South Africa on course to hit 21 million tourist mark

South Africa is determined and on course to reach the 21 million international arrivals by 2030.

The target was first revealed by the country’s president Cyril Ramaphosa during the state of the nation’s address. The Minister of Tourism Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane has shed light on the strategies to attain this mark.

Speaking to VoyagesAfriq at the just concluded 23rd World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) General Assembly in Russia, the minister said the they work together with key partners to ensure that this ambitious.

"This remains our target and as South Africa we are confident that we will be able to reach this target. There are number of initiatives obviously from our side and as well as from the minister that we’ll be looking at. As I spoke about the issue of innovation we’re looking at hosting the innovation summit in the country to be able to start making sure everybody understands our work.

"We are also focusing on transformation, to make sure our sector is inclusive and include these links to global practices and what other countries are doing. So, on our side we are making sure that it doesn’t become an issue of the minority or exclusive but it becomes a sector that can be owned and driven by everyone. This is the vision that we are carrying.

"Also we want to make sure as part of the things, is that you’d understand the historical background of South Africa. Majority of people were never used to able to travel and one of the things we are driving going forward is to be able to make sure that tourism is a matter for everybody."

Part of the strategy Kubayi-Ngubane said is step up efforts to drive domestic tourism.

"So starting with introducing South Africa again to South Africans so that they can enjoy the beauty of their country. While we are also selling and marketing South Africa to global people and the world, we say we are diverse country with various attractions from sceneries, adventure, coastal inland, safaris, we’ve got it all. And when we talk about rural development, we’ve been able to do even latches in the most remote areas; we incubate people and especially women to be able to develop their communities. So we are looking forward to more participation of women and young people as we create a conducive environment for them.

Minister of Tourism Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane at the recent UNWTOGA in St. Petersburg

"With that we understand some of our sectors have concerns and obviously seeing the recent state of our tourists and even put together a safety strategy. We are currently in the process of implementing and with the understanding and importance of technology; we are utilizing a combination of drones and cameras in terms of making sure that we keep our tourists safe," the Minister stated.

Concerning recent attacks on foreign nationals she said the President is leading the charge to deal with criminal elements while preventing any future recurrence.

"On the recent xenophobic attacks, we want to assure the world that these are criminal acts that the government of South Africa is committed to dealing with.

“The president even issued a statement saying that he’s actually setting priority to engage with communities and will not even attend the UN General Assembly but make sure that he goes into communities to have dialogue.
We understand that some of the people have genuine issues that they are liaising with government around drug trafficking, human trafficking and illegal immigrants. But no one takes the law into their own hands. Henceforth we say our borders are open for those in the continent and everywhere else.

“We want to make sure that anyone who gets into our borders remains safe and it’s our responsibility as South Africa to ensure their safety. I can safely report that over a few days ago, more than 300 people have been arrested and are facing prosecution. This shows the seriousness with which we are dealing with the matters,” she said

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