South Africa on Friday commemorated the World Tourism Day in Howick with a commitment to improve the sector so that it attracts more tourists and the country reap maximum benefits.
The event was celebrated at Howick where the former President Nelson Mandela was captured in 1962 and sent to prison for the next 27 years. South Africa’s Tourism Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane called on all stakeholders to work together to improve the sector.
“Our tourist attractions as a country can only do so much to attract tourists. However, the people of South Africa need to make a concerted effort to continually increase the levels of hospitality and friendliness and the general level of service,” said Kubayi-Ngubane.
She stated that the government would like to ensure that no one is left behind as they grow the tourism sector with some measures they want to put in place.
“We need to work together to transform the sector so that all South Africans can equitably participate in the sector including our disabled compatriots. We need to adopt a whole of government approach to tourism so that there is consistency in the message that we send to the world at all levels of government,” said Kubayi-Ngubane.
She stated that they would like to work with local communities, crowd-in private sector investments and create a tourism infrastructure coordination framework so that government investment in infrastructure at all levels is complementary.
The Parliamentary Committee on Tourism chairperson Supra Mahumapelo who attended the celebration said they held the meeting wit over 60 stakeholders to improve the sector.
“We have found at both destinations which we have visited today, that they have a huge untapped potential to maximize the participation of both domestic and international tourists. However, to unleash this potential, private/public partnerships and improved inter-governmental relations were identified as key drivers to make this a reality,” said Mahumapelo.
He said they are focusing on the development and sustainability of tourist destinations in villages, townships and small towns, resulting in transformation of the private sector allowing for new entrants. Enditem