SOUTHAFRICANTOURISM<br />(TRADITION) versus (DECEPTION)<br />An exposé by Kristen Wilkerson<br />
INSPIRATION…<br /><ul><li> The inspiration behind this presentation came from my humanities professor Brian Kennelly when he shared with the class his experience with the con artists of the South African tourism industry.
He embarked on an American staff tourist trip to South Africa with his fellow professors, visiting an “authentic” South African village – only to find that the chief of the village was a hired actor from New York…</li></ul>Table Mountain, Cape Town<br />
A RICH INDUSTRY…<br /><ul><li>According to an article in the Hindustan Times on June 30, 2010, it is estimated that South Africa will make 27 billion rand due to tourism during the FIFA World Cup.
The tourism industry clearly helps South Africa earn a heaping portion of money, so they will do everything it takes to keep this flourishing industry alive – no matter what that entails.</li></ul>SOURCES: <br />http://india4u.com/india4unews/Tourism-during-World-Cup-to-rake-in-27-billion-rands-for-South-Africa-243410-1.htm<br />www.coinmill.com<br />
A DANGEROUS INDUSTRY…<br /><ul><li>While the FIFA World Cup is surely raking in the cash for the South African tourism industry, it has also sparked some horrific events within the national parks.
A June 2010 article from The Sunday Independent stated that “South Africa’s Kruger National Park has now lost at least four rhinos to poachers during the last two weeks.”</li></ul>SOURCE: http://www.rhinoconservation.org/2010/06/27/two-more-rhinos-murdered-at-kruger-national-park-during-world-cup-festivities/<br />
A DANGEROUS INDUSTRY…<br /><ul><li>“Just before the World Cup opening ceremonies, two Vietnamese nationals were arrested at the OR Tambo International Airport with 18 rhino horns.”
Perhaps the elevated number of tourists within the country’s borders during the World Cup created a loophole in security, making crime much more likely to occur.</li></ul>SOURCE: http://www.rhinoconservation.org/2010/06/27/two-more-rhinos-murdered-at-kruger-national-park-during-world-cup-festivities/<br />Knives made of rhino horn<br />
TRAVELLING 101…<br /><ul><li>There are many important things to keep in mind when travelling in a foreign country.
An recent epidemic of counterfeit rand notes has been surfacing throughout South Africa, according to a June 21, 2010 article from eturbonews.com.
Be very careful of who is handling your money while visiting any foreign country.
Permit only legitimate, established banking operations to handle your money.</li></ul>Rand notes<br />SOURCE: http://www.eturbonews.com/16833/south-african-police-warns-tourists-about-counterfeit-r200-notes<br />
KEEPSAKES…<br /><ul><li>According to VirtualTourist.com, there are many South African flea markets that sell African art, such as wood carvings of the Big Five, that is not actually from South Africa.
Much of this “authentic” South African art is crafted in Mozambique, where there is significantly cheaper labor.
The tourism industry’s main concern is, without a doubt, making as much money as possible in the cheapest way possible – even if it means shelling out unauthentic souvenirs and telling people they’re the real deal.</li></ul>Rosebank Market, Johannesburg<br />SOURCE: http://www.virtualtourist.com/travel/Africa/South_Africa/Tourist_Traps-South_Africa-BR-1.html<br />
PAINTING A “CLEAR” PICTURE OF AFRICAN CULTURE…<br /><ul><li>A 2002 NewsFromAfrica.org article explains the concept of community-based tourism in Swaziland, a landlocked country in Southern Africa.
The tourism industry is attempting to sell community-based tourism as the real deal to potential tourists.
“Swazis are inviting people into their homes,” says tour operator MxolisiMdluli. “It is not dead exhibits like at a museum, or cultural performances like the dancers beside the hotel pool. Communities show how they live. It is authentic.”</li></ul>Home in Swaziland<br />SOURCE: http://www.newsfromafrica.org/newsfromafrica/articles/art_863.html<br />
PAINTING A “CLEAR” PICTURE OF AFRICAN CULTURE…<br />Mantenga Cultural Village<br /><ul><li>However, the article continues to describe the community tourism of the Mantenga Cultural Village, which attempts to paint a picture of “traditional Swaziland” with its thatched huts.
It is comprised of a family carrying on traditional Swazi household chores, but the “family” consists of actors and the village is conveniently located on official African parkland close to many major tourist hotels.</li></ul>SOURCE: http://www.newsfromafrica.org/newsfromafrica/articles/art_863.html<br />
PAINTING A “CLEAR” PICTURE OF AFRICAN CULTURE…<br /><ul><li>Many Swazis are making a living off of community-based tourism, offered minimum wage by the government.
In conclusion, tourism is becoming an industry in which everyone can make money off of – even if it means portraying South African culture to tourists in a misleading way.</li></ul>Mantenga Cultural Village<br />SOURCE: http://www.newsfromafrica.org/newsfromafrica/articles/art_863.html<br />
TOUR GUIDES: GUIDING AWAY FROM THE TRUTH<br />Bushman panting<br /><ul><li>According to a 1996 article from Knight Ridder/Tribune News, tour guides at the South African Museum in Cape Town were making up embellished stories about the Bushmen.
“They said the Bushmen lived in holes and were nocturnal. They said the Bushmen could go without sleep for three days. They said the Bushmen had strange genitals,” claimed Pippa Skotnes, an artist who was researching Bushmen paintings at the museum and overheard the tour guides.</li></ul>SOURCE: http://www.highbeam.com/doc/1G1-18378387.html<br />
TOUR GUIDES: GUIDING AWAY FROM THE TRUTH<br /><ul><li>Tour guides are told to put on a show for their guests so that they are entertained and will keep coming back, rather than telling them the truth.
Apparently, making money in the “New South Africa” is more important than maintaining authenticity.</li></ul>South African Museum, <br />Cape Town<br />
SO WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN?<br /><ul><li>During the apartheid era, there were many restrictions forbidding tourists from freely visiting the homelands and there were not nearly as many tourist attractions.
However, in 1994 immediately after apartheid ended, South Africans became much more interested in their history.
This could be due to the fact that many South African citizens finally felt like an important part of their newly democratic country and thus were able to appreciate it more, or they simply wanted to find out the real truth that had been hidden from them all these years.</li></li></ul><li>SO WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN?<br /><ul><li>The tourism industry has become the perfect outlet for South Africa to rapidly spread the word about their newly democratic, free nation.
By revamping and increasing the number of tourist attractions, South African citizens and the rest of the world could finally see the “real” South Africa. With the end of apartheid, the government no longer wanted to be perceived as untrustworthy, and everything was to be put out onto the table and readily available.</li></li></ul><li>SO WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN?<br /><ul><li>However, in attempting to do so, the government has chosen to use the tourism industry as an outlet for spreading even more untruths and making money. Their revamping of tourist attractions are not nearly as authentic as most tourists realize.
In conclusion, the government is slowly coming back full circle to their untruthful ways during apartheid.</li></li></ul><li>AND THE MORAL OF THE STORY IS…<br /><ul><li>Take everything you see or hear with a grain of salt, especially when it comes to South Africa.
No matter how much things have changed for the better, still NOTHING is ever quite as it seems, especially in the tourism industry and “the new” post-apartheid South Africa.</li></ul>Table Mountain, Cape Town<br />