The first GP Lifestyle Tourism Street Party collaboration between Leisure Connexion and the Gauteng Tourism Authority turned downtown Johannesburg into an outdoor celebration for Gauteng’s tourism trade.
The inaugural event on Thursday 28 September (World Tourism Day) was designed to bring the travel trade together to celebrate Gauteng as a destination and highlight what it has to offer. Held at 1 Fox Precinct, Ferreirasdorp, on the western edge of Joburg’s city centre, in historic warehouses dating back to the city’s gold mining roots, the event was attended by over 300 people from the tourism industry, 46 exhibitors and guests that included MECs, popular footballers, actors, musicians, mainstream media and well-known Joburg bloggers and social influencers.
‘Streets’ were set up with stalls with different themes and interests and populated by exhibitors ranging from guesthouses, hotels, activities and adventure specialists, museums and sightseeing tour operators to transport companies affording them excellent opportunities for networking; food and drink stalls were dotted among the ‘streets’ and there was music, entertainment, and dancing late into the night.
The entertainers included Eskimo aka Sivan Pillay – by day CEO at 360 Degrees South, by night musician of note; Gordon Franks – the guitar maestro and entertainer extraordinaire; The Kiffness – a live electronic act from Cape Town, and ChianoSky, one of South Africa’s most exciting fresh new talents. The Kiffness and ChianoSky launched a collaborative live set and debuted new material at the event, and MixFM’s dynamic DJ Kerry-Anne Allerston hosted the music event in the Good Luck Bar. They all waived their fee.
Stakeholders who put their weight behind the event included Alexandra Tourisms, Amanzingwe Lodge, Anthology/Cradle Boutique/African Rock Hotel, Apartheid & Mandela House Museum, Avon & Justine, Birchwood, Brand Crafters, City Sight Seeing, Constitution Hill ,Cradle Tourism Company, Doveton House, In Vino Veritas, JHB Tourism, Kgokrae Tours, Kimmo, Kwel Breweries, Laid Back, Lilies Leaf, Lion & Safari Park, Magalies Canopy Tours, Melville Koppies, Mercedes-Benz Gauteng East, Morrels, Mzansi Tourism Experience, Protea, SAB, (Secluded Country Lodges) Haywards Grand Safari, Sheila – Peanut butter & Chilli Pickle, Sibani Lifestyle, Sojo, Soweto Hotel & Conference Centre, Soweto Tourism, TA Cuisine & B&B, The Capital, The View and Toadbury Country Hall.
Gauteng Tourism Authority’s CEO, Siphiwe Ngwenya enthusiastically re-iterated his confidence in the initiative: “The tourism trade is an important stakeholder in the ‘We do/I do Tourism’ campaign that South African Tourism is championing and that GTA is part of. The campaign aims to grow tourist numbers by five million over the next five years and the bulk of that will have to come from Gauteng, as the most visited province in South Africa. We are targeting a contribution of one million, which will only be achievable if the trade sector comes to the party. Therefore, we hope to grow this event into a premier showcase of the city of gold – Johannesburg, and Gauteng as a whole.”
The GP Lifestyle Tourism Street Party 2017 was organised by Leisure Connexion and Gauteng Tourism Authority and will be an annual event – a significant one in the tourism industry’s yearly calendar. Adelbert Retief, founder and MD of Leisure Connexion commented, “Johannesburg is such an amazing city, worthy of competing against other world cities like New York, Paris and London in the tourism field, yet there is a lack of belief in what the city and its people has to offer. In other cities, the industry operates almost like a family in promoting their city – now it’s time for our local tourism industry to come together and share stories and experience and cultivate an appreciation and love for Jozi.”
Related Article: Joburg ranked top African city for 2016
Source and images: Theresa Gibbon for Leisure Connexion and Gauteng Tourism.