Plans to boost tourism

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Give Joburg 72 hours, and you will lose your heart to the City of Gold. Its new tourism campaign takes into account the Corridors of Freedom plan to make getting around seamless.

Joburg's new tourism campaign, Explore, Experience & Enjoy Joburg, which promotes the richness of the region's urban tourism offering, carries a "72 hours" tagline.

The campaign was unveiled at Tourism Indaba, which took place at the Durban International Convention Centre from 10 to 12 May.

Many people visit the City of Gold for business - and most of them fall in love with the ethnically vibrant nuances that Joburg has to offer and stay on to sample its diverse, cosmopolitan, and intriguing scene. However, given the competitive nature of global economies, attracting an increasing number of people for a lengthy stay is a challenge.

The annual conference and exhibition showcases the widest variety of Southern Africa's best tourism products, and attracts international visitors and media from across the world. The three-day trade event is attended by well over 13 000 delegates from the travel, tourism and related industries, and this year 24 African countries exhibited.

The gathering is one of the largest tourism marketing events on the African calendar and is one of the top three "must visit" exhibitions of its kind on the global calendar. For two consecutive years it has won the award for Africa's best travel and tourism show. This award is presented by the Association of World Travel Awards.

"Given the time and budget constraints of modern life, this '72 hours' tagline is intended to communicate why visitors need to spend more time in Africa's most vibrant and exciting metropolis to best discover its fascinating, complex and colourful appeal," explains Tshidi Mlaba, the City's director of destination marketing.

Over the past 20 years, Joburg has attracted visitors to places such as Vilakazi Street in Soweto, as well as the Maboneng and Braamfontein precincts in the CBD, among others. And well-designed developments such as cultural precincts and public transport hubs make it easier for visitors to travel through the city.

Given these positives, Joburg's tourism team is promoting the city's multi-faceted urban tourism appeal. Its campaign falls in line with the City's spatial development plan, which is expected to have a positive impact on growing the tourism industry. Called "Corridors of Freedom", this spatial development vision, which is in line with the City's Growth and Development Strategy, GDS 2040, was unpacked by Executive Mayor Mpho Parks Tau in his 2013 State of the City address.

It outlines well-planned transport arteries - or Corridors of Freedom - that will allow people to travel easily from one end of the city to the other. These arteries will be strategically positioned near mixed-use developments with office buildings, retail outlets and entertainment facilities.

"This bodes well for the development of the tourism industry across the seven regions of Joburg, [as it will facilitate] viable economic development across all sectors - including tourism," explains Mlaba.

"The Corridors of Freedom [will bring] opportunities to increase the tourism footprint throughout Joburg, opening up previously marginalised nodal pockets, creating employment, [small, medium and micro enterprise] development and stimulating a vibrant second economy. Accommodation, hospitality and a host of support services along the entire tourism value chain are set to benefit. It's a case of exciting times ahead for Joburg."