September is officially Tourism Month and Nelson Mandela Bay Tourism (NMBT) have lined up a great roster of events aimed at promoting the destination, whilst giving residents of the Bay a variety of activities to enjoy and partake in.
Global events such as the Ironman 70.3 World Championship, definitely started the month on a high note and this will continue to the end of September with the International Rugby game between SA and Australia proving that Nelson Mandela Bay has full capacity to host large scale international events.
Celebrated annually in September, Tourism Month is a global initiative aimed at promoting domestic and international tourism. Locally, it aims to encourage South Africans to explore their own country whilst showing the importance of domestic tourism to the economy.
NMBT looks to promote local activities in and around Nelson Mandela Bay through collaborations with various role players within the industry to create memorable experiences for both local and visiting tourists.
This Tourism Month is very special for the Eastern Cape and NMBT has collaborated with the Eastern Cape Parks and Tourism Agency (ECPTA) to package attractions and activities in a manner that is affordable and accessible.
Not only was the province the host to the 2018 national launch of Tourism Month, but this year we celebrate the lives of Nelson Mandela and Albertina Sisulu – both of whom were born and spent their formative years in the Eastern Cape.
The collaboration with ECPTA will see Nelson Mandela Bay products as part of the discounted travel packages on offer to boost domestic tourism in the destination.
Alongside South African Tourism the city will further be promoted on an international scale, with media visiting our shores from Germany, Australia and the UK as they experience the destination and return to share stories of their experience in their country of origin.
This international exposure will be further enhanced through Australian spectators and media who will be attending the upcoming rugby match where SA will take on Australia.
To encourage locals to explore the Bay this Tourism Month, NMBT will run a competition where four double sets of NMB 5 in 1 pass cards will be up for grabs each week, giving the winners free and discounted access to a host of exciting attractions and activities, in and around Nelson Mandela Bay.
In order to enter, locals need to share their Tourism Month experiences on social media, using #SHARETHEBAY in their post, giving them an automatic entry into the competition.
During Tourism Month, locals are invited to a free 1-hour Route 67 guided tour at the Donkin Reserve throughout each Saturday of September. Participants will meet from 10:00am at the Donkin Reserve at Tourism Office, where they will be welcomed and given a 1-hour tour of this historic and significant site. Four locally appointed tour guides will facilitate tours on a weekly basis.
South African National Parks will host an open week from 10-14 September, making attractions like the Addo National Elephant Park accessible to locals by providing free entry to the parks to all who are in possession of a South African ID. Nelson Mandela Bay is known for magnificent wildlife experiences and being Home to the Big 7.
On 19 September, NMBT in collaboration with the NMU Psychology Society will carry out a beach clean-up drive in aid of the Sweethearts Charity Foundation. The drive also supports the quest to create and maintain clean and plastic free beaches, whilst sharing the importance of preserving our marine tourism offerings.
This initiative is open to the public and locals are encouraged to participate. The meeting point is the NMU Embizweni parking lot at 12:30, where a shuttle will transport participants to First Beacon.
In celebration of Heritage Day on 24 September, NMBT in collaboration with Mastertons Coffee and Tea Specialists will host local bloggers to experience the coffee roasting process and how the Masterton’s story forms part of the local heritage by being the oldest coffee roasters in South Africa.
Nelson Mandela Bay Tourism has a special coffee blend called Blend of the Bay available to purchase at a variety of retail outlets.
This initiative feeds into this year’s Tourism Month theme “Tourism and the Digital Transformation” by connecting digital influences with the important aspects of tourism.
Commenting on the importance of Tourism Month, NMBT CEO, Mandlakazi Skefile, said: “We encourage everyone to go out and experience our beautiful Bay and be the tourists in their own city. Through these initiatives we have planned, we are allowing locals to experience the destination and become proud ambassadors of the city.”
Locals are encouraged to take a “Shot left” and share their experiences and activities on social media, using #SHARETHEBAY in all their shared posts.
For more information, visit www.nmbt.co.za or contact any one of the Visitor Information Centres listed on the website under “Contact us”.