Port Elizabeth- the Minister of the Department of Tourism, Tokozile Xasa, addressed a predominantly women crowd at the Women In Tourism conference held at the Boardwalk Conference Centre in Port Elizabeth this Tuesday.
The two-day conference aims to elevate women in the Tourism sector in not only Port Elizabeth, but South Africa. “Women in Tourism was formed in 2013 with a vision to drive programs that support the development and empowerment of women in the tourism sector” said Minister Xasa.
She further alluded that she, with the tourism department hope to create permanent and non-permanent staffers, and also unpack the opportunities available in the tourism sector – allowing for women involved to give others advice on how they have done it.
The minister further quoted The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), a specialized agency of the United Nations Global Report on Women in Tourism of 2010 which highlights the value of the Tourism sector as an engine for economic development through foreign exchange earnings and the creation of direct and indirect employment.
A pledge was also signed and presented to the Minister by the men at the conference to support women, and lead radical transformation in the tourism industry.
This conference comes days after the launch of the 16 Days of Activism Campaign against the abuse of women and children in the societies.
“The directly links with the 16 Days Campaign in that social factors such as inequality, unemployment, poverty, crime, abuse in all forms need solutions that can empower women and communities” said Xasa.
A special guest Princess NomaXhosa Jongilana of ImiDushane tribe from Ncera was also present at the event, who took over the Nobhotwe Garden of Goodwill, which is a macadamia nut plantation from her mother. This plantation has created permanent jobs to over 180 people and many entrepreneurial opportunities.
“The beauty of the concept is that an individual can buy a trees and the trees will be named after the individual, when the time of harvest comes you [as the individual] will get reports of the harvest worth. You will then decide on what social ill you want to contribute in Ncera” said Princess NomaXhosa.
Women present at the conference were also given a chance to exhibit their work and creations that ranged from beadwork, clothes making and food stalls and later a dinner was hosted later that day to allow for all the women network as per the objectives of the Conference