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SA landmarks working towards lowering prices to reignite domestic tourism

In celebration of Africa Month and with a mission to reignite domestic tourism. Deputy Minister of Tourism Fish Mahlalela visited Robben Island Museum to experience a tour of the island. Picture: Ayanda Ndamane/African News Agency (ANA)

In celebration of Africa Month and with a mission to reignite domestic tourism. Deputy Minister of Tourism Fish Mahlalela visited Robben Island Museum to experience a tour of the island. Picture: Ayanda Ndamane/African News Agency (ANA)

Published May 21, 2021

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Cape Town - The government wants more South Africans to visit popular landmarks, like Robben Island Museum, which have suffered a downturn in visitor numbers due to the global Covid-19 pandemic.

Tourism Deputy Minister Fish Mahlalela visited the Unesco World Heritage site on Wednesday to promote more South African visitors to the island, and as part of a celebration of Africa Month, which culminates in Africa Day on May 25.

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“The tourism sector was one of the hardest hit since the Covid-19 pandemic outbreak. It was the first sector to be closed and the last one to open,” said Mahlalela.

Mahlalela said Robben Island was dependent on the international market, as 70% of the people visiting the island were international tourists, and this was true not just for the island, but the entire tourism sector in the country.

“The pandemic has changed things, restricting our international market, leaving the tourism industry to rely on the domestic market to recover from the effects of the pandemic,” said the deputy minister.

Mahlalela called on the public to tour their cities, provinces and eventually the rest of the country.

“Let’s showcase our tourist attractions in order for the industry to keep generating an income and sustain itself without fear of a collapse,” said Mahlalela.

“We are working with the industry to readjust their prices and there are a sizeable amount of tourist attractions that have already begun to readjust, ensuring they are affordable for all, including Robben Island,” said Mahlalela.

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In trying to accommodate all South Africans, Mahlalela said there had been a huge shift, as there was no way the industry would be able to sustain itself if they maintained their international pricing standards.

Tour guide Itumeleng Makwela said he was sentenced to Robben Island prison for seven years, from 1983 to 1990.

“Now we give people a tour of the island, teaching and showing them where our leaders suffered and survived in the prison. Many South Africans that visit the island are surprised by the amount of information they didn’t know before the tour, so it is very fulfilling for me,” said Makwela.

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Related Topics:

Covid-19

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