Tourism Sector Recovery Plan under the spotlight

06 Sep 2021

Reviewing South Africa’s tourism policy to provide enhanced support for sector growth and development is one of the key strategic interventions included in the Tourism Sector Recovery Plan.

The deputy minister of tourism, Fish Mahlalela, highlighted this in a speech at the Africa Travel and Tourism Summit 2021 media launch.

The deputy minister emphasized that the Plan, forming part of government’s broader Economic Reconstruction and Recovery Plan, is anchored on three interlinked pillars, namely, protecting and rejuvenating supply, re-igniting demand and strengthening enabling capability for long term sustainability.

Other key strategic interventions include implementation of bio security norms and standards across the value chain to enable safe travel and rebuild traveller confidence; stimulating domestic demand through targeted initiatives and campaigns; strengthening the supply-side through resource mobilisation and investment facilitation; support for the protection of core tourism infrastructure and assets; executing a global marketing programme to reignite international demand and tourism regional integration.

According to the deputy minister, the Plan also highlights the role that domestic tourism can play in reigniting tourism in South Africa.

Meanwhile, the Tourism Review Panel recently updated the portfolio committee on tourism on the Tourism Policy Review.

Some observations of the panel include that the policy areas addressed in the 1996 White Paper largely remain relevant; some areas still require major interventions in the current context while progress has been made in others; tourism safety and security still requires major intervention; the Covid-19 pandemic has led to health considerations becoming an integral part of the safety and security policy area; new policy areas such as economic digital transformation and seamless travel need to be considered alongside cross-cutting areas such as visa-related considerations and areas not specifically addressed by the White Paper such as rural tourism were also identified.

The Panel plans to present the current preliminary proposals to the tourism minister as soon as possible after which the current draft will be further refined, further consultations undertaken and a further draft policy drawn up.

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(This article is provided for informational purposes only and not for the purpose of providing legal advice. For more information on the topic, please contact the author/s or the relevant provider.)
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