By: Sisanda Ngongoma
Port Elizabeth- Tourism is the fastest growing sector in the world, but in south Africa it needs marketing and to be made more accessible .
Tourism CEO, Mr Sisa Ntshona gave his lecture about the value of tourism in South Africa at the Nelson Mandela University on Second Avenue Campus on Monday. Mr Ntshona said that tourism is the fastest growing sector in the world and that statistics indicate it has grown by 7%. He also added that South Africa’s economy has been dominated by mining, but the world has been moving towards servicing industries that are much more sustainable and tourism is contributing in every sector. Ntshonga mentioned that he wants to make tourism a Career of choice among young South Africans to make sure they increase the contribution of tourism to the GDP.
Tourism is another area which provides our country with incredible opportunities to shine and currently directly sustains 700 000 jobs and is performing better than any other sector at present . Tourists from all over the world are attracted to South Africa’s wildlife and stunning natural beauty.
Tourism is about marketing South Africa internationally and domestically as a destination. South Africa’s tourist industry is competing with the best destinations, and they must convince people to come to South Africa. Most economies around the world are building on very strong domestic tourism industries, saying there is also a need to faster a culture of travel. The majority of South Africa need passes to move from one city to the next among South Africans, due to our segregated past. There is also a need to create a platform to educate people around the world about South Africa . The aim is to keep the tourists in the country for a longer period; the longer they stay, the more money they spend, and this requires a strategy on how to deliver and put everything together in efficiency and precision .
In 2017 South African tourism had 1,3 billion international arrivals that is the size they want to improve and keep. Statistics indicated that Paris is the most visited destination in the market chain, and South Africa enjoys only 6 % of global tourists . Ntshona said, “we do not have enough to sell to people. In a global average of 7% South Africa’s performance only did 2,4%. We are on low numbers because of restrictions like visas and those barriers make South Africa unattractive. South Africa is shooting itself in the foot. We need free visas”. He also added by saying, “When South Africa aligned with Angola with no visas required, we saw a 50% increase between the two countries. We are aiming at growing tourism by introducing rural and township tourism”.
He concluded by saying that they need to deliver high services to make sure they keep them and that each and every citizen in the sector needs to play a role. “The friendlier we are the more our economy grows. Integrity is important – what we say is what we do”, he said in closing.