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S. African tourism minister engages stakeholders to improve sector
Last Updated: 2017-08-08 07:14 | Xinhua
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South Africa's Tourism Minister Tokozile Xasa on Monday met the tourism role players in Johannesburg to discuss the draft National Tourism Sector Strategy (NTSS) which seeks to improve the sector.

