The Minister of Tourism, Tokozile Xasa welcomes the Cabinet approval of the Coastal and Marine Tourism (CMT) as it will advance the Nine-Point Plan through Operation Phakisa's Oceans Economy. The Implementation Plan led by the Department of Tourism was developed in partnership with various tourism stakeholders. The vision is to grow a world class and sustainable coastal and marine tourism destination that leverages South Africa's competitive advantage in nature, culture, and heritage.
"The coastal and marine tourism sector will contribute about R21.4 billion to the GDP and create about 116 000 direct jobs by 2026, thus reducing poverty, inequality and unemployment, while contributing to sustainable livelihoods and development. These estimates are conservative as they are growing off a low 2015 base of R 11.9 billion direct contribution to GDP and 64 400 direct jobs," said Minister Xasa.
The Coastal and Marine Tourism Plan will be implemented in a nodal or cluster approach which will prioritise destinations rather than individual tourism projects or products. The identified nodes/clusters in the First Phase (0 - 5 years) encompass the following geographic areas:
Node 1: Durban and surrounds (KwaZulu-Natal);
Node 2: Umkhanyakude District including Umhlabuyalingana and surrounds (KwaZulu-Natal);
Node 3: Port St Johns to Coffee Bay (Eastern Cape);
Node 4: East London, Port Elizabeth and surrounds (Eastern Cape);
Node 5: Cape Town and surrounds (Western Cape); and
Node 6: West Coast and surrounds (Northern Cape).
Initiatives in all of these nodes cover six thematic areas namely: i) marketing, events and routes ii) regulations and permitting iii) research and spatial planning iv) beach precinct development, tourism infrastructure and tourism safety v) maritime tourism and vi) skills development.
Over the last year, three initiatives, namely Blue Flag Beaches Programme, Boat Based Whale Watching and Shark Cage Diving and Off Road Vehicle 4X4 Beach Driving have commenced. These initiatives will continue to be taken forward in the First Phase Implementation Plan.
"I would like to convey my gratitude to the relevant public and private stakeholders who took part in the development of detailed plans for Coastal and Marine Tourism Implementation Plan. I can say without a doubt that it is only through these kind of partnership that we can successfully implement this plan, together We Do Tourism" concluded Minister Xasa.
For further information contact:
Susan de Bruin Acting Chief Director: Communications
Tel: 012 444 6605
Cell: 082 9217303
Issued by: Department of Environmental Affairs