It may be a while ago now that the Boks pulled off their amazing consecutive series of one-point winning games to reach the final and once again lift Rugby World Cup’s coveted trophy for the fourth time, but the air of celebration will long continue amongst our people. The fact that these winning margins were so narrow in every one of the knockout games just reminded me of the incredibly tough competitiveness of such a tournament and how difficult it is to emerge victorious when pitted against the best the world has to offer. Being someone who lives and breathes Travel and Tourism however, this also led me to reflect on the kind of similarities that our industry faces and to consider whether we can ever emulate our rugby squad’s amazing winning feat.
Well, I certainly believe that we can, but let’s first take a look at what was required for the Boks to accomplish what they did, even when facing the great challenges that each of those knockout games posed. Apart from the obvious things like maintaining peak fitness, hard training and excellent coaching, I believe it took firstly an absolute desire to win, and let’s face it, under Siya Kolisi’s charge, their passion to win for their country was palpable. Secondly, it took combining the diverse skills and talents of the full squad to create one winning force that offered something more than that which any of their opposition could muster – and finally, it took a rare resilience and determination to succeed even when the game seemed to be lost.
Our tourist offering has what it takes
International tourism is massively competitive and to become the World’s number one destination of choice it takes something pretty special. However, when comparing the elements that led the Boks to victory to what we in South Africa offer the world I think we fare quite favourably.
Without a doubt, we have the desire to win for our country. I do believe that pretty much all the role players in our travel and tourism sector do understand the vital importance of tourism to the growth of our economy and apart from a few areas where I say there could be a bit more support, those who earn their living from tourism are very much on board to strive to make SA a preferred destination.
From the point of view of having diversity to draw on to create a holistic tourism offering we stand head and shoulders above most of the world. When you combine our magnificent all-year-round weather and almost incomparable affordability with the huge diversity of our destination and experience offerings, we are hard to beat. We offer everything from the natural world wonder of Table Mountain to game viewing unsurpassed anywhere in the world in the Kruger Park and many other wildlife sanctuaries.
We have cultural diversity and vibrant city life. We boast both breathtaking scenic natural beauty and man-made wonders like that created at the Lost City. From massively diverse beach and coastal resort offerings to world-renowned road trips and from sipping some of the world’s finest wines at their place of origin to the world’s highest bungee jump and zip line experiences, we really do have it all!
A collective determination to be number one!
So, we have the determination to win within our industry and the amazing diversity of our tourism offerings that make us so special, but do we have that final vital element that puts you on top when facing diversity? That ability to eke out the one-point winning margin every time to go on finally to being the best the World has to offer? Of course, we do. The incredible resilience that saw us through our greatest challenge yet, the COVID-19 pandemic, and emerge as one of the world’s top tourism destinations so soon is a testament to the kind of stuff that we are made of. This year we are already facing a bumper year-end, and in my next article I will be talking about making the most of this to take us yet another step further to being exactly what we should be – the number one tourist destination in the world!
CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER