Picture: Clinton Moodley.

CAPE TOWN - Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba’s mid-term budget again highlighting the need for South Africans to tighten their belts, government forecasts low economic growth of 0,7% in 2017. 

Last year tourism, including domestic tourism contributed 9.3% to the overall GDP.
 
However, we can now expect household spending to continue being tight, which will have an impact on domestic spending, especially travel and tourism, which be a luxury in tougher economic times.

It’s therefore expected that domestic tourism could experience a blow.

 This threatens to have a knock-on effect in the sector in general, which could slow down the growth and contribution to the country’s GDP, as well as threaten jobs across the sector.

At least one in 22 employed people in South Africa work in the tourism industry, representing 4,5% of the total workforce. 

For the sector, this equates to about 711 746 jobs that are dependent on the industry performing well. 

The industry will need to innovate more than ever, and design cost-effective and compelling packages to continue to encourage travel during this period, to avoid shedding jobs.

Penny Ndlela, CEO, Soul Traveller Tours – a member company of Thebe Tourism Group.

- BUSINESS REPORT ONLINE