As part of the Tourism Month activities last year September, SA Tourism launched Sho’t Left Travel Week – a ground-breaking initiative that saw a host of trade partners, airlines, hotel groups and tour operators offering discounts during the week starting 24 to 30 September 2018.

More than 234 local tourism businesses from across the country registered to participate, bringing some of the best local travel experiences and deals to tourists.

“There are so many experiences for South Africans to enjoy that are just a Sho’t Left away, whether by road or flights – these experiences are easily accessible,” says Sthembiso Dlamini, Chief Operating Officer of SA Tourism.

“Through the special Sho’t Left deals, available on www.shotleft.co.za, we want to show that these experiences are affordable, easy, and fun to travel in and around our country. Through our various partnership with graded tourism establishments and other partners, we have put together special package deals and discounts exclusively for South African travellers, running throughout the year and not just December, as South Africa is wonderful all year round. These deals range from day activities and weekend trips to longer packaged holidays; from budget self-catering stays to upmarket hotels. There’s something for everyone. A lot of these deals include great extras, like accommodation plus adventure activities, transport and meals.”

Some of the activities available through the Sho’t Left campaign, include:

  • Boat cruises
  • Game drives
  • Self-catering breaks
  • Self-drive wildlife experiences in game parks
  • Yoga safaris
  • Champagne breakfast in the sky
  • Horseback safaris
  • City walking tours
  • Heritage and museum tours
  • Adventure packages – kayaking, hiking, canopy tours, bungee jumping

A recent partnership of the Tourism Grading Council of South Africa (TGCSA) with global navigation app Waze, makes travelling to Sho’t Left destinations – and to destinations and activities around them – simple and easy. Through the system, travellers are alerted to TGCSA-graded establishments in the area in real time.

Other initiatives that SA Tourism has put in place to make domestic travel easier and more accessible to travellers include the following:

  • Stokvel initiative: In collaboration with Flight Centre, SA Tourism is encouraging South Africans to save towards a holiday in South Africa through a stokvel account. Groups are encouraged to come together, open a savings account with R500, and commit to payments for a certain period of time until they are ready to enjoy destinations throughout the country. SA Tourism will activate the initiative in different areas around the country, encouraging South Africans to save for travel around SA.
  • Lay-buy travel: a number of companies have realised that paying for a trip in one go can be expensive, so they are giving South Africans an opportunity to pay for their trips in instalments.
  • Buying travel in retailers: Computicket travel has led this offering by allowing customers to book and pay for their travel within Shoprite Checkers, making travel more accessible to all South Africans. TravelStart is following suit, by also introducing travel bookings within Pick ’n Pay and Pep stores.
  • Banks selling travel: a number of banks are also partnering with travel companies to promote and sell travel, for example Capitec and TravelStart, FNB through eBucks, Standard Bank through uCount, and ABSA through its rewards programmes.

Sho’t Left Travel Week will be an annual drive, with travellers being able to take advantage of deals throughout the year, dependent on the travel partners’ terms and conditions.