As tourism is such an integral part of any country’s marketing strategy, it has become vital to offer it as part of our learning package. Not only do learners discover the “treasures” of our country, but also how to manage and use these “treasures” responsibly to the benefit of all. Tourism teaches learners to promote South Africa locally and internationally, and to ensure that tourists experience, appreciate and value our country.
According to an article on News24 on 1 April 2019, travel and tourism in South Africa contributed 1.5 million job opportunities and R425.8 billion to the country’s economy in 2018. It represents 8.6% of all economic activities in the country, making South Africa the largest tourism economy in Africa, according to an annual overview by the World Travel and Tourism Council.
When looking at these figures we start to realise why it is important to help learners understand what tourism is about, what it entails, and how to promote it – not just inside our borders, but internationally as well.
Firstly, Tourism teaches learners about what a tourist is, why people travel, and how they contribute to the greater tourism movement. Once learners understand this, the rest falls into place like the pieces of a puzzle. We start locally, in our own country, and go through every province until learners can picture South Africa as a whole. We then move through our region into Africa, where we look at countries such as Angola, Botswana, Namibia and many others.
To understand the economy we discuss exchange rates, why it seesaws, why some countries’ currencies are stronger than others, and how to successfully calculate a tour budget.
We also look at countries such as France, and icons like the Eiffel Tower, which was designed by the engineer Alexandre Gustave Eiffel. Learners study these facts in closer detail to learn, for example, that the Eiffel Tower is 300 m tall and that visitors can access three levels of the tower. In doing so, learners come to realise why attractions such as the Eiffel Tower are iconic and how it contributes to France’s image in terms of tourism.
This is just a snapshot of the treasure chest that is Tourism – learners must pack their bags and journey with us to experience how wonderful the subject truly is!
Author: Surina Jordaan: Education Specialist: Services Subjects and Social Sciences