Department of Tourism
31 July 2019
The Tourism Safety Strategy is being drawn up.
The deputy minister of tourism, Fish Mahlalela, announced this at the 33rd SAACI Congress in Durban.
The deputy minister added that his department is currently in the process of entering into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the South African Police Services.
The aim of the MOU is for the two departments to collaborate on specific projects of common interest related to tourist’s safety.
The areas of collaboration include:
• Identification and analysis of key hotspots;
• Establishment of a database of crime against tourists;
• Enhancement of tourism environment through visible policing and the implementation of the Tourism Monitors programme; and
• Establishment of the Tourism Safety 24-hour Hotline.
The deputy minister declared that “government is marshalling all the means at its disposal to show that South Africa is determined to ensure that tourists who come to our country are safe”.
He also indicated that the National Tourism Safety Forum is developing the National Tourism Safety Strategy.
“The purpose of the strategy is to foster public private sector partnership in addressing issues of tourism safety in a more coordinated manner in order to provide an enhanced visitor experience and in the long term to change perceptions of South Africa as an unsafe destination.”
With regard to growing small tourism businesses, the deputy minister highlighted the Market Access Support Programme.
Its aim is to “reduce the cost burden for small tourism enterprises to participate in selected international trade platforms and thereby improving their access to buyers in new and growth markets to unlock demand growth and allow market penetration”.
The programme offers “partial financial support to exhibitions, participation fees and capped contributions to the cost of accommodation and economy class return airfare to qualifying small tourism enterprises to participate and exhibit at selected international and domestic tourism marketing platforms”.
Meanwhile, speaking at the SMME Sustainability Summit in Johannesburg, the tourism minister, Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane, pointed out that her department, as part of efforts to support sector transformation, has partnered with the National Empowerment Fund to establish the Tourism Transformation Fund, a dedicated capital investment funding mechanism to encourage capital investment by majority black-owned investors.
“The Fund aims to stimulate accelerated sector transformation and more inclusive growth. It is expected to give rise to a new generation of black-owned youth, women and community-based tourism enterprises that will take the tourism sector to new heights. The Tourism Transformation Fund offers a combination of debt finance and grant funding for new and expanding tourism development projects with majority black shareholding.”