Ready for the upcoming December holidays? We most certainly are! After a year that has been unlike any other, many people, perhaps even you, are looking forward to some time off. Whether you are looking to enjoy the sights and sounds of the Lowveld, or if you are planning a simple but well deserved staycation, this December is going to be unlike any other.
The festive season is one that is spent shopping, feasting, and lazing, and as such it is a busy time for both shops and various hotels, lodges and guesthouses. While previous years have been more laidback in December, for the tourism industry this December is more important than any other. Tourism in South Africa has taken one of the biggest knocks of all with the national lockdown. With many overseas guests and many locals alike having cancelled their holidays or postponed their vacations, and with no new bookings streaming in, the industry has been rattle and is looking to the local market to give it a helping hand as we wave good bye to a truly difficult year.
You might not think that you are helping by simply selecting local accommodation, activities, restaurants and gifts, but you are actually actively playing an incredibly important role in the revival of the industry, and the continuation of livelihoods for families of all kinds.
This is what you can do to help out your local economy this year.
Hit the markets, buy souvenirs
They say that when you support a small business, you are not supporting the growth of a rich mans bank account, you are supporting a family. There could not be more truth to these words and you can see that whenever you visit a local market or shop for souvenirs at the side of the road. Buying local in this way directly contributes to a person or a family, and it is a great way to find unique gifts.
Family owned restaurants and an entrepreneurs coffee shop are two great places to sit down and have a meal and by doing so, supporting the local economy. Instead of heading to a chain of eateries, Google search restaurants or coffee shops in whatever town you are staying in and go there instead.
Share on social media
Social media has real legs, meaning whatever you share online has the power of reaching many people and spreading a message. If you have enjoying the service at the place you’ve stayed or you just can’t get over that amazing carrot cake you had at a local coffee shop, share your experience and the page for the establishment online.
Give a review
Reviews are powerful in that they can really encourage someone to support or not support a local business. Again, if you’ve had a good experience somewhere, go online, find their social media, and give them a good review.
See your own city
If you are not going away this festive season, don’t feel bad, you can always enjoy exploring your own town. This time of year, many inland towns grow quiet and need support from the locals. So go to theatres, eat at the local restaurants and coffee shops, go to the markets and just see your city again.