Tourism Minister Tokozile Xasa last week held an Imbizo in Uitenhage, Eastern Cape as part of the "We Do Tourism" campaign.
The Department of Tourism partnered with the Nelson Mandela Bay Tourism and the local government of Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality to host this engagement in
the community of KwaNobuhle in Uitenhage. The Imbizo provided a platform for dialogue between government and the community in the tourism value chain to grow tourism and also engage on topical and crucial issues affecting them.
"We decided to come to Uitenhage as a gesture of hope for women in tourism; tourism product owners; tourism entrepreneurs; aspiring youth in tourism; tourism students; and the community in the tourism value chain to engage on tourism matters within the community", said Minister.
The Minister encouraged the youth to take interest in tourism. She also stated that local institutions and training entities should develops curriculums that offers tourism, as a response to the social-economic issues in the area.
"For young people interested in getting into tourism, we reiterate that the Department of Tourism offers learnership programmes that are accredited and approved nationally and internationally by the tourism and hospitality seta, CATHSSETA. These programmes allow us to touch communities and to touch poverty, by ensuring that we create opportunities for young people, including those unable to take up opportunities of employment in other sectors," added Xasa.
The Minister also shared various departmental programmes and opportunities that seek to uplift the disadvantaged communities and involve them in the mainstream economy.
"Through Tourism Incentive Programme of the Department of Tourism, we are empowering remarkable small businesses to reach their full potential. We are opening up markets and giving them access to international travel buyers, through trade shows and other platforms. This is proof that excellent tourism products just need the right opportunities to shine," said Minister Xasa
She also addressed concerns raised by stakeholders over issues related to support for small businesses,lack of infrastructure and availability of tourism information. The Minister highlighted departmental programmes which aims at building strong business skills, entrepreneurs and industrialists as for example the B-BBEE Tourism Portal and the Executive Development Programme.
"We are all in this together.Tourism can only end poverty, if South Africans take the opportunities that government makes available. If We all Do Tourism, then the sky will not even be the limit," concluded the Minister.
Issued by: Department of Tourism