The Minister of Tourism Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane's message for the year ahead is clear: job creation is of utmost priority and tourism can be the catalyst to make it happen.
Speaking at the Tourism Month launch at Drakensberg Sun Resort, KwaZulu-Natal, on 23 August 2019, Kubayi-Ngubane emphasised that tourism has the potential to boost South Africa's economic growth and improve job creation, which requires an inclusive tourism sector.
"The creation of jobs and business opportunities is in line with South African Tourism's 'We Do Tourism' movement, which aims to make tourism everyone's business as this industry intersects every area of our lives. It gets the whole country to rally behind the tourism industry, through demonstrating the far-reaching impact of the tourism value chain," she said.
The theme for this year's World Tourism Day is "Tourism and jobs - a better future for all", which highlights the tourism sector's vast capability to create jobs and therefore reduce the country's unemployment rate. We remain confident that tourism will contribute to our country turning to positive economic growth desired by our government and also contribute to more jobs to its maximum potential.
She highlighted the importance of Tourism Month as a means to both South Africans and visitors from outside the country's boarders to travel and experience our country's diverse offerings.
In March this year, a World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) report stated that South Africa has the largest tourism economy in Africa having indirectly contributed 1.5 million jobs (9.2% of South Africa's employment) and R425.8-billion in 2018. It also indicated that the sector accounts for 8.6% of the country's GDP.
"To this end, the fundamental to achieving the 21 million target is to firstly continue to work closely with the Department of Home Affairs on visa facilitation to increase access to our country by our tourists," Secondly, is to work closely with the Minister of Police and our stakeholders in our sector to address the concerns of safety," she said.
"Lastly and most importantly to develop and drive an aggressive marketing campaign for both domestic and international markets. This will involve target marketing to countries with potential for our international market and focused campaigns, for example, to millennials in the language they understand and by the people they can relate to," added Minister Kubayi-Ngubane.
Tourism Month in line with inclusive growth
Tourism Month is celebrated in the same month that the UN World Tourism Organisation celebrates World Tourism Day, which falls on September 27th each year.
It is also the same month that South African Tourism's Sho't Left Travel Week takes place, from 23-29 September 2019. During this week, participating tourism businesses offer travellers up to 50% off tour packages and related products and services. These deals must be bought during this week but can be redeemed at any other time depending on the partner's terms and conditions. All Sho't Left Travel Week deals can be found on www.shotleft.co.za
Tourism Month falls in line with South Africa's vision to ignite inclusive economic growth, sustainable job creation and transformation which are all critical for the industry.
It is part of the National Development Plan which recognises tourism as one of the main drivers of the economy. "Tourism Month aims to generate awareness on the enormous contribution that the tourism industry makes to provincial and national economic growth and job creation," said Kubayi-Ngubane.
Issued by: Department of Tourism