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De Lille keen to see growth in SA tourism

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Tottenham Hotspur sponsorship unlawful and invalid - Tourism Minister Patricia De Lille

Tourism Minister Patricia de Lille has challenged role players in the sector to go all out to push visitor numbers to the country to pre-COVID figures.

“As the sector, you know best what the issues are, and how we can grow tourism and jobs in this sector.

“My priority is clear: let’s get to over 21 million tourists arrivals before 2030. Let’s speak with one clear voice. Let’s have one clear message on destination marketing. Let’s make South Africa safer for tourists and let’s get to truly opening our country for visitors with the e-visas and improving air access,” De Lille said when addressing Africa’s Travel Indaba on Monday in Durban.

De Lille said East Africa has already surpassed pre-COVID visitor numbers, and that South Africa needs to get there too.

“We need to increase the volume and value of domestic and international tourism through the Tourism Recovery Plan, so we are expediting the conversion of the Tourism Sector Recovery Plan as the basis for the Tourism Sector Master Plan.

“The Master Plan needs to focus on what the needs of the world are, and what role the South African government needs to play holistically in driving tourism forward.”

South African Tourism


De Lille welcomed the rolling out of e-visa, saying it will contribute to increasing the number of tourists in the country.

At the SA Investment Conference held recently in Sandton, President Cyril Ramaphosa announced that South Africa is expanding the e-visa system to 20 more countries.

De Lille said she will be working closely with Home Affairs Minister, Dr Aaron Motsoaledi, on fast tracking the applications and approval processes.

De Lille also acknowledge the role played by the transport sector in the tourism sector.

“The Department of Transport understands that tourism is an important sector that makes a meaningful contribution to the economy and the South African brand.

“We must work together to resolve the matter of tour operators who have not collected their licences. There is now a backlog of 418 current applications.

“There are a few remaining priorities in this area, such as the Department of Transport investigating and conducting a legal assessment of the possibility of implementing a moratorium/amnesty on law enforcement,” the Minister said.

Investing in infrastructure

De Lille said she is a firm believer in government investing in infrastructure development to create an environment conducive for investment by the private sector.

“I have started working with Infrastructure South Africa (ISA) in this regard and I look forward to working with all of you on actions we can take to grow tourism infrastructure and investment,” De Lille said.

Over 20 African countries are participating in Africa’s Travel Indaba, which is showcasing over 350 tourism products.

This year’s event promises to be a vibrant and diverse representation of Africa’s tourism industry, offering a vast array of unique and exciting offerings that the continent has to offer.

The 2023 edition of Africa’s Travel Indaba brings together stakeholders from across the tourism industry ecosystem, from no less than 1 000 buyers, just under 1 000 exhibitors, destination marketing bodies, hotel groups, airlines, tour operators and 10 African tourism boards.

There are already 18 625 confirmed meetings on the online diary system. – SAnews.


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