The Minister for Tourism Derek Hanekom applauded the president for his proposal to invest 100 million rand to the tourism sector to boost its domestic tourism. He said the president’s announcement was music in his ears.
President Jacob Zuma stated in his State of the Nation Address that the government would be looking towards boosting the tourism sector in a bid to increase the country’s income. To this he added in his speech that the sum of R100 million would be allocated to it.
We must take advantage of the exchange rate as well as the recent changes of visa regulations, to boost inbound tourism.
SA Tourism will invest one hundred million rand a year to promote domestic tourism, encouraging South Africans to tour their country. Zuma said.
Speaking at the SONA debate held on Tuesday at the National Assembly, the minister said the department was elated at the president’s decision to promote domestic tourism encouraging South Africans to tour their country and that the department will do it’s best to ensure that most of the attractive areas are made cheaper so citizens can afford it.
“Mr President, in your address to the nation on Thursday, you said that South African Tourism will invest R100 million a year to promote domestic tourism encouraging South Africans to tour their country.
“Your emphasis on the importance of domestic tourism came as music to the ears of all of us who are working in tourism who so passionately believe in the great value tourism offers our country,”
“More people should be able to travel to the Kruger National Park to see the great wildlife extravaganza … Our people must have the opportunity to take the ferry to Robben Island and experience the story of the triumph of the human spirit of oppression.
“Many more school children must be able to visit Mapungubwe and take pride in the history of this ancient African civilization that cast the golden rhino long before Africa was colonized.
“This is our heritage to be shared by all our people,” he said.
More so, the minister pointed out that one of the most impressive aspects about tourism in South Africa was that it has grown over the past two decades from 3.9 million in 1994 to 8.9 million arrivals in 2015. He also pointed out that the Stats SA’S satellite account, in 2013, revealed that 655 000 people were directly involved in producing goods and services provided to tourists.
At the moment, about 1.5 million people are said to be employed by the tourism sector, directly or indirectly.”We are confident that tourism can grow rapidly, offering most of our people work and livelihood opportunities,” said the Minister.