TBCSA Chief Executive Tshifhiwa Tshivhengwa. Photo: Dallas Dahms Photography

DURBAN - As the umbrella business organization representing the country’s travel and tourism private sector, TBCSA conducted a study that revealed immense untapped potential in SA Tourism.

At this year’s Africa’s Travel Indaba, the TBCSA Chief Executive Tshifhiwa Tshivhengwa and Chairman Blacky Komani hosted a Chief Executive breakfast highlighting the importance of prioritising tourism. The TBCSA Chief Executive said that the tourism industry is one that is complex involving various stakeholders and businesses at various levels.

"In order to become a tourism destination that is highly competitive, South Africa will require that all stakeholders put all hands-on deck to plan, execute, assess and constantly thrive to improve the experience of tourists. This will eventually increase our market share and give a boost to South Africa’s profile," said Tshivhengwa.

This calls for collaborative strategies across South Africa that give constant attention to competitive options, market development and potential opportunities. President Cyril Ramaphosa put a challenge to the industry in his State of the Nation Address to achieve the 2030 goal of doubling tourists and increasing employment by an additional 2 million, but a single organisation cannot achieve it alone.

Chairman Blacky Komani stressed that broader government collaboration is essential, together with the private sector to redouble our efforts and deliver on the directive, which comes from the highest office.

If the tourism growth targets of completing the e-Visa system, creating visa waivers for more countries, addressing tourist safety and additional marketing is prioritized, in 2019-2030, the direct tourism GDP impact would be R31bn in 2030. 

The indirect and induced GDP impact of tourism on these other sectors of the South African economy would be R633bn- a significant and impressive shift which could impact the South African economy immensely.

The tourism industry commits to working with Government to drive a more ambitious vision for the sector, realising that job creation could depend substantially on this happening. This will require a very different way of working, but the industry is up for it.

In his closing remarks, Minister of Tourism Derek Hanekom mentioned that it is key for the sector to also look back at what has been achieved and not only where we are going.

Minister Hanekom emphasised the importance of the industry offering superior experiences to tourist, as this not only profiles South Africa but impacts tourist repeat visits into the country. 

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