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 1.1.        Tourism Month takes place in September, hence the importance of the communication plan to drive our messages to ensure the month's activities integrates through the Heritage Month and Covid-19 messaging 


1.2.        The plan expresses the objectives of Tourism Month and this will ensure that communication of messages during September and on World Tourism Day is not disjointed but effectively co-ordinated.


1.3.        This plan will also serve as a guide for media, social media and public relations activities  to ensure messages are aligned. 
The plan will further maximise brand equity, performance and awareness in line with the Department of Tourism's and South African Tourism's mission, vision and values.



The World Tourism Day is a United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) initiative, celebrated every year on 27 September.   World Tourism Day also has an objective to promote the importance of tourism towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals through its social, cultural, political and economic value.

Since World Tourism Day is celebrated in September, the month is also known as Tourism Month in South Africa and different activations are done as informed by the UNWTO theme for the year, as well national priorities for tourism.

The Minister of Tourism, Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane, together with the Deputy Minister, Fish Mahlalela, will launch Tourism Month in August 2020 Tshwane in Gauteng, under the theme: Rural Development and Tourism".

World Tourism Day is a United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) initiative, celebrated every year on 27 September.  2020 Tourism Month will be hosted under the World Tourism Day theme, “Rural Development and Tourism."


Locally, the World Tourism Day celebration is held under the Domestic Tourism campaign. This year it will aim to foster awareness about domestic travel among communities with a special focus this year on travel to rural areas, villages, dorpies and smalls towns. World Tourism Day also has an objective to promote the importance of tourism towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals through its social, cultural, political and economic value.


The Department developed a National Rural Tourism Strategy in 2013 with the aim of enhancing the national development imperatives.

The Strategy states that the key challenges that “are hampering rural tourism development have been identified as follows: (I) Tourism has been inadequately resourced and funded in rural areas. (ii) A number of key rural tourist attractions are located in rural areas, and are not receiving the benefits stemming from the tourism industry. (iii) The limited involvement of local communities serves as a major constraint in developing tourism in rural areas"

This thematic approach to South Africa's 2020 Tourism Month campaign, mirrors the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) 2020 World Tourism Day theme and will be celebrated at the Cradle of Humankind World Heritage Site in Gauteng as the 2020 Tourism Month host province.



Prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, the sector accounted for 2,9% of GDP (8,6% indirect), supports over 725,000 jobs (1,49 million indirect) and accounts for 8,2% of total investment activity. Inbound tourism generates R82,5 billion in direct foreign spend (R126,7 billion total), contributing an equivalent of 9,2% of total national exports.


South Africa has responded to this economic shock with an unprecedented set of measures.  The historic nature of this pandemic and economic downturn has made it necessary for government work together so closely with the private sector, labour, community and other actors to mobilise one of the largest economic response packages in the developing world.


The Tourism Recovery Plan is based on the lockdown levels as laid out by the government. It has three strategic themes which are central to recovery: Re-Igniting Demand, Protecting and Rejuvenating Supply and Strengthening Enabling Capability. Execution should occur in three phases; Protective Interventions (0-3 months), Managed Re-Opening (3-9 months) and Growth Interventions (9-24 months). These periods are counted from the first month of the lockdown.


Tourism Month takes place within the context of the implementation of the National Tourism Sector Strategy, Tourism Human Resource Development Strategy, Rural Tourism Development Strategy, the “We Do Tourism" Campaign as well as the Women in Tourism Initiative, among others.


In this difficult economic environment, is a challenge to communicate that South Africans must travel domestically when traveling for many are a luxury especially with many losing their income due to the pandemic. Communication must provide different options for different budgets, to be seen as relevant.


Many tourists are demotivated to travel due to the risk of contracting Covid-19 and the safety measures such as masks that were implemented to ensure a safe trip, might be a deterrent. Communication should emphasise that government measures which were gazetted, are meant to ensure the safety of travellers and people working in the sector. 


Our road to recovery as a sector has begun, we will in the coming weeks consolidated inputs received on the Tourism Sector Recovery Strategy before we will submit our plan to Cabinet. Our intention is to start as soon as possible with the implementation of the recovery plan.


The announcement by President Ramaphosa to move to Alert Level 2 of the COVID-19 risk adjusted strategy as from Tuesday, 18 August 2020 marked a significant leap and milestone for the tourism sector. The move will reignite business activities, save jobs and the many livelihoods that facing difficulties due to the pandemic.




