www.southafrica.info on 2004-09-17"color:#ffffff" href="http://www.southafrica.info" target="_blank"> www.southafrica.info on 2004-09-17" />
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South Africans - want to explore the country, but not sure where to start? Want to take a holiday, but think you can't afford it? Tourism isn't only for overseas visitors: take a Sho't Left here and start to find out how much of your country you don't know - and how getting there could be a lot easier than you thought ...

SA Tourism's Sho't Left campaign aims to promote a culture of local holiday travel among South Africans, targeting ordinary South Africans and their families who have a desire to travel but do not know where to go.

"Sho't left" is derived from everyday South African "taxi-lingo" - a commuter wanting a ride to a destination close by will say "Sho't left, driva", meaning, I want to jump off just around the corner.

"Taking a holiday is just as easy as taking a trip on a taxi", says SA Tourism chief executive Cheryl Carolus. "Plan where you are going, jump on some transport, and get there! There are so many affordable places just around the corner to take a holiday - for a day, a weekend or a couple of weeks."

Research conducted by SA Tourism indicates that domestic tourism contributes more than R47-billion to the economy - with South Africans taking more than 49 million trips in 2003.

According to Carolus, however, there remains "an untapped potential to grow this market and encourage more spend on holiday travel". For example, even among those South Africans who are travelling, says Carolus, only about 40% venture beyond the province they live in.

Sho't Left hotline, website, TV programme
SA Tourism is passing the Sho't Left message on in a number of ways.

A TV programme showing a variety of places to visit in the country's nine provinces is being broadcast on SABC2 at 8.27pm (just before the Sesotho news) from Mondays to Fridays, repeated at 8am each morning (at the end of "Morning Live").

There's a Sho't Left number - 086 22 111 22 - to call for information on affordable local holidays.

There's also a Sho't Left website featuring tips for first-time holidaymakers, information on affordable holiday options in each province, general advice on budgeting, booking and paying for a holiday, and an event calender for those who need a special reason to leave town.

Fittingly, given the campaign's name and main target audience, taxi drivers in the country's major centres have been recruited as ambassadors for the campaign.