Minister Tokozile Xasa today met and engaged with industry leaders at a breakfast event held at Southern Sun Elangeni in Durban.
The event afforded the Minister an opportunity to share her vision for the sector, and to encourage industry leaders to work together on the initiatives that will make tourism inclusive and sustainable under the "I do Tourism" banner. This campaign was launched yesterday by President Jacob Zuma and Minister Xasa at an event attended by government and industry stakeholders.
"We are looking at diversifying the sector and creating an environment that is conducive for the growth of the sector and inclusive for the creation of an economy enabling new entrants.
"Processes are underway to finalise our National Tourism Sector Strategy (NTSS). As government, we have an opportunity to turn the economy around, and we need your input as drivers of this sector.
"We appreciate the work that the industry is doing, and it has contributed positively to the GDP and creating employment opportunities.
"We also appreciate how you have embraced the Executive Development Programme (EDP) for Women in Tourism. The women who enrolled in the Programme, will be graduating soon and this could not have been achieved without you," said Xasa.
Chairman of the Tourism Business Council of South Africa (TBCSA), Mr.Tito Mboweni, thanked the Minister for making time to engage with industry players, and indicated that they look forward to further engagements on issues which affect the industry.
"Tourism is a robust and exciting industry that drives economic activity. We need to take full advantage of this and ensure that issues pertaining to safety and security, tax levies and government regulations that infringe on how the industry does its work are addressed," said Mboweni.
CEO Tourism Business Council of SA (TBCSA), Ms. Mmatsatsi Ramawela, lauded the department's efforts to continuously engage and consult with the industry, and reaffirmed the industry's commitment to work with government in advancing the industry.
"On behalf of my colleagues in the industry, I reaffirm our commitment to support you as you fulfil your mandate as the Tourism Minister. We rally behind the "I do Tourism" campaign, and look forward to further engagements with you as we grow tourism," said Ramawela.
Issued by: Department of Tourism