The Department of Tourism held its last MINMEC (Minister and Members of Executive Council) meeting in Cape Town to review its 2012 achievements and to plan the way forward for 2013.
Among its achievements, the National Department of Tourism (NDT) announced a 10.5% increase in the number of tourists visiting South Africa during the first six months of 2012. There was a recorded growth in overseas tourist arrivals of which 17.1 % were from outside of the African continent. A total of 1 163 477 overseas tourist arrivals were recorded compared to 993 364 tourist arrivals for the corresponding period.
MINMEC welcomed the improved and streamlined method of data collection and expressed their full confidence in the integrity of the current tourism statistics as a basis for planning for the new financial year. A team comprised of Stats South Africa, Tourism Business Council of South Africa (TBCSA) and the Department of Tourism (NDT) met earlier this year to review the various statistical processes pertinent to collection and processing of international tourist arrivals.
Domestic tourism marketing and budget alignment between government spheres were also discussed. The Minister and the Members of the Executive Council will continue to focus on spending limited resources wisely in order to get the best possible returns on its marketing investments in the different spheres of government.
The 26 February 2013 will see the launch of the Local Government Tourism Conference and the Local Government Tourism Development and Growth Support Programme. This two day conference will provide a platform for more than 400 public, private sector stakeholders and leadership an opportunity to engage on the challenges of tourism development, and how best to capacitate and support Local Government in delivering on the tourism mandate.
MINMEC also noted the progress of the implementation of the Awards programme for 2013. The provinces confirmed their readiness to implement the provincial awards programme, which will also be aligned to the national awards which will take place in September 2013.