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Review of Tourism White Paper on the Cards

July 23, 2020

Department of Tourism

The tourism department will initiate a process this financial year to review the Tourism White Paper and all policies to align them with the current trends and practices in the tourism sector.

The tourism minister, Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane, announced this during the Tourism Department’s Budget Vote 2020/21 in parliament.

The minister confirmed that the recovery of the tourism sector will take time.

“However, we should not lose this opportunity to work in partnership, government together with all tourism stakeholders, to prepare for the reopening, and growth of the sector.”

The minister also indicated that the Tourism Recovery Plan has been compiled.

The department was in the final stages of consultation on the Plan and will, in August 2020, submit the Plan to cabinet for approval.

“So far, the indications are that Tourism recovery will experience a number of phases, from hyper-local community attractions, through to broader domestic tourism, regional land and air markets, and resumption of world-wide international travel.”

Phase 1 will primarily focus on the protection of the domestic supply side of the sector, Phase 2 on managing the re-opening of the sector as tourism activities scale up and Phase 3 will target factors that can drive long term growth in tourism supply and demand.

The department also plans to “aggressively bid to host large international events in anticipation of the opening of the borders so that upon opening, we can immediately drive up demand for our supply market and also build confidence that South Africa is safe and open for business”.

The department will also work with sister departments and tourism stakeholders to implement a set of interventions that can facilitate a rapid recovery.

“These will include readiness for the rollout of the e-visa system, resolving the challenges around the issuance of licenses for tour operators, and ensuring that all our marketing campaigns, globally and domestically and associated partnerships are in place and ready to be rolled out.”

In his speech to the national assembly, deputy minister, Fish Mahlalela, pointed out that the department is in the process of conducting a comprehensive study on the impact of COVID-19 on the tourism sub-sectors in order to better understand the impact and inform key interventions and the development of responsive recovery strategies.

Two reports on the impact evaluation of COVID-19 on the tourism sector will be drawn up in 2020/21.

The department also plans to implement the National Tourism Information and Monitoring System to “gather, analyse and provide data to inform our decision making and enable prioritisation of sector initiatives, towards areas with high tourism potential, including townships and rural areas”.