Tourism to generate more than 10 000 work opportunities

Tourism Minister Marthinus van Schalkwyk

The National Department of Tourism is going to bring about 10 270 full time work opportunities in the current financial year, along with roughly 530 small rural enterprises will most likely at the same time be supported, according to Tourism Minister Marthinus van Schalkwyk.

Presenting his department’s Budget Vote, van Schalkwyk said the work opportunities will likely be created via the Social Responsibility Implementation (SRI) programme and the Tourism Enterprise Partnership (TEP).

The department in addition planned to invest R253 million in 2011 financial year to finance tourism projects which had been aligned to the Expanded Public Works Programme.

“We believe that this will likely make it easier for the transfer of wealth to poor and rural communities by amongst others guaranteeing ownership of assets as well as the facilitation of skills development,” he explained.

Strategies were in addition going ahead to boost the volume of foreign tourist arrivals to South Africa from 7 million in 2009 to 15 million by 2020, not to mention tourism’s overall contribution towards the economy from R189 billion in 2009 to R499 billion by 2020.

The quantity of domestic tourists may possibly also increase from 14.6 million in 2009 to 18 million by 2020 and in addition create 225 000 new jobs by 2020.

Van Schalkwyk explained that government bodies would undoubtedly at the same time be utilizing the department’s budget to promote new growth by being able to access markets unlocked by the World Cup.

“In this perspective, we envisage maximising the importance of our involvement in numerous international and regional tourism platforms. We will look for cooperation together with other African partners to be able to make a difference to the economic prosperity of our continent as a result of tourism.”

The department is going to further develop a Tourism International Relations Strategy to tactically guide our events at multi-lateral level, which includes South Africa’s involvement in the BRICS formation.

The travel and leisure sector, subsequently, also embraces the projected launch by South African Airways of a non-stop service to New York in May 2011 as well as a direct service to China towards the end of 2011, in addition to Air France’s scheduled launch of a completely new thrice weekly non-stop service from Paris to Cape Town in November 2011, stated the minister.

With regards to responsible and low carbon tourism, van Schalkwyk explained he has been worried about the deficiency of harmonisation of accreditation certification and labelling within the tourism industry.

There was clearly a number of “very admirable” private sector and civil society driven initiatives which have produced systems of integrity, but “most of these are typically in silos and really should find broader application.”

“This regulatory vacuum with regards to the tourism sector regrettably produces the space for abuse and green-washing. Furthermore, it is not going to effectively reward those who work in the industry that do engage in leadership functions simply by investing in low carbon, ethical, clean and green tourism transformation,” said van Schalkwyk.

The department is going to in the near future publish the National Minimum Standard for Responsible Tourism in the current financial year. The minister explained these kinds of benchmarks will deal with numerous proportions of green and responsible tourism, which includes biodiversity conservation, energy consumption and water use.

Source: BuaNews

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