The challenges flow from the context within which Tourism Month will be held and issues in the communication environment. There are challenges that are inherent in the environment, inhibiting extensive sharing of messages about Tourism Month.


Tourism Month annually takes place during Heritage Month.  National days in 2020 have been celebrated as low-key events on digital platforms as gatherings have been suspended since the National State of Disaster was announced in March 2020. 


The goal of this communication plan is to communicate and drive the key messages of Tourism Month as well as to raise awareness about this strategic month among all South Africans. Through this approach, key communication objectives of Tourism Month will be implemented in a strategic, coherent and coordinated manner.


  • Sustaining media and public interest during Tourism Month by showcasing rural tourism products.
  • Informing and engaging the tourism sector and public, on the recovery plan of the tourism sector.
  • Promoting the rich and diverse rural tourism products and offerings of South Africa and an appreciation of and economic potential of products, goods and services made by rural communities.
  • Advancing the profile of South Africa's outstanding rural tourism businesses, particularly women and youth and expose them to South African local tourism offerings.
  • Unveiling of the SA Tourism Tech Hub project to showcase how rural tourism products are able to take advantage and benefit from this portal.



This year, the Department of Tourism and South African Tourism intend to collaborate with Gauteng Province in hosting and celebrating the World Tourism Day celebrations at the Cradle of Humankind in the West Rand on 27 September 2020.


The West Rand is known as a tourist hotspot which expanded with the development of the Maropeng Visitor Centre and the Cradle of Humankind. This area offers visitors everything from archaeology to outdoor adventure.

Due to restriction on gatherings  and the because of Covid 19, tourism month will be celebrated without big public gatherings and limited movements of people.

The approach will drive communication and all media engagement activities in an effort to share the Tourism Month messages – pre, during and post the event. This will ensure that messages about the dedicated month and its strategic importance are shared with the respective target audiences.


To encourage South Africans to celebrate our diverse and rich tourism in their country, province and locality  families and friends,  we will need to create a visual campaign that includes graphic design, animation, and inter-activity to get consumers geared for the opening up of domestic tourism .

This communication plan is based on the following principles:


  1. Strengthening partnership with the media Mainstream, regional, travel and community media should be provided with opportunities to engage principals during Tourism Month.
  2. Greater use of all types of communication platforms including community, will assist to have our messages reaching all the targeted stakeholders
  3. Use of community and social media to educate South Africans about the importance of Tourism Month, value of tourism and to join the “We Do Tourism" campaign.
  4. Stakeholder engagement through webinars to encourage the tourism sector to work with government in the recovery of the tourism sector.
  5. Information dissemination through multiple platforms including government platforms – Vuk'uzenzele, PSM, SA News, GCIS Radio Bulletins, Thusongs and other such platforms across the three spheres.  



Tourism Month 2020 takes place in the context of this being the second year of the 6th administration. A period where government has to provide leadership to mitigate effects of COVID19 on the economy and livelihoods, within a dynamic regional and global environment


The sixth administration has for its term emphasised the urgency of meeting delivering the outcomes as outlined in the Government's Programme of Action and its determination to accelerate socio-economic transformation as set out by the Medium-Term Strategic Framework 2019 -2024. 

    1. THEME


1)    Global Theme

The World Tourism Day is a United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) initiative, celebrated every year on 27 September.

The United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) 2020 World Tourism Day, has been declared as “Rural Development and Tourism".


Globally the theme aims to promote the importance of tourism towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals through its social, cultural, political and economic value with a concerted focus to rural communities


2)    National Theme / Theme Localisation

In order to maximise on the celebration of world tourism day globally, and the following are proposed localised theme; 


a.    Building South Africa Together- Through Tourism Recovery for Rural Development

b.    Building South Africa Together – Advancing Rural Development and Tourism Recovery

c.    Building South Africa – Through a partnership for Tourism Recovery and Rural Development


Domestically The 2020 World Tourism theme links to government Outcome 7 which focusses on developing vibrant, equitable and sustainable rural communities, contributing towards food security for all; and Outcome 4 which focusses on creating decent employment through inclusive economic growth.




A set of key messages and supporting statements have been developed to ensure that the campaign and address both the global theme as well as find meaning into the current socio-economic environment



As South Africans, let us explore our country and visit our local attractions and rural areas.



