Heritage attractions, such as Nelson Mandela’s statues at Union Buildings in Pretoria or at Nelson Mandela Square in Sandton City, continue to draw both international and domestic tourists in large numbers. Together with many others across South Africa, they are an ever present part of the country’s broader tourism industry and often a source of exciting and sometimes controversial conversations, as seen during the “Fees Must Fall” movement. Tania Colyn, Head of Communications, Department of Cultural Affairs and Sport (Western Cape Government) said that heritage resources were a major part of any economy. Her responses also include information sourced from Department of Economic Development and Tourism. Describing the role of heritage to the tourism economy of the Western Cape, she explained that heritage resources such as statues and other public monuments play an important role in the country’s visitor economy. “Firstly, they are often attractions which can attract visitors to a destination and thereby generate economic opportunities. Secondly, they help to create a strong sense of place in our communities as they help to tell the stories of these communities visibly,” she said. Internationally, research shows that European and North American markets are attracted to our culture and heritage offerings. This is important because cultural and heritage tourists tend to come from more affluent homes. They, therefore, constitute high-yield markets for the Western Cape and South Africa. In percentage terms, the statue or monument or heritage tourism constitutes a large part of the Western Cape tourism. According to Colyn, in…
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Source: Nomad Africa Magazine