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Allocate adequate budget to tourism and it will present more for economy, says Fedhasa

Rosemary Anderson the national chairperson of the Federated Hospitality Association of Southern Africa (Fedhasa) said the sector was always allotted an inadequate budget and attention. Picture: Nadine Hutton

Rosemary Anderson the national chairperson of the Federated Hospitality Association of Southern Africa (Fedhasa) said the sector was always allotted an inadequate budget and attention. Picture: Nadine Hutton

Published Feb 23, 2022

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Ahead of the 2022 Budget speech by Finance Minister Enoch Godongwana, the tourism and hospitality sector anxiously waits to hear how it will be included.

Rosemary Anderson the national chairperson of the Federated Hospitality Association of Southern Africa (Fedhasa) said tourism’s rich potential to create jobs as the country’s second-highest GDP earner was continually being stymied.

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According to Anderson, the sector was always allotted an inadequate budget and failed to get the attention it needed to unlock critical factors required for its success such as visa waivers and a functioning eVisa system.

“Our new online visa application system, announced at the Sona (State of the Nation Address) by President Cyril Ramaphosa, is not still operational, and this is a major obstacle to attracting large markets such as India and China,” said Anderson.

Anderson also pointed to low budgets allocated for tourism marketing which made it tough for South Africa to compete with destinations with enough capital to invest in bringing in travellers.

“Tourism needs an all-of-government approach to create an enabling environment to flourish and to achieve the Department of Tourism’s stated goal of 21 million tourist arrivals by 2030.”

According to Anderson, every minister should be reviewing whether their department was hampering tourism or stimulating it.

“If one considers that each tourist generates between seven and 10 jobs, giving tourism the oxygen it needs – not only in terms of budget, but also government attention – is low-hanging fruit to turn around the incredible levels of unemployment in South Africa that President Ramaphosa says is keeping him up at night,” said Anderson.

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