  • All South Africans are encouraged to be part of the We Do Tourism campaign and during the month of September visit family, friends or heritage sites to reconnect with our past.
  • During Tourism Month 2020, as we reopen our sector, we will showcase rural tourism offerings which include natural wonders, lifestyles, events, traditions, culture, cuisine, and crafts to encourage everyone to take a Sho't Left.
  • The Tourism Sector has established health and safety protocols standards to reduce the Covid-19 transmission risk, align to global guidelines, within a self-regulatory framework.
Government is committed to unlock and advance development of tourism in rural areas.
  • The Department of Tourism developed a National Rural Tourism Strategy with the aim to enhance the supply of rural tourism products and to support tourism growth in these areas.
  • The Department of Tourism implemented its Working for Tourism Programme which supports skills development projects, the provision of coherent destination planning and investment promotion among other in rural areas.
  • Four rural tourism incubators with 50 SMME beneficiaries each were established, to provide needs-based enterprise development support for a 3-year period, which includes mentoring, coaching, networking, and business skills training.
  • The Tourism Incentive Programme supports rural tourism businesses to be graded, gain market access at international exhibitions, implement green practices as well as provides funding through the Tourism Transformation Fund.
Tourism is resilient, but requires all of us to ensure its recovery.
  • Government implemented measures to support the tourism sector during the Covid-19 pandemic through the R200 million Tourism Relief Fund and the Tourist Guide Fund.
    • The Tourism sector is developing a tourism recovery plan to ensure continuous support to tourism businesses to adapt and thrive in a new post-crisis era, and explore innovative programs to enable the travel and tourism to become more inclusive, robust and resilient.
    • The Tourism Sector Recovery Plan has three strategic themes: Re-Igniting Demand, Rejuvenating Supply and Strengthening Enabling Capability.
    • These interventions are aimed at (1) protecting the domestic supply side of the sector; (2)   managing the re-opening of the sector as tourism activity scales back up and (3) providing interventions to drive long-term growth in tourism.

We will use technology to promote and enhance rural tourism, products and experiences.


    • Using the tech hub project from SA Tourism, we will educate rural tourism product owners on how to register on the portal to allow them to promote their product and assist them with consumer feedback.
    • We will promote the use of the various digital platforms to inspire people to get them out of their urban lifestyles and discover the diverse gems in our rural areas.



Tourism Month brings together various role-players from all spheres of government as well as national and provincial tourism authorities.


Tourism Sector


  • Mainstream, online and community media (Print, Broadcast and Online)
  • Social Media and Website
  • Webinars / Zoom
South Africans
  • Mainstream, online, government and community media (Print, Broadcast and Online)
  • Social Media and Website
  • Webinars / Zoom
Public servants including staff
  • Internal Publications
  • Email messages
  • GCIS channels
  • Social Media
South African Tourism and Provincial tourism stakeholders
  • Print Media
  • Electronic media
  • Social Media
  • Webinars
Academia, researchers, analysts, opinion-makers
  • Digital Platform Engagement
  • Mainstream, online, government and community media (Print, Broadcast and Online) 



  • Briefings, online briefings and interviews
  • Media statements
  • Webinars




    1. Primary Messengers:
  • Minister of Tourism
  • Deputy Minister of Tourism
  • Gauteng Premier
  • Gauteng MEC for Economic Development, Agriculture and Environment
  • Gauteng Tourism Authority
  • Director-General 
  • South African Tourism CEO


    1. Secondary Messengers:
  • Deputy Director Generals
  • Spokespersons and MLOs



The first phase is meant to:

The first phase is meant to:

  • Raise awareness of World Tourism Month and its theme among stakeholders and the public.
  • To influence the media environment and set the communication agenda.

