By SYDNEY MORWENG
The “I’m a South Africa fan” campaign aims to cheer South Africans to continue flying the flag, rallying behind their sports teams at sporting events, and being the welcoming, hospitable hosts they have proved themselves during the 2010 FIFA World Cup.
This was the key message delivered by the National Tourism Minister Marthinus van Schalkwyk at the launch of ‘I’m a South African Fan’ campaign at Ipelegeng Community Hall, Soweto yesterday.
“By being the loudest and proudest of cheerleaders during the successful 2010 World Cup, we showcased how passionate South Africans are about all things sports and African.
It is among others thanks to sports that South Africa recently won the reputation as one of the world’s premier leisure destinations. And sports is one of the crucial elements of our tourism offering that will help ensure that this reputation endures and tourism continues to grow in order to make its vital contribution to the economy, job creation and development,” he said.The Minister and his hordes of guests made grand entrance –for the first time-were on the back of a motorbike as guests of the fashionable Soweto Sopranos Bikers Club.
The day was preceded by visits at the Orlando Towers, former President Nelson Mandela’s home and Ipelegeng Center before wrapping up at Soweto Hotel.Soweto is one of the most exciting, historically rich tourism destinations in South Africa. It also boasts a range of diverse tourism offerings. This campaign encourages South Africans to take a ‘sho’t left’ and to visit these gems.“The success of our industry is rooted in the participation of all South Africans in tourism. The best way for South Africans to be better and more welcoming hosts is to travel their own country, whether it is travelling from Cape Town to Johannesburg to watch a rugby or football match, or going on a family holiday.
This way you get to give praise where it is due, gauge service levels, and offer constructive criticism where it is warranted to improve service excellence in the industry,” said ‘kortbroek’ the name he has grown with since his political era.South African Tourism Chief Executive Thandiwe January-McLean also urged Sowetans and the public at large to rally behind the WC champs Springboks for their Tri-Nations battle against New Zealand at the ‘calabash’ FNB stadium tomorrow.
She also made a passionate plea to masses of mzansi to explore and support own tourism products and destinations as part of the ‘Sho’t left’ campaign whose mission is to conscientious South Africans to visit and learn about their provinces and regions.