MEC highlights human side of industry

2009-09-08 00:00

TOURISM month began with a special focus on cultural diversity and more awareness of the battlefields in northern KwaZulu-Natal.

At a launch of Tourism Month at the Isandlwana battlefield, Economic Development and Tourism MEC Mike Mabuyakhulu said it is important to shed light on the human side of the tourism industry, its capacity to build understanding, foster social inclusion and promote higher living standards.

“The battlefields region is one of the jewels in the tourism crown of not only our province but of our country. It is these valleys and hills that became the battleground for many wars that shaped the contours of our history,” he said.

Mabuyakhulu said this is the reason this area has become one of the biggest tourist attractions, as scores of pilgrims from all over the world visit this area every year.

“Today, the legacy of these blood-soaked conflicts and the gallantry of our people, lives peacefully, reconciled in this fascinating myriad of battlefield sites, national monument and museums, all sewn into one patchwork of history,” said the MEC.

He said tourism has an opportunity to play a more significant role if the industry’s potential is unlocked with targeted interventions, like diversification of tourism packages.

“As a result, cruise tourism has been identified as an important tourism offering for the province. Market segmentation is also another issue that we have identified as critical in our endeavour to ensure that our province realises its full tourism potential,” he said.

He said that diversifying tourism packages by targeting top-, middle- and bottom-end markets can go a long way towards achieving this goal.

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