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TOURISM POISED TO CONTRIBUTE TO SA’S ECONOMIC TRANSFORMATION AGENDA

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TOURISM POISED TO CONTRIBUTE TO SA’S ECONOMIC TRANSFORMATION AGENDA
On Friday 25 August, we in partnership with the Tourism B-BBEE Charter Council convened a round table discussion with industry role-players and stakeholders to discuss issues of transformation in the travel and tourism sector.

Representatives from the Tourism B-BBEE Charter Council (the Council) informed participants that it has three sub-committees that are aligned to the codes. These are the Accommodation sub-committee, Hospitality sub-committee and the Travel sub-committee. A presentation delivered by the Deputy Chairperson of the Council, Ms. Lindiwe Sangweni-Siddo, highlighted a 2011 study carried out on the state of transformation in the Tourism industry. The results of that study illustrated that the majority of tourism enterprises failed to meet transformation targets across all elements of the Tourism B-BBEE scorecard. Among other findings, there was also a low level of black female absorption at directorship level within many tourism enterprises. To counter this, an Executive Development Programme course was introduced in order to prepare black female managers for Director and shareholding positions. Among other vehicles used to drive Tourism transformation are the Enterprise Development Programme, the THRD and NTSS strategies, the Domestic Tourism Strategy as well as SA Tourism’s “5 in 5” growth and marketing strategy.

In general, participants remarked that one of the opportunities available to achieve transformation in the industry is through procurement, especially where there are vast amounts of land where communities can be empowered to farm and supply the produce to the lodging industry, conference venues and other tourism related businesses. Participants were also encouraged to “think outside the box” about the different ways of promoting black economic participation in the travel and tourism economy.

Participants were also informed that the Council in collaboration with Urban Econ has a survey in circulation to produce a baseline study on transformation in the sector. Participants expressed the view that government needs to assist the industry on the transformation drive through various funding initiatives and using its own purchasing power, as well as put more pressure on businesses to achieve set targets.

In conclusion, participants were informed that the Council and the NDT would be convening the inaugural Tourism Transformation Summit in October this year. The objective of the Summit is to discuss ways in which government and business can work together to accelerate the pace of transformation in the sector. We will keep you updated on all developments. Click here to view the PowerPoint presentations delivered at the roundtable.

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