Thursday, 15 March 2012

Rhodesia - New Tourist Office Opens

Rhodesia's "holiday girls," who travel South Africa in gaily-painted vans to provide a holiday advisory service at shows, special events and large shopping centres, have been given a new permanent base in Johannesburg.

The Rhodesia National Tourist Board's new holiday advisory office in President Place, Rosebank, was officially opened last month by the Rhodesian Minister of Information, Immigration and Tourism, Mr. Elly Broomberg.

The four "holiday girls" have been operating in South Africa since November and their efforts supplementing the sales activities of other R.N.T.B. and Air Rhodesia staff in Johannesburg, Cape Town and Durban have been largely responsible for the success of "Super Six" holidays — six-day package deal trips to Victoria Falls and Wankie.

When they are not required for special promotions outside Johannesburg, the "holiday girls" will deal with queries from the public in the Rosebank Office. A Tourist Board representative will continue to work in Air Rhodesia's main sales office in the Carlton Centre in Central Johannesburg.

Well placed

The new Rosebank office is beside Jan Smuts Avenue, a main artery into the city centre, and is well placed to catch the eyes of casual shoppers, as well as commuters from the northern suburbs. It has a striking decor with enlarged photographs of game and Rhodesian scenes. A series of special events is being planned to draw more people into the office to learn about holidays in Rhodesia.

The official opening was attended by a wide cross-section of the South African travel trade, as well as by Rhodesia's Accredited Diplomatic Representative in South Africa, Air Vice-Marshal Harold Hawkins.

New Tourist Office, New Tourist Office in SA in the 1970's
Above: Rhodesia's Accredited Diplomatic Representative in South Africa, Air Vice-Marshal Harold Hawkins, congratulates Mr. Mike Gardner, Rhodesian Director of Tourism, at the opening of the Rhodesia National Tourist Board's new office in Johannesburg.

Opening the new premises, Mr. Broomberg said Rhodesia was looking for an increased flow of South African visitors to Rhodesia. Tourism was a two-way business and Rhodesia accepted that South Africa was a holiday mecca for Rhodesians. "We want to see this particular two-way exchange flourishing once more", he said.

It was fashionable to talk of a crisis in the African tourist sphere. "Both my country and South Africa have had to face a general drop in tourism that cannot be attributed to isolated incidents of mindless violence. I would prefer to say that we are sharing a downward international phase, rather than enduring any extreme crisis.

"The moment we detected the early signs of the current tourist decline, Rhodesia started to work very hard against it", said Mr. Broomberg. The new premises were a shop-window which provided a fine introduction to what Rhodesia could offer.

"The natural attractions and appeal of Rhodesia are, or course, the fundamentals of our stock-in-trade. Their successful presentation depends upon their accessibility and the assurance of civilized surroundings from which they may be enjoyed.

Economical holiday

"Recently, Rhodesia's indubitable allure became infinitely more readily accessible through one of the most economical holidays ever to be offered. I refer to our Super Six scheme, already enjoyed by thousands of South Africans. Super Six is a part of the realism we have been able to reach in countering any tourist slump, and we have now been able to think of widening the plan."


Extracted and recompiled by Eddy Norris from the publication Focus on Rhodesia Vol. 2 No. 8.
Material made available by Tony Ballinger. Thanks Tony.

Publication not dated but is thought to be from the mid to late 1970s'.

Comments are welcome - send them to Eddy Norris at


At 27 June 2016 at 04:38 , Blogger Unknown said...

I took this holiday trip in November 1977 to Victoria Falls and Wankie, staying the first nights at the Victoria Falls Hotel. This was the best holiday I have ever had. I will never forgive my country (USA) and Britain for destroying this country.


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