Rustenburg - Local tourism is important for creating jobs and fighting unemployment, North West premier Thandi Modise said on Thursday. "Tourism plays a very important part in our economy. If we can fully support small businesses as government, we can create many jobs for our people," she said at a tourism conference in Rustenburg. "Local tourism has the power to assist the province and the municipality in developing local products and creating local jobs." Modise said there was a need for small business at local level to be supported by government. A way had to be found to ensure this were sustainable. "We all agree as government that the tourism sector has the potential to contribute to the economic growth of our province," the premier said. "We have noted that in the past money was pumped into small businesses, which later collapsed due to lack of support." Proper monitoring and support was needed for small businesses, she said.