Pretoria, 21 June 2019.
The Tourism Business Council of South Africa (TBCSA) welcomes sentiments by President Cyril Ramaphosa on tourism during his State of the Nation Address on 20 June 2019.
In his speech, President Cyril Ramaphosa reiterated that he will make good on the sector’s ambition to double international tourist arrivals to 21 million by 2030.
He announced that this would be achieved through “the renewal of the country’s brand, introducing a world-class visa regime and a significant focus on Chinese and Indian markets and air arrivals from the rest of our continent”.
The TBCSA CEO, Tshifhiwa Tshivhengwa welcomes the President’s statements and wishes to restate that this ambitious vision will only be brought to fruition when bold and decisive steps are taken to remove barriers and boost tourism.
“In order for South Africa to become a destination of choice internationally, reducing red tape in visa applications, countering the perception that South Africa is an unsafe tourism destination, promoting domestic tourism vigorously and actively working together as private and public sector partners to the establishment of new tourism offerings, must be highlighted,” he says.
The tourism sector would like the government to be bold and swift in addressing the following issues;
- Swift introduction of E-visa system
- Grant visa waivers to countries with potential
- Deal with tourism vehicle licensing delays
- Priorities tourist safety
The TBCSA believes that it is time for decisive action to be taken by the government in collaboration with the private sector. This will be vital to unlocking growth in the tourism sector.
“We have been imagining a thriving tourism sector for years’ and we are excited that government will take bold action to realise 21 million tourists by 2030. We are committed to working with the government to drive this ambitious vision for the sector, realising that job creation could depend substantially on this happening. This will require a very different way of working, but the industry is up for it,” Tshivhengwa added.