A Potential Gold Mine

Over the last couple of years there's been a lot of talk about tourism being South Africa's "new gold".

International tourists, no matter where you bump into them in the country are generally having a good time. They can't believe how friendly most South Africans are. They can't believe how inexpensive things are and especially things like eating out. How inexpensive it is to hire a car to get around and the list goes on.

South Africans on the other hand often know very little about this country. I was in conversation with a South African who is about to retire and who wants to "get to know this country". I asked him if he had seen the flowers. He hasn't. I asked him if he had seen Augrabies Falls. He hasn't. Storms River Mouth? Where's that?

In fact I found myself in conversation with a 60-something year old South African who has played golf at St. Andrews in Scotland but has never seen the whales in Hermanus. In fact he knows hardly anything about the country in which he was born and has lived for over 60 years!

The places I have just mentioned plus dozens more have international visitors enthralled yet many South Africans think South Africa has nothing to offer.

Then it occurred to me that with the Rand getting weaker against the major international currencies we have a double fantastic opportunity.

Firstly to tell the world about us because it is now so affordable to visit here and secondly to tell us about us because it is so expensive to travel abroad.

Unfortunately we are not doing this. One of the main reasons is our negativity about our own country and how bad it is to be here. The crime at the top of the list. Of course there's crime. There's crime everywhere in the world but many South Africans will tell you it's only here.

So how do we fix it? How do we get South Africans to change their mindset and stop complaining about everything at a time when we are sitting on a potential gold mine?

A challenge for SA Tourism? Certainly it is. A challenge for every one of us? Definitely it is.

I can tell my 60-something year old friend about the wonders and beauty of this country but I need lots of help to tell as many people as possible as I can't do it alone.

It's a combined effort but the time is NOW to do this.

Written By: Dave Jack of B&B Sure.