Tourism trailblazer shapes a profound legacy

2018-10-24 06:02
Mac Jack (left), the Northern Cape MEC for Finance, Economic Development and Tourism, presenting a special award to Don Jacobs, who was accompanied by his wife, Topsy.

Mac Jack (left), the Northern Cape MEC for Finance, Economic Development and Tourism, presenting a special award to Don Jacobs, who was accompanied by his wife, Topsy.

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A Northern Cape tourism stalwart, Don Jacobs, is still being recognised for his role in putting the province on the map. Over a period of 30 years, he has received awards on numerous occasions.

Recently, Jacobs was presented a special tourism award along with the Kalahari-based Hendrick Bott by the Northern Cape MEC for Finance, Economic Development and Tourism, Mac Jack.

The two were acknow­ledged during the provincial Lilizela Tourism Awards ceremony in September.

Among other achievements, Jacobs was part of the establishment, and was the first boardmember, of the Northern Cape Tourism Authority (NCTA).

In 1994, Jacobs was selected to form part of a task team which would advise and formulate a new tourism dispensation for the province.

A provincial tourism autho­rity was formulated ahead of the formation of the NCTA in 1996.

Sharing his experience during the Lilizela ceremony, Jacobs has explained how he achieved this through having contact with tour operating companies in and outside the country to arrange group tours targeting overseas destinations.

He said the venture had equipped him with a large clientele basis for future oversees tours.

“My first tour that I arranged was in December 1978 to Israel and Europe,” said Jacobs. “This included having arranged a group of 50 tour members, of which I was the tour leader.”

Jacobs said this tour broadened his outlook on life and the world, through his interactions with various tourists from different countries. Contributing to this, was being exposed to their cultures and heritage.

This is what actually drove his growth towards arranging tour groups from different groupings like business, the teaching fraternity, church groups, youth and women.

“These international tours were the most positive decision that I have ever made; it broadened my outlook toward the world and its wonders,” he said.

Among the memorable trips that Jacobs arranged, is the pilgrimage tour to Israel and Europe for a large religious group. He also mentioned the educators’ trip to Israel and Europe for the Cape African Teachers Union which involved about 100 teachers from the entire Cape Pro­vince.

Jacobs also recalled the women’s group tour to the USA by the National Council of African Women who visited seven states. The highlight of this tour was visiting the White House and the United Nations.

He also arranged the tour of the Arabian College Rugby Club to the United Kingdom and France. This involved attending the then Five Nations Rugby international tests.

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