Minister of Tourism Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane speaking at the media briefing on 22 April 2021.

Government has approved the Tourism Sector Recovery Plan, a document that strategically outlines how South Africa can “protect and rejuvenate supply, reignite demand and strengthen enabling capability to support the sector’s recovery” said the Minister of Tourism Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane at a media briefing on 22 April 2021.

The plan will preserve R189 billion of the sector’s value and help it recover to its 2019 output and employment levels by 2023.

Minister Kubayi-Ngubane went on to explain that the document was developed by the Department of Tourism working closely with the industry. According to its projections, the plan will preserve R189 billion of the sector’s value and help it recover to its 2019 output and employment levels by 2023.

“Additionally, it will position the sector for long-term sustainable growth,” she added.

The plan is aligned to the country’s Economic Reconstruction and Recovery Plan (ERRP), and specifically to the following five key areas of the ERRP: job creation; infrastructure investment; green economy or sustainability interventions; inclusion of women and youth; and skills development.

“The goal is to preserve jobs and livelihoods within the sector, facilitate the creation of new job opportunities, match demand and supply as well as strengthen transformation in the sector including empowerment of women, youth and people with disabilities in the sector,” said Minister Kubayi-Ngubane.

The seven strategic interventions in the Tourism Sector Recovery Plan are:

Protect and rejuvenate supply

1. Implement norms and standards for safe operations across the value chain to enable safe travel and rebuild traveller confidence. This will include running national training programmes to help SMMEs successfully adopt these practices.

2. Support for the protection of core tourism infrastructure and assets, which will include implementing a tourism infrastructure maintenance programme of state-owned assets and developing community owned tourism assets to support an inclusive tourism recovery.

Re-ignite demand

3. Stimulate domestic demand through targeted initiatives and campaigns, both in the leisure and business tourism categories. Earlier this month, Minister Kubayi-Ngubane requested Treasury bring back the budget for government travel and conferencing to help support the industry.

4. Execute a global marketing programme to reignite international demand. The document notes that “international travel may only return in any large scale in 2023 or later”, but that work will be done in the meantime to stimulate international demand. This will include countering the problematic labelling of the “South African variant” and reassuring travellers that the country is safe to visit. The plan adds, “Furthermore, work will continue to build a bidding pipeline for the hosting of future local and international conferences and mega events.”

Strengthening enabling capability

5. Launch an investment and resource mobilisation programme to the support supply. This will include creating a Support Hub to provide non-financial support to tourism businesses; attracting new investments into the sector; implementing the Tourism Equity Fund and Green Tourism Incentive Fund; and accelerating the grading of establishments.

6. Tourism regional integration will be encouraged through a new SADC Tourism Programme, which will support inter-industry collaboration to better market the region.

7. Review the tourism policy to provide enhanced support for sector growth and development. This will look at ways to attract large tourism investments, as well as the feasibility of Tourism Development Zones.

The Department of Tourism and South African Tourism will implement the Plan together.

Click here to download the Tourism Sector Recovery Plan.

You can watch the Minister’s briefing on Facebook, here.

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