Tourism remains a great contributor when coming to job creation and local economic development, said Tourism MEC Desbo Mohono during the launch of Tourism Month at the Marang Hotel outside Rustenburg on Friday.
MEC Mohono said that the launch takes place at the time when the environment and weather conditions become fruitful to welcome tourists on warm shining spring day. She said that her department has recorded a number of successes in the recent past despite the challenges facing the department and the sector in general.
“We launch the tourism month amid challenges that the department has been through and still going through but, let me be quick to assure the house at large that all will be well in no time,” said Mohono.
Mohono further emphasized the critical role played by private sector and how the joined venture contributes to the Saamtrek Saamwerk philosophy. “It cannot further be emphasized that tourism is a strong driver for fiscal development. In maximizing the impacts of tourism expansion for local communities, a critical role must be played by all relevant stakeholders through the design of a sustainable and credible tourism.
This should also include sector plans, marketing and how to penetrate germane markets. This is recognition of the importance of global tourism and its contribution to greater awareness about diversity of humanity, and importantly, its contribution to economic upliftment of marginalized communities and world peace,” said Mohono.
MEC Mohono said a study by two reliable sources indicated that tourism was at a steady growth in North West. The African Source Markets Performance [ASMP] 2016 and Statistic South Africa Report [Stats SA 2015/16/17) the total number of African tourist arrival to North West province in late 2016 stands at 788 277 out of 893 318 international arrivals. She said that the figures shows clearly that tourism is contributing immensely towards province economic growth.
In July, South African Tourism (SAT), described the North West province as a unique area which was diverse in culture and heritage. According to SAT, the province has what tourists wants to experience. The tourism body further encouraged both the department and the tourism board to aggressively market the province and ensure that tourism becomes the biggest contributor to the local economic development.
Mohono said 45 learners from rural schools would participate in the national tourism career expo in the Free State Province.