Tourism bigger than ever: Minister

2011-05-26 16:43

Cape Town - Tourism is poised to play a greater role than ever before in the lives of South Africans in terms of its economic contribution and job creation potential, Tourism Minister Marthinus van Schalkwyk said on Thursday.

"Our destination is currently well positioned and our collaborative efforts before and during the (2010 Fifa) World Cup have paid off," he told the National Council of Provinces during debate on his budget vote.

International tourism arrivals for 2010 registered a year-on-year growth of 15.1%, with more than 8 million foreign tourist arrivals.

"I am pleased to be able to announce today that South Africa in 2011 has continued on its very positive growth trajectory in terms of foreign tourist arrivals.

"We were confident that South Africa would not experience a post-World Cup dip in tourist arrivals after our hosting of the event.

"We indeed recorded growth in every month of 2010, including after the World Cup," he said.

The latest figures showed that foreign tourist arrivals to South Africa grew by 9.3% in January 2011, compared to the same period in 2010.

There was positive growth from every single region, although slower growth from Europe showed that markets were certainly still under pressure from tough economic conditions.

Overall, foreign tourist arrivals to South Africa grew by 1.1% from Europe, 10.6% from North America, 19.1% from Central and South America, 29.5% from Australasia, 29.4% from Asia, 13.2% from the Middle East and 10.8% from Africa.

"It is important that we now work harder than ever to capitalise on the 'top of mind' awareness that the World Cup has generated for the country," Van Schalkwyk said.

One important tool for doing this would be the rigorous and disciplined pursuit of the targets in the national tourism sector strategy (NTSS).

The strategy rests on three pillars: driving the tourism economy; enhancing visitor experiences; and ensuring sustainability and good governance in the industry.

"We aim to increase the number of foreign tourist arrivals to South Africa from 7 million in 2009 to 15 million by 2020, tourism's total contribution to the economy from R189bn in 2009 to R499bn by 2020 and to create 225 000 new jobs by 2020," he said.

To streamline and align its efforts more efficiently, the department has also undertaken a review of current tourism legislation.

"We intend to table a tourism bill in parliament before the end of the financial year and we look forward to constructive interaction with you as part of this process."

The department would also, in close partnership with provinces, develop a domestic tourism strategy to ensure that the enormous growth potential in the domestic market was unlocked.

"Through the NTSS we aim to increase the number of domestic tourists from 14.6 million in 2009 to 18 million by 2020," Van Schalkwyk said.

  • Lump of coal - 2011-05-26 17:13

    Old "kortbroek" still trying to justify his salary ???

      Sheda Hab - 2011-05-26 19:35

      Absolute TWAK. I do a lot of work for hotels that essentially rely on overseas trade and they are all down 20 to 30%. Do not know where he gets his figures from. I dont think it is his fault we are down as the global economy is still tight - but does he have to lie.

      Ellen - 2011-05-27 06:28

      'Ol Kortbroek is, technically speaking, correct as he has obviously included the millions of Zimbabweans, Mozambiquans, Swazis and Basothos from Lesotho who stream over our borders to buy food, some never going back. These are mostly what one can assume are day trippers buying goods and heading back home. If that is the case, then they do not stay in hotels or B&B's. The real paying international tourists are the ones that fly in and kortbroek conveniently never releases figures that distinguish between the two. He is doing grave damage to the hotel industry as many establishments take these tourist figures and plan for the future. I think kortbroek has turned from a bull$hiting ex-Nat minister to a fully fledged and dishhonourable ANC crony hellbent on twisting the truth at any cost in order to make the current state of affairs look rosy when in reality the picture is grim and bleek. Carry on kortbroek getting yourself and everybody into a grand 'ol mess with your lies!

  • Thandiwe83 - 2011-05-26 17:38

    Cheaper intercontinental flights required

      ptaguy1983 - 2011-05-26 18:08

      Absolutely! to think it will only cost me R3000 for a return ticket to London and it is R7000 to fly to Mozi! Whats up with that?

  • Gert - 2011-05-26 18:13

    The Asian country tourism figure rise of 29.4% does not reflect the amount that stays behind - it is not tourism it is immigration - Kortbroek, you poepol!

  • Anton - 2011-05-26 18:16

    It is mind bogging that this minister, is allowed, time and again, to talk such utter rubbish about SA tourism. It is like the minister of minerals and energy would say that the gold price is now US $ 7500, and that our gold output has increased by 600 procent during the last 12 months. He would not last 24 hours in his post. But this minister of tourism can only talk in millions, 5 million , 10 million, 15 million and now we are heading for 20 million tourists........ But the only one who seems to know where all these millions of tourists are, is Mr Van Schalkwyk. The hotels don't know where they are, (not the 5 star, not the 4 star, not the 3 star, nor the two and one star hotels ) The BB's dont know where they are. Not even the camping sites know where they are. The tour leaders don't know where they are,the tour bus companies don't know where they are, the tourist shops don't know where they are. NOBODY KNOWS WHERE THEY ARE ! ! The fact is that SA does not get much more than one million tourists a year. South African tourism is in a pathetic state. The main cause of this is that its run by politicians and not by marketing professionals. Tourism is not such a complicated business, its like selling pots and pans, one has a good product, one prices it right,makes it easy available and than its marketing and selling. We have a good product, but our price is to high, and when it comes to marketing and selling, we are totally useless.

      Sheda Hab - 2011-05-26 20:05

      ANTON I agree. My family are big in the hotel industry and their occupancies nationwide are down 20 to 30%. The man is either an effing liar or he has been fed bullshit.

      Krolie - 2011-05-26 20:18

      @Anton. I agree with you 100%!! I am also wondering where all these tourists are. They are certainly not here with us or at any of the other establishments around us. I know of establishments sending their staff off on leave during the current slump, in the hope that things will pick up again during the school holidays. That even is a bit of a bummer as locals are very careful in spending now, and avoid spending on holidays. Seems everyone is aiming to rather go on holiday in December/January. So please Mr Van Schalkwyk, send all these tourist on to us, we can certainly accommodate them and make their stay a memorable one!

  • Anton - 2011-05-26 19:37

    How to fix South African tourism: 1) Get rid of Van Schalkwyk, and if the government is not willing to do so, lets stop taking any notice of him, and isolate him. 2) Lets have a one billion rand budget to promote South Africa, ( a lot of money ?? , its only one percent of what was spend on the SWC ! !) 3) Let's get professionals to do the marketing and selling of South Africa. 4)Let's get realistic with figures. In future foreign tourist numbers must exclude any cross border travel, with this we will bring the ,,tourists,, numbers down by 80 procent. ( Many cross border visitors are very important to the SA economy, but they have nothing to do with tourism ! ! ) 5)And lets agree on the following: ITS NOT THE QUANTITY STUPID, ITS THE QUALITY ( Ask any venue that generates its income from tourism, Do they rather have a coach with 80 people from Holland stop in front of them, or a mini bus with 8 Mexicans.......................! ! ! )

  • Hasan X - 2011-05-27 04:48

    I personally many people who travel to South Africa. Things to bring more. Cheaper fares to Africa. Its time people stop stealin other folks money! Hotels in South Africa arre much too expensive! Few people I know stay in hotels. Bed and Breakfasts' offer a much better deal. But most importantly. Get rid of the RASCIST Aparthied clingers. Please! These people are intent on destroying South Africa. Such a beautiful full of hate though. Salaam.

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