JOHANNESBURG - With all eyes on Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba’s Budget speech on Wednesday, the tourism sector has expressed hope that it will get its fair share to enable the sector to further contribute to the country’s growth. 

The tourism sector wish list:

MORE FUNDING FOR DESTINATION MARKETING: 

Looking at past budget allocations for travel and tourism, one might be mistaken to think that we don’t need funding. However, it is important to remember that we operate in an environment, where our rand dominated funds have to stretch far to reach tourists from all over the world. Secondly, tourism is getting more competitive both at a regional and international level, hence the need for more funding.

SUPPORT AND FUNDING TO DRIVE SMME AND ENTERPRISE DEVELOPMENT: 

This is really critical to advance the broader objective of transforming the sector and advance the momentum through incentives among other tools to ensure that small and emerging tourism businesses have access to market and develop become tomorrow’s big business.

A MORE TRAVEL AND TOURISM FRIENDLY TAX REGIME: 

This is particularly important when one considers current debates around VAT concerning tour operators and travel agencies. – Kagiso Mosue, corporate communications manager, Tourism Business Council of South Africa  Cape Town Tourism chief executive, Enver Duminy, says the tourism sector is looking forward to opportunities for collaboration and growth, particularly between government and industry, as well as support for citizens looking to work in the sector. 

“Since this was referred to by President Ramaphosa in his State of the Nation address, we’d like to hear more of the measures in place that will allow for multistakeholder engagement. We would also like to see a strong focus on small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) development, as developing new products is essential to keeping the tourism sector fresh and relevant and contributing to further job creation,” he said in response to questions via email.

Duminy says the SMEs sector is of major importance to the economy in SA, and tourism is an ideal environment for SMEs to flourish. We’d welcome any form of support that can be provided for emerging businesses.

- BUSINESS REPORT