Industry heads say that South African National Parks Week and Sho’t Left Travel Week will enhance local travel. Picture: Supplied
It is that time again when the South African Tourism industry offers a range of discounts to entice local travellers to visit the country's tourist gems. 

With September being Tourism Month,  South African National Parks (SANParks) will host its 14th annual SA National Parks Week, which starts next Monday, September 8, and runs until September 15, 2019. 

Travellers are eligible for free entrance to 18 parks, except for Namaqua National Park and Boulders section and Aerial Cableway in Table Mountain National Park. 
Sho’t Left Travel Week takes place from September 23-29. The goal of Sho’t Left Travel Week is to make tourism accessible for everyone. 
It seems initiatives like these are boosting local travel.  
SANParks chief executive officer, Fundisile Mketeni, said that since the project’s inception in 2006, around 438 361 South Africans visited the parks. 

South African Tourism’s Hub Head: South Africa, Mashoto Mokgethi agrees. Mokgethi believes that  increasing access to national parks will provide South Africans with the impetus to travel and  explore their own country.

“The free national park week complements South African Tourism’s mandate of getting South Africans to explore their own country. One of the barriers to domestic  travel is cost. Making these parks free and accessible will encourage locals to travel and discover the richness of South Africa.”

According to Mokgethi, the first five months of this year saw a steady increase in domestic travel compared to last year. 

She said free access or discounts via these initiatives will enhance domestic travel and ensure the goal of increasing domestic holiday trips by a further 1 million by 2021.