Tourist Attraction for Communities

by nduh
(south africa)

What must be done in the community in order to inspire tourists?

Editors Answer:

Nduh, we have a whole page on tourism and economic development, and we would suggest that you begin there. That may or may not be helpful to your situation in South Africa.

To give a more general answer that might pertain to your situation, we would say that essentially the community must provide these things in one way or another:

  • Clean, quiet, and comfortable overnight accommodations, offering some degree of privacy. Requirements for privacy and quiet especially will vary with the cultural origin of the tourists you want to attract.

    For example, Americans don't want to share a bathroom, while Europeans might think nothing of it. Both are accustomed to indoor bathrooms.

  • At least one tourist attraction, whether that is natural or man-made. An attraction is either an interesting and unique natural setting, plant or animal life that will be unusual to the tourists you want to attract, or something man-made, such as a great restaurant district, outdoor market, theme park, sports arena and events, carnival, street party, or arts venue or event.

  • An effective, safe, and somewhat efficient method of transportation to and from your location. If you want tourists from another part of Africa, how will they get there? Is there airline service? Would they have to navigate down rivers by themselves, or is there a bus?

    Once they arrive in your general vicinity or at the nearest airstrip, is there a reliable taxi or car service for hire so that tourists can reach their overnight accommodations? Or is the driver of the taxi (whether a motorized taxi, a donkey, a water taxi boat, a bicycle taxi, or whatever) unreliable and unpredictable or unclear about the amount to be charged?

    Locally, are roads or other infrastructure available to help visitors get around? Is there a bus service or established method of local travel? Most tourists do not want to walk for miles locally to go from one tourist attraction to another.

  • Is there a way for tourists that you want to attract to know about your location? Do you have an Internet site, or can you afford to advertise through a government-owned or private medium? If you have "word-of-mouth" advertising, will the things that people say about your town be positive?

    Make sure that you have a good reputation with tourists. Monitor what is said about you on the Internet, if anything. Learn to use whatever "social media" on the Internet may be popular in your area.

  • Does your area feel safe for tourists? If the first few tourists are victims of robberies or deceit, tourists from many parts of the world won't put up with that.

    If there is any kind of local violence, visitors may feel timid about being there. This would include violence within or between families and tribes, as well as a culture that tolerates thefts, pick pockets, children that aggressively try to sell useless souvenirs, and merchants that inflate their prices for tourists.

    This last paragraph may be hard for people in many parts of the world to hear, but these practices, while sometimes centuries old, do prevent tourists from choosing your destination.

    Work on programs to promote hospitality and not taking advantage of tourists, if you want more tourists to come.

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