Hopping mad? Do something about it

My name is Natalia and I’m mad as hell. I’m mad because while taxis are allowed to run at 100% if they crack a window, open safari vehicles lie gathering dust in garages and parking lots. I’m mad because we can pop into a casino and gamble, but we can’t host people in a guesthouse even though we can do it safely. I’m mad because we keep being told that jobs are important, yet Government doesn’t blink an eye when over a million livelihoods in travel and tourism hang in the balance.

I’m particularly mad because we’ve been told that South Africa treats its women badly and that they need our support to become financially independent, yet we prevent a sector that comprises 70% women from being financially independent, disempowering them and making them even more vulnerable.

So, if you’re mad as hell like I am, here are 5 things you can do today to put your energies behind something that’s focussed, so we respond with purpose and not react emotionally, although I admit that’s all my lizard brain really wants to do.

I keep saying it and I’ll say it again: “Alone we can do so little, together we can do so much.”

The 6 things you can do TODAY:

  1. Back an EXISTING petition

There are a few in circulation at the moment. Instead of starting a new one, back one that already has traction. Here are two from which to choose:

  1. We need Stats!

Yes, not another survey. We won’t get taken seriously unless we demonstrate what the impact is on South Africa’s women and youth, which is what Government’s stated focus is for inclusive growth. I know you’ve completed a million surveys on how lockdown has affected your business. Pls, I’m asking you to do one more:

  • Click here to access it and please share it with your travel and tourism colleagues
  1. We also need Stories!

Are you a woman in travel and tourism whose livelihood has been lost as a result of lockdown? Do you know someone who has a story to share? Are you a woman who has influence and is willing to be the voice of women in tourism who have no voice?

  • Email us with your contact details and we’ll call you back
  1. Get behind #IAmTourism

With over 70% of women making up South Africa’s tourism sector, the message is clear:

I am tourism. We want YOU to stand with us by submitting one image of yourself showing the message of #IAMTOURISM. A simple act on a grand scale to get the attention of our government, and of the world. The target is 3 000 images by Women’s Day, 9 August. Here’s an example of one for you to see and if you submit one you agree for the image to be used in social media and media. *Feel free to wear your mask should you want to preserve your anonymity. You can Email us and attach your image.

  1. Work with your associations

If you’re a member of an association, make sure you’re subscribed to and are reading their mailers, getting in touch with them to see how you can be involved. They will have initiatives underway that you can join or help inform. They also have a collective voice which is more powerful than one.

  1. Tell the world

    Tell the world, your customers, your neighbours, your friends, your family that South Africa is Travel Ready. Here’s how: https://traveltosouthafrica.org/toolkit/

Now, let’s get to work!