has the largest concentration of wild animals in the world.
In the Serengeti, tourists can witness the most spectacular migration of animals on the planet.” Mr Hanekom also cited several tourist attractions in various African countries. He told the audience that in Africa, people were most welcoming to visitors, applying their own unique flair and way of hosting guests professionally. “
We know how to host them professionally in our own way. We can guarantee a life-changing experience. Story telling is part of who we are,” he said. He said Africa had unique attractions to share and stories to tell, stories of common origins and of early African civilisation.
Stories of courage and resilience abound, includingthe story of Nelson Mandela, who would have turned 100 years old this year. He added that the continent had experiences to offer of sacred sites, of natural wonders, beautiful landscapes, spectacular mountains, wide open deserts, and exquisite coastlines; of heritage and culture; of music and dance and astonishing artistic creativity.
Visitors to Africa experience one of the most profound stories the world has witnessed: how the birthplace of civilisation is catapulting itself into the future. Stories of ancient African civilisation such as Great Zimbabwe and Mapungubwe predate the story of Goree Island in Senegal which is, perhaps, one of our continent’s most important symbolic sites.
He added that tourists could also experience the migratory route of African elephants in Kenya. He added that the Bwindi Impenetrable National Park in Uganda was one of the last remaining homes of the mountain gorilla. “And we are of course also proud of our own Kruger National Park here in South Africa, and the many other national parks we have in our country,” he said.
According to Mr Hanekom, tourism already contributed about 8per cent to Africa’s Gross Domestic Product and employed 6.5 per cent of the workforce. He said the best way to increase the value that tourism brought was through working together to ensure tourism worked for everyone. “
We must continuously enhance and expand our attractions; we need constant training to professionalise our services; and we need to market our attractions in the most effective way. We need to work together to ensure ease of travel.
“All this in turn creates the right climate and opportunities for investment which will lead to greater growth,” said the minister. The 2018 Africa’s Travel Indaba is attended by 1,747 delegates from different countries all over the world.
Plus, 22 exhibiting African countries, including Tanzania, are participating. Meanwhile, Ms Sabrina Chambulo, one of the exhibitors from Tanzania with Tanganyika Wilderness Camps, told the ‘Daily News’ here that the trade show was crucial for the growth of tourism industry since it helps exhibitors to meet their potential clients and establish new business links worldwide. “It is very important to show up in such kind of trade shows, we represent Tanzania and we manage to meet our clients,” she said