The state of travel

It's looking good for tourism in SA

An influx of tourists from Brics partnering countries is set to boost tourism in SA
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Reiterating the excellent tourist arrivals growth of 10.2 % in 2012, it seems we're firmly on track to reach our  target to become one of the 20 top destinations. 

Referring to the latest Tourism Satellite Account (TSA) released by Statistics South Africa, for the period ending December 2011. The TSA provides a tourism dimension to the System of National Accounts and contains important information about the performance of the Tourism Sector in the economy. The TSA reported the following results:

  • Direct tourism contribution to GDP went up by 5% to R84.3 billion in 2011;
  • Direct employment in the sector as a percentage of overall employment in the country went up from 4.3% to 4.5% between 2010 and 2011. This was as a result of the increase of about 31,000 direct jobs in the sector from 2010 to a total direct employment of 598,432 in 2011;
  • An increase of 3.3% in expenditure by foreign tourists to R71.7 billion;
  • The total domestic tourism expenditure increased from R69 billion in 2010 to R101 billion in 2011, which translates to an increase of over R30 billion.

According to Monga Phaladi, South African Leisure and Hospitality Association (SALTHA) Youth Chamber Secretary General, these figures give the organisation, as organized youth formations of travel, tourism and hospitality, confidence that we as a country,  are making good progress in our efforts to grow the tourism industry in South Africa. "But we cannot become complacent. More and more countries around the world are realizing the opportunity that tourism presents for growing their economies and creating jobs and our geographic position makes our fight for the global tourism share more difficult than most. As a tourism industry we have to remain committed to working together to growing the travel, tourism and hospitality sector in our country, with the support of all South Africans, all of whom have the power to be important tourism ambassadors."

Phaladi says, however, the travel, tourism and hospitality sector is still largely characterized by apartheid and colonialist hangover of white male domination that has ring fenced the industry by manipulation of market and finance access for any emerging tourism and hospitality enterprise which would result in sustainable development, including the share of wealth (R101 Billion).

"This would be greatly seen in the stubborn resistance to transformation and change of ownership patterns (especially from the Big 10 Multinationals) in the industry, a visible proof to this testament would be reflected in the work of the Tourism B – BEE Charter Council and its inability to meet set transformation and empowerment targets identified. A knock on effect to these phenomena is festered in the inability of the organized formations of business tourism to attain a concrete SMME Enterprise Development Strategy, which is particularly focused on youth, women and people with disabilities.

"This ideological positioning of the youth chamber is informed by the flawed fundamental objectives of government supported initiatives such as the Tourism Enterprise Partnership (TEP) which has failed to meet the development and transformational objectives and targets on a yearly basis witnessed in the continued cuts to its budget. TEP has only managed to increase the gap between established and emerging tourism and hospitality enterprises through its board representation, which has had a majority interest in reinforcing the stubborn resistance and status core of wealth patterns," Phaladi says. 

Further creating a perceived developmental agenda via a minority interest in a realistic and sustained programme of SMME and co-operatives development for tourism and hospitality enterprises. We therefore resolve and encourage the National Department of Tourism to divert its funding towards TEP to a ‘Domestic Tourism SMME Development Network (DoTS Network)’ which would be located in the Deputy Director Generals Office responsible for domestic tourism.

A further indication of the necessity of the DoTS Network, is as a result of the funding and support criteria models of the TEP, that are based on theocentric banking enterprise investment framework, that is a major barrier of support for historically disadvantaged owned tourism and hospitality enterprises.

"We are excited about the growth arrivals recorded from the BRICS bloc, Regional Africa and other emerging markets. Since 2009 arrivals from China have more than tripled, arrivals from Brazil have more than doubled and arrivals from India have almost doubled. China has jumped from being South Africa’s eighth largest overseas source market in 2011 to its fourth largest overseas source market in 2012. In 2012, 132 334 people visited South Africa from China, a 55.9% increase in growth, driven in part by the opening up of a direct flight between Beijing and Johannesburg in January 2012.

Throughout this whole month the youth chamber will also be lobbying the support for the call to review by the industry together with government the administration of the ‘Tourism Levy’ with the view of establishing a ‘Tourism Levy Development Fund’, and also the call for an establishment for a ‘Youth Directorate’ in the Tourism Ministry to monitor and prioritize youth economic empowerment.

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