We know that vacations are good for our health and relationships, but it’s also good for the country’s economy. With the celebration of Tourism Month under this year’s international theme of Sustainable Tourism for Development, vacation ownership can take pride in being one of the robust areas within the South African travel industry.
Over the years it has evolved into being more than a vacation product. It is an ethos that underpins travel, and as such is an integral aspect of sustainable tourism development rather than an add-on component. Today, it has a significant footprint in the tourism and hospitality sectors and boasts a mature R3.5 billion per annum industry. The knock-on effect of its success has made a huge impact on the country’s economy, contributing an estimated R44.4 billion to the GDP and generates employment for over 94 300 people.
With property upgrades of more than R500 million over the past 5 years, it is evident that resort development plays a key role in supporting local economies. This is achieved by building local pride through the promotion of local attractions and cuisine that connects holidaymakers and communities. Furthermore, many of these resorts have awards under their belts that recognise their contribution and active engagement in eco-friendly measures that reduce harmful environmental impacts.
Through its half-a-million members, resort developers and various other stakeholders – the vacation ownership industry is perfectly positioned to influence change and make a positive impact on sustainable tourism, while at the same time showing its commitment to memorable vacations that embrace exploring new destinations, meeting new people and experiencing new things.