South Africa: Annually, on the 16th of December, South Africa celebrates the Day of Reconciliation, a national holiday observed since the dawn of democracy to promote social cohesion.
Devastatingly, a little over a week since we commemorated this day, a shocking video is circulating on social media showing an incident of racism at the Maselspoort Resort & Conference Centre outside Bloemfontein in the Free State.
Tourism is about authenticity, sustainability and inclusivity. Racism is an antithesis of this. It is not acceptable that such incidents go unpunished and un-remedied, and yet we believe we can be welcoming to people that are coming from other parts of the world, said Department.
Domestic tourism is an important part of our sector and racial profiling and discrimination, whether by an establishment owner or a patron, is simply not acceptable.
All South Africans, regardless of race or creed, have the right to enjoy the length and breadth of our country and all the establishments and amenities in between.
For many South Africans, the festive season is a time to relax while connecting with their loved ones in different parts of the country. All South Africans, as well as all visitors alike, have the right to enjoy South Africa.
South African Tourism welcomes the latest news from the office of the Free State MEC for Economic, Small Business Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs (DESTEA), Mr. Makalo Mohale, that law enforcement agencies are now involved in the case and that the perpetrators have been criminally charged.
For South Africa to reap the rewards of a sustainable and buoyant tourism industry, we must connect with each other as we explore our country and also open our hearts and doors to welcome visitors from all over the world.
As a leader in the tourism sector, we do not support this kind of behaviour, whether by establishments or patrons at tourism or any other hospitality establishment. We call upon all tourism businesses and product owners to take decisive action and stance against such incidents.
Such incidents can be reported by emailing: firstname.lastname@example.org