SA aims to woo more business tourists
Johannesburg - Plans are being outlined to bring more business meetings, events and conferences to South Africa, Tourism Minister Marthinus van Schalkwyk said on Monday.
"We aim to increase the number of foreign tourist arrivals to South Africa from 7 million in 2009 to 15 million by 2020," he said at a conference in Cape Town.
"We hope to increase tourism's total contribution to the economy from R189bn in 2009 to R499bn by 2020, the number of domestic tourists from 14.6 million in 2009 to 18 million by 2020, and to create 225 000 new jobs by 2020."
He said a strategy had been developed to improve business tourism and involved the assistance of various sectors.
"This sub-sector is ideally placed to address some of the seasonality challenges that are difficult to meet through leisure tourism alone."
Van Schalkwyk said foreigners had seen the country's natural beauty and impressive infrastructure during the Fifa World Cup last year.
"What remains is for us to continually enhance and leverage this global positioning.
"As a country we have already secured more than 200 events for the next five years. These events will attract some 300 000 delegates to our major business tourism cities and will contribute significantly to foreign direct spend into our economy."
He urged delegates to nurture the global buyers.
"In the aftermath of the economic recession, global buyers have become increasingly adept at driving down costs.
"Our task is to carefully nurture our value-for-money reputation and present diversified offerings to the business traveller."