The Minister of Tourism, Marthinus van Schalkwyk, has tabled his draft Tourism Strategy for the period up to 2020, and is to focus on the middle income earners of South Africa, and tourism from Africa, in a move to stimulate tourism, reports Business Report.
In an interesting move, the Minister has announced that he has been in discussions with trade union federation COSATU in developing resorts for workers, to encourage them to become tourists. This would mean government owned but private sector run “proper resorts for people with modest income”.
In the next ten years, the Minster said, 1,6 billion tourists could be expected, spending R43,5 billion. From Africa alone 77 million tourists are expected in ten years from now, and Nigeria and Angola in particular. The Minister reiterated the importance of partnerships with other African countries, citing recent memorandums of understanding that have been signed with Kenya and Zimbabwe.
Van Schalkwyk is hoping to achieve an increase in contribution to the GDP from R 64,5 billion in 2009 to R 125 billion by 2015, with the aim of job creation in the tourism sector rising from 575000 in 2009 to 800000 in 2015.
One wonders how accurate the Minister’s projections will be for the next 10 years, given how badly incorrect the estimates for the international attendance at the World Cup have been from his department via the tourism consultancy Grant Thornton. The international attendance at the World Cup is said to be close to half of the original estimate. One also hopes that the Minister will consider which existing resorts could be redeveoped for the domestic tourism market, rather than building new ones.
Chris von Ulmenstein, Whale Cottage Portfolio: www.whalecottage.com