TaskActivityBy whom?When?
Toolkit development
  • Communication Plan
  • Key messages



Media engagement
  • Develop media plan
  • Draft media buying RFQs
  • Book media buying to promote different initiatives by DT to develop rural areas for tourism
  • Include information about Tourism Month in media statements
  • DT Media Liaison
  • DT Media Liaison
  • DT Media Liaison

  • All stakeholders

17 August

12 August

31 August



Communication Products
  • Develop multimedia products for Tourism Month and World Tourism Day


  • Invite for Media Launch


  • DT IC & GDS



  • SAT & GTA

23 August



 20 August

Electronic Communications


  • Develop a webpage for Tourism Month 2020 with provincial activities
  • Develop a Tourism Month social media plan with proposed Tourism Month hashtags
  • Share content with the UNWTO media webpage
  • Post Tourism Month banners
  • Post World Tourism Day banners

  • DT Electronic Comms
  • DT Electronic Comms
  • All Stakeholders

  • All Stakeholders
  • All Stakeholders


25 August


20 August




27 August

20 September

Internal communication
  • Brief Internal Communicators Forum
  • Inform staff about Tourism Month and activities through internal platforms
  • Getting staff members involved and excited by inviting them to share their tourism aspirations for when the sector opens. (Tourism Month Competition). Three winners to be identified.
  • Best three aspirations will be published in the next Madireng edition
  • Profile host province and other provinces through weekly Bareng snippets. 
  • DT CI and Events
  • All Stakeholders



  • DT IC & GDS




  • DT IC& GDS


  • DT IC& GDS


August Meeting




First week September



30 September


27 August – 25 September

Engaging GCIS
  • Brief the GCIS teams for support
  • Share Tourism Month Toolkit with GCIS for support on all government platforms
DT and SAT


31 August


Stakeholder engagement
  • Convene a special Tourism Communicators Forum zoom meeting to discuss Tourism Month plans and provincial activations 
  • Share Tourism Month toolkit with provinces


DT Outreach

22 August



31 August

Media Monitoring
  • Continued monitoring of the coverage in the media
All StakeholdersOngoing




  • The second phase creates awareness and profiles World Tourism Day, generates excitement among South Africans about domestic tourism, and educates them about the value of rural tourism.
  • Communication activities will reach its peak on World Tourism Day to ensure media coverage and trending on social media.


Tourism Month Launch

  • Identify Media and invite 20 journalists
  • Arrange zoom link for media
  • Publicise the media launch on social media
  • Tourism Month media statement 
  • Provide onsite branding, photographic and content development services
  • Opinion pieces – 1. Importance of Rural Tourism 2. TBC







DT Corporate Comms

DT Content Development




18 – 23 August

23 August

25-27 August

27 August

27 August

1 September



World Tourism Day – Cradle of Humankind, Gauteng

  • Media alert/Invite (TBC)
  • Media co-ordination and management of media onsite
  • Media interviews – onsite, electronically or telephonically
  • Publicise World Tourism Day event on social media
  • Media statement 
  • Provide onsite branding, photographic and content development services
  • 2 x Opinion Pieces (Minister & Deputy Minister)
      • Topics to be confirmed



DT Media Liaison



All stakeholders

DT Media Liaison

DT Corporate Comms

DT Content Development


20 September

27 September

27 September

25- 27 Sept

27 September

27 September

27 September


Media Partnerships

Tourism Month

  • 13 x weekly features on SABC Ukhozi FM's Sisonke Drive Time at 16h45



World Tourism Day (27 September)

  • SABC Radio Station to broadcast the World Tourism Day celebrations
  • Independent Online





DT Media Liaison




DT Media Liaison

DT Media Liaison



28 August till 20 November 2020



27 September

27 September


Website and social media updated: 

  • Promote Tourism Month theme
  • Share speeches and other content
  • Ensure that the World Tourism Day trends on twitter and other social media platforms
  • Broadcast Media Launch and World Tourism Day on social media platforms
All stakeholders



Coverage by GCIS products and channels:

  • Broadcast to GovernmentZa YouTube channel on World Tourism Day
  • SA News Agency
  • Community radio news
  • Government websites and social media channels
  • Vuk'uzenzele
DT, SAT & GCISSeptember

Partner Events and Provincial Events and Activations


  • Tourism Communicators Forum






DT; SAT & Provincial Entities

DT Outreach



22 September




  • The post-World Tourism Day communication will look at the communicating a summary of events that took place during Tourism Month.


  • Special edition of Madireng focusing on Tourism month (including announcement of winners for the competition
  • Invite contributions from provincial tourism agencies and departments
  • Special 8 paged digital Bojanala focusing solely on Tourism Month




Post September

30 September


27 September

30 September

Exit Report

  • Events Planning Exit Report
  • Media and social media Exit Report


  • DT CI and Events
  • DT Media Liaison




30 October

30 October



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