29 June 2011

National Tourism Sector Strategy reveals big plans for tourism industry

The National Tourism Sector Strategy focuses on arrivals, GDP and job creation.

Marthinus van Schalkwyk, Minister of Tourism Minister of Tourism, Marthinus van Schalkwyk

The overall goals are to drive the tourism economy, enhance visitor experiences, position South Africa as a destination of choice and sustain good governance in the industry. - Marthinus van Schalkwyk, South African Minister of Tourism

The recently launched National Tourism Sector Strategy (NTSS) aims to position South Africa as one of the top 20 tourism destinations globally by 2020.

Marthinus van Schalkwyk, the South African Minister of Tourism, said the NTSS will help position tourism as one of the fundamental pillars of the South African economy.

The overall goals of the strategy are to drive the tourism economy, enhance visitor experiences, position South Africa as a destination of choice and sustain good governance in the industry.

Van Schalkwyk said the key focus areas of the NTSS are arrivals, GDP and job creation.

The NTSS will direct the achievement of increased numbers of tourists to South Africa by, among other things, working towards increasing the number of foreign tourist arrivals to 15 million in 2020.

The aim is to increase tourism’s contribution to GDP from an estimated R189.4 billion in 2009 to R499 billion by 2020, and to create 225 000 jobs in the sector.

To achieve these objectives the NTSS will focus on domestic and regional tourism development, emerging markets and business tourism.

A further aim is to increase domestic trips from 30.9 million in 2009 to 54 million by 2020.

South African Tourism will establish 5 regional offices in Africa by 2020, to take advantage of inbound tourists from other African countries. Angola and Nigeria are particularly important, with inbound tourists amounting to 264 000 and 741 000 respectively in 2010.

South Africa will also use its new alliances with other BRICS countries (Brazil, Russia, India and China), which give this country a competitive advantage in a number of economic endeavours. Inbound tourists from these markets range from R5.4 million (Brazil) to R35 million (Russia), with inbound tourist numbers from India and China being 12.5 million and 31 million, respectively.

Van Schalkwyk also formally announced the establishment of a National Convention Bureau to strengthen South Africa’s efforts in attracting meetings and conventions to South Africa.