SA Tourism gave feedback on last year’s sector performance and the challenge put to Tourism by our new President Cyril Ramaphosa at his first State of the Nation Address (SONA). We are in agreement that the tourism sector provides the country with incredible growth opportunities. Mister President challenged the country from Sandton where the speech was made, to more than double the 700 000 people currently employed in tourism by enhancing support for destination marketing in key tourism markets, to take further measures to remove/reduce regulatory barriers, and to develop emerging tourism businesses. SA Tourism’s areas of focus to stimulate growth include:
- Entering into agreements with established non-traditional distribution agents (e.g. retail supermarkets) in SA who are able to convert the awareness created by SA Tourism on domestic holiday travel into actual sales.
- Through the Air Access Programmes, in partnership with the Provincial Tourism Authorities and the Airports Company, there is a drive for increased frequency and new airline route establishment across all provinces with international airports.
- Minister of Tourism, Derek Hanekom has also begun making the case for a more user-friendly visa regime in key markets, focusing on Nigeria, India and China (NIC countries). Hanekom and Minister of Home Affairs, Malusi Gigabarecently introduced plans to simplify travelling to South Africa with minors. A task team has been set up to streamline the process. “The more connectivity we have, the better,” added Ntshona.
In 2017, there were 1.32 million tourist arrivals recorded globally, with South Africa receiving 1% of the world’s market share. International tourism grew at 7% in 2017, whilst South Africa grew at 2.4%.
This excerpt has been taken from Tourism Update.