‘Whole of government’ approach needed, says Hanekom
South Africa’s success as a tourism destination relies on the co-operation of many stakeholders and a “whole of government” approach, according to Minister of Tourism, Derek Hanekom.
Addressing members of the trade at a symposium hosted by the University of Pretoria, Hanekom said that, without the co-operation of, for example, the Departments of Transport and Home Affairs, the country’s tourism achievements would be limited. Speaking about universal accessibility in particular, Hanekom said the mandate to advance universal accessibility sat in several government departments. He added that it was absolutely essential that universal accessibility was promoted in the tourism sector.
The Minister also called for organisations representing people with disabilities to be engaged so that the tourism industry could meet their needs. Hanekom said that in South Africa, a lack of economic resources was also a disability. He therefore emphasised the need to make South Africa’s tourism products accessible for all South Africans. He said, for example, that it should not be the case that people living in Cape Town could not afford to visit Robben Island.
According to Hanekom, while the country’s immigration regulations had hurt arrivals in 2015, strides had been made in addressing these regulations and, as a result, arrivals out of China and India were showing significant growth, with arrivals out of China almost doubling year on year and arrivals from India up 40%.
(source: Tourism Update)