Celebrated annually in September, Tourism Month is a global initiative aimed at promoting domestic and international tourism. Locally, it aims to encourage South Africans to explore their own country whilst showing the importance of domestic tourism to the economy. NMBT looks to promote local activities in and around Nelson Mandela Bay through collaborations with various role players within the industry to create memorable experiences for both local and visiting tourists.
This Tourism Month is special for the Eastern Cape and NMBT in that it has collaborated with the Eastern Cape Parks and Tourism Agency (ECPTA) to package attractions and activities in a manner that is affordable and accessible. The collaboration with ECPTA will see Nelson Mandela Bay products as part of the discounted travel packages on offer to boost domestic tourism in the destination.
Alongside South African Tourism the city will further be promoted on an international scale, with media visiting South Africa's shores from Germany, Australia and the UK as they experience the destination.
Attractions and activities
To encourage locals to explore the Bay this Tourism Month, NMBT will run a competition where four double sets of NMB five in one pass cards will be up for grabs each week, giving the winners free and discounted access to a host of exciting attractions and activities, in and around Nelson Mandela Bay.
• During Tourism Month, locals are invited to a free one-hour Route 67 guided tour at the Donkin Reserve throughout each Saturday of September. Participants will meet from 10am at the Donkin Reserve at Tourism Office, where they will be welcomed and given a one-hour tour of this historic and significant site. Four locally appointed tour guides will facilitate tours on a weekly basis.
• South African National Parks will host an open week from 10-14 September, making attractions like the Addo National Elephant Park accessible to locals by providing free entry to the parks to all who are in possession of a South African ID. Nelson Mandela Bay is known for magnificent wildlife experiences and being Home to the Big 7.
• On 19 September, NMBT in collaboration with the NMU Psychology Society will carry out a beach clean-up drive in aid of the Sweethearts Charity Foundation. The drive also supports the quest to create and maintain clean and plastic free beaches, whilst sharing the importance of preserving our marine tourism offerings. This initiative is open to the public and locals are encouraged to participate. The meeting point is the NMU Embizweni parking lot at 12:30, where a shuttle will transport participants to First Beacon.
• In celebration of Heritage Day on 24 September, NMBT in collaboration with Mastertons Coffee and Tea Specialists will host local bloggers to experience the coffee roasting process and how the Masterton’s story forms part of the local heritage by being the oldest coffee roasters in South Africa. Nelson Mandela Bay Tourism has a special coffee blend called Blend of the Bay available to purchase at a variety of retail outlets.
This initiative feeds into this year’s Tourism Month theme Tourism and the Digital Transformation by connecting digital influences with the important aspects of tourism.
Commenting on the importance of Tourism Month, NMBT CEO, Mandlakazi Skefile said: "We encourage everyone to go out and experience our beautiful Bay and be the tourists in their own city. Through these initiatives we have planned, we are allowing locals to experience the destination and become proud ambassadors of the city."
Locals are encouraged to take a "Sho't left" and share their experiences and activities on social media.
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