South Africa Aims to Boost Tourism as The Growing Sector Contributes Significantly to the African Economy
South Africa Tourism Minister Derek Hanekom stated that the country's growing tourism would benefit the country, even the continent's economy. South Africa, as one of the continent's biggest business and lifestyle destination, acknowledges the big responsibility to improve the sector.
The minister said in the opening of Meeting Africa 2016 that people throughout Africa would benefit significantly from a growing tourism. As reported by StarAfrica, minister Hanekom mentioned the creation of more jobs, a bigger contribution to GDP and more opportunities as tourism's contribution to the continent's economy.
"We should all take on this challenge with vigour and pride because, as we progress in this journey, we will be alleviating the load for future for generations of Africans that will follow us," the minister said, calling the audience to bear the big responsibility to help improve the sector for the sake of future generations. "We will be putting growth and progress within their grasp, and we will be helping them to reach out and take up opportunities with both hands," he added.
South Africa, as one of Africa's main tourist destination, holds the continent's most visited city, Johannesburg. BizNiz Africa reported that the city's tourism is expanding and improving its tourism campaign to boost the local economy. The campaign coincides with the even Meeting Africa where the Tourism Minister were also convincing audiences that a better tourism could greatly benefit the economy.
Minister Hanekom also reported in the event that his country's tourism has grown phenomenally over the last two decades. In 1994, the number was around four million, but in 2015 tourism almost reached nine million. The minister then elaborated that the growth represents more opportunities for local people to make a better living by offering products and services. Reports said that currently 1.5 million people are directly or indirectly employed by the tourism sector.
South Africa President Jacob Zuma also has the same message. According to AllAfrica, in his State of the Nation Address, the president announced that the government will be investing as much as R100 million ($6.4 million) to boost local tourism. The president also noted that tourism sector should take advantage of the recent changes visa regulations and the weakened exchange rate to boost tourism.
The growing tourism in Africa, especially in South Africa is projected to hugely benefit the local economy through products and services. South Africa Tourism Minister stated that the government is striving to improve the sector with more investment and change of regulations.