Johannesburg – Gauteng expects yet another tourist bonanza this week as revellers descend on the destination to attend the three-day Standard Bank Joy of Jazz, starting at the Sandton Convention Centre today (Thursday, 27 September 2018).
This jazz extravaganza closes in style the tourism month of September, which ushered in peak leisure events season. It also follows hot on the heels of the sixth DSTV Delicious International Food and Music Festival that took place at the Kyalami Grand Prix Circuit this past weekend, attracting throngs of revellers from across the country and the rest of the continent.
“We are excited to have two Gauteng City Region signature events happening one week apart of each other. This is also good for the entire tourism value chain such as hotels, eateries and other attractions,” says Acting Gauteng Tourism CEO Yoland Ruiters.
The Standard Bank Joy of Jazz comes of age this year as it reaches its 21st edition. This milestone comes with elevated expectations from the original Gauteng signature event that rivals the best in music entertainment that South Africa offers. Ms.Ruiters congratulated the organisers T-Musicman and long term title sponsor Standard Bank for staying the course. “All this points to the professionalism and prowess of the team at T-Musicman, ably led by the legendary promoter Mr. Peter Tladi,” she says.
“The spinoffs for Destination Gauteng have been immense with the event drawing legions of jazz music lovers from all over the country, the Southern African Development Community, some parts of East and West Africa, and the world. In the process, it assisted us in sustaining jobs and showcasing what the Gauteng City Region is all about.”
Ms. Ruiters adds that leisure events that take place over several days are important in because they generate considerable economic spinoffs. “Through such events, we attract visitors from far to the destination who then spend money on entertainment, food, accommodation and souvenirs among other things.”
Destination Gauteng is popular with visitors from across the country, the region and the continent because of its alluring lifestyle offering, at the heart of which is music. For instance, DSTV Delicious International Food and Music Festival last week attracted revellers from all over Africa with 400 tickets sold in Nairobi, Kenya alone.
Standard Bank Joy of Jazz has over the years proven itself a hit of music lovers from outside Gauteng and South Africa even. It has, in the past, attracted considerable numbers of attendees particularly from neighbouring Mozambique, Lesotho and Botswana. “Gauteng hosts some of the biggest and popular music events in the country and we will continue leveraging that in our drive to increasing arrivals,” says Ms. Ruiters.
Furthermore, Ms. Ruiters believes the future looks bright for tourism with the economic stimulus package President Cyril Ramaphosa announced last week, placing the sector top of the country’s growth trajectory. In the context of lifestyle and other events industry, the mooted measures aimed at facilitating ease of travel to South Africa will be beneficial.
“We believe that with right sort of regulatory environment tourism could play an even bigger role in the economy,” says Ms.Ruiters. “The new visa regime will, for instance, somewhat help us in generating demand from outside South Africa for our events and other lifestyle, entertainment and business offerings.”
Gauteng Tourism is in the throes of its spring to summer destination marketing drive, and many other exciting events are in the offing. “As we join the rest of the world today in celebrating World Tourism Day under the theme, “Tourism and Digital Transformation” we do so having a renewed believe that tourism and the visitor economy broadly will be one of the catalysts for our economic recovery and drive to create more jobs,” concluded Ms. Ruiters. ///Ends