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Pent-up demand for local travel experiences means big boost for SA

THE pandemic showcased how influential domestic travellers were during the tough times. Pexels.com

THE pandemic showcased how influential domestic travellers were during the tough times. Pexels.com

Published Sep 15, 2021

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While the state of tourism is in tatters due to the global Covid-19 pandemic, one thing is for certain – it will slowly resume again.

That's why Jerry Mabena, the chairman of Jurni South Africa and chief executive of Motsamayi Tourism Group, firmly believes in the investment of local travel.

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“We are seeing pent-up demand for local travel experiences and trips. And we want to meet the market where it’s at. I truly believe that South Africa has wondrous adventures to offer, and we are eager to show these," he said.

Mabena said the biggest contributor to tourism in South Africa came from international tourists. However, he also believes that the pandemic showcased just how influential domestic travellers were during the tough times.

"We believe that it is about to enter an amazing blooming phase. Just note the number of people going on hikes and the increase in nature-bound travel to destinations like Kruger National Park.

“We should showcase these and build our tourism industry to a point where we don’t only have to rely on international visitors but our local people, too. The technology that we are building will connect our local products and travellers," he said.

The Motsamayi Tourism Group have undertaken a series of new projects intended to bolster the South African travel industry and create mass appeal for local and international travellers.

Motsamayi Tourism Group will also launch pop-up hotels in Knysna and the Kruger National Park later this year. A skywalk at God’s Window in Mpumalanga, will open within the next few years.

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“These long-term investments will cater towards the post-Covid-traveller and are geared towards social distancing and celebrating the outdoors.

“One of the challenges in starting these projects during the pandemic is that we rely on funding, which means that we have to constantly be on the ball during developments to find ways to adapt to the ever-changing travel environment.

“With the vaccination process under way in South Africa, we’re confident that the country would be a top destination choice,” he told IOL Travel this year.

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