South Africa has begun promoting tourism at home as well as abroad, launching a new campaign that aims to raise awareness of the economic benefits visitors bring.

The ‘I Do Tourism’ initiative announced in May by South African Tourism is designed to address a lack of recognition among locals who in many communities remain detached from the benefits of tourism.

“The majority of South Africans remain unaware of how their lives are affected when international travellers decide to visit the country,” said SA Tourism CEO Sisa Ntshona.

“This is precisely the attitude we hope to change through I Do Tourism,” he said. “We aim to remind South Africans that tourism is everyone’s business because all South Africans benefit through and from tourism.”

The campaign also aims to motivate industry and government to support tourism. Visitors contribute 3% of South African economic activity and support around 500,000 jobs. “Tourism has a ripple effect, Ntshona said. “Each direct permanent tourism job opportunity that is created can have multiple spin-offs for transport, agriculture and other sectors.”

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