Department of Tourism
The tourism department has assured parliament that the priority and objective remains to resume tourism operations as early as it is safe to do so for South Africa and its visitors.
The department briefed the portfolio committee on tourism on its Quarter 1 Performance Report for 2020/21.
The department pointed out that the Tourism Sector Recovery Plan proposes measures to enable re-opening and position the country to outcompete in the global recovery market.
The Plan was published for comment earlier this year.
A webinar on the Plan was held on 14 August 2020 as a stakeholder engagement platform for further inputs and comments.
The department added that consultation is underway with the South African Police Service and the transport and home affairs departments on the Plan.
“An analysis of comments has been concluded, and internal consultations are underway to finalise the process of integration of inputs.”
According to the department, following the integration of inputs, the Plan will be taken through the Cabinet Cluster process prior to tabling in cabinet for approval.
The department emphasized that the tourism sector has “repeatedly demonstrated resilience over time and is expected to recover and potentially surpass previous performance”.
In a statement following the briefing, the committee indicated that it would support the department’s quest to acquire the R1 billion back from national treasury so that it can implement the Tourism Recovery Plan and programmes to assist the sector to recover.
An amount of R1 billion was adjusted downwards from the initial appropriation of R2.5 billion in the COVID-19 Special Adjustment Budget in June 2020.
The committee also voiced satisfaction with the criteria put forward by the department to disburse the R200 million Tourism Relief Fund to 4 000 businesses in the sector.