The South African tourism sector is devastated by the news of the fatal shooting of a German visitor in Mpumalanga on Monday 3 October 2022. The tourist was one of four travelers making their way to one of the country’s top tourist attractions in the province.
As a sector, we would like to convey our heartfelt condolences to the family and friends of the tourist who was killed in this incident. We call on law enforcement agencies to find the perpetrators of this violent crime as soon as possible.
South Africa receives a large number of tourists from Germany and this is one of the ways in which our tourism sector has been able to recover from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
As a sector, we are aware that crime tops the list of factors that tourists have raised as a concern when choosing South Africa as a destination. It was with this in mind that at a recent gathering of tourism industry leaders the sector called for South Africa’s security cluster to help us in bolstering tourism safety and acting fast against acts of criminality that affect the sector’s potential.
“We wish to express our sympathy and extend our support to the family and friends who have had such a devastating experience in our country. South Africans are welcoming people and this criminal behavior is inconsistent with our warm and welcoming spirit which is our innate way of life. The protection of all tourists is immensely important to us and therefore we continue to consult the South African Police Services and all related authorities in this regard,” said South African Tourism Acting CEO, Themba Khumalo.
Khumalo’s sentiments have been echoed by the CEO of the Tourism Business Council of South Africa (TBCSA), Tshfhiwa Tshivhengwa who said “Violence against tourists is equivalent to economic crimes such as stealing copper cables and gold, and something must be done urgently.”
Our teams will meet with our colleagues in the security cluster to discuss ways in which plans to ensure tourist safety are fast-tracked ahead of our very busy summer holiday season.
South Africa has everything that any tourist would want to see. The Mpumalanga province boasts quaint and charming small towns, amazing safari experiences, and iconic landscapes. This, and more, is what visitors from various parts of the world come to experience in our country. It is important that we make sure visitors to our country feel safe to enjoy our wide variety of tourism experiences and establishments.