This August, the South African tourism community is rallying together to celebrates 31 stories of 31 women in tourism, as the heart of #IAmTourism campaign to highlight the important role that women play in the tourism industry, and the extent to which their livelihoods have been impacted by the global COVID-19 pandemic.
The #IAmTourism campaign forms part of an overall initiative driven by the country’s PR & Communications collective, bringing together a total of nine influential agencies in the South African tourism and hospitality space to support the highly anticipated September opening of inbound tourism.
Operating under the banner ‘South Africa is Travel Ready’, the collective comprises African Twist Travel, Big Ambitions Marketing, Darling Lama, Hunter Group, Lesley Simpson Communications, Scribe Consulting, Take Note Reputation Management, Tribeca Public Relations and Vuma Reputation Management.
As part of this bold campaign, the story of one #IAmTourism woman will be featured every day of August. Ultimately, 31 #IAmTourism stories would be shared of women describing how they got into tourism, their journey since the coronavirus shutdown in South Africa and subsequently travel ban, and what they believe the role of tourism is.
“The firm focus this August is on profiling the women of the tourism industry to give them a voice and highlight the extent to which women comprise the Tourism Workforce – 70% of people employed in Tourism are women,” said Thembi Kunene-Msimang, spokesperson for the #IAmTourism campaign.
In addition to the 31 days, 31 #IAmTourism stories, ‘South Africa is Travel Ready’ is also running a social media campaign featuring thousands of women brandishing #IAmTourism signs on social media.
Created to highlight the importance of tourism to South Africa and ways the industry can offset COVID-19’s devastating economic impact, the #IAmTourism hashtag has been widely adopted by the industry and is being displayed on everything from T-shirts to placards, and even walls.
“Now more than ever, the women of South Africa need support to become financially independent and to support their families. To do this through tourism, South Africa must follow a sensible and safe, data-driven reopening and recovery strategy, underpinned by strict health and safety protocols, where Government provides the enabling environment for Tourism to flourish in a new COVID-impacted world,” Kunene-Msimang added.
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