The Sustainable Tourism Partnership Programme (STPP) has launched a Mxit App, allowing the organisation engage with South African youth. The purpose of the MySTPP Mxit App is to educate youth on their important role in tourism and in helping to create sustainable industry. Deemed to be a “risky move” by CNBCs Latitude, the STPPs programme director, Niki Glen, maintains that “being able to talk to the youth and allowing them to gain insights into topics previously inaccessible, are critical in mobilising the sustainability concepts, no matter what industry you are in”.
The STPP’s believes that a Sustainable Tourism industry is one that will only continue to exist through the protection of Natural, Environmental, Social, Cultural, Historical and Economic Assets AND the Communities that look after them. These are the things that bring tourists to our communities in the first place. It is each and every person’s right to participate in tourism, whether it be as a tourist, a tourism business owner, a tourism business employee or a local business that sells products to tourists or tourism businesses. The youth of South Africa are the tourists, businesses owners and employees of the future, so what better place to start entrenching the STPPs philosophy? “If we can get towns, villages and communities to work together to make sure all parties represented in the town, village or community participate and benefit from tourism, then we will achieve tourism sustainability” Niki Glen continues.
In an article quoted by IT-Online on Sep 30, 2013, Michael Jordaan reiterates that the Mxit platform with a monthly user base of 7,4 million, is a powerful platform to access the youth market and that many heavy-weight brands are seeing the value. The STPP congratulates Michael in taking up the challenge to grow the user base and to build the platform for businesses and interest groups to engage positively with our youth.
The STPP has certainly seen the benefits with an early uptake of more than 4000 after a “soft launch”. The STPP has started analysing the messages to ascertain the type of information that is lacking, so that messaging and information can be fine-tuned to tie in with the needs to the youth. “How do I get involved in tourism?” and “what is sustainable tourism?” are two key themes emerging. The STPP will be running a number of Youth Workshops during 2014 and topics covered will be gleaned off the Mxit platform.
For more information on the Sustainable Tourism Partnership Programme: