South Africa Tourism Minister's budget speech sets the tone for HICA and Indaba
- Category: Agency & Association
- Created on Wednesday, 09 May 2012 12:24
South Africa Tourism Minister's budget speech sets the tone for HICA and IndabaCommenting on the Tourism Minister’s budget speech, the CEO of the Tourism Business Council (TBCSA), Mmatšatši Marobe extended the private sector’s full support to the achievements and objectives expressed by the Minister of Tourism in his budget vote speech presented to Parliament on 3 May.
“The Minister’s speech has certainly set the tone for the Hotel Investment Conference Africa (HICA) which officially starts today and the forthcoming Tourism Indaba. Moreover, we are delighted that the Minister has acknowledged the role of the private sector in terms of the partnership that exists between the Public and the Private sectors of the Industry. Marobe said tourism operators were particularly excited with the Minister’s reference to collaboration aimed at increasing South Africa’s global competitiveness as “this is a core value of the TBCSA in our role as the enabler of travel and tourism in South Africa”.
Airlift, one of the key discussion points at HICA, is amongst the issues affecting the country’s global competitiveness. Chris Zweigenthal, CEO of the Airline Association of South Africa (AASA) said the organization will soon be involved in all discussions related to airlift. “We welcome the opportunity to engage directly with the national departments of Tourism and Transport on this critical matter”.
Business tourism is another aspect of the industry which has the potential to boost South Africa’s competitiveness. “We welcome the National Conventions Bureau (NCB) and look forward to working well with provincial and city based bureaus to attract more events, meetings and conferences into South Africa”, Marobe said. She added that it was essential to ensure that statistics were collected on the number of events, meetings and conferences hosted in the country.
Lastly, the TBCSA lauded Government’s commitment to unlocking the potential of rural and cultural tourism, as well as the renewed focus on domestic tourism saying this (rural development strategy and the domestic tourism growth strategy) would begin to address the long-standing challenges of spreading the benefits of tourism geographically and encouraging more South Africans to travel within their own country. “In addition to expanding the reach of tourism to a broader South African public, the rural tourism strategy and the domestic tourism growth strategy will go a long way towards addressing the seasonal imbalances that currently restrict sustainable employment within the industry. This is a very encouraging foundation for business in the travel and tourism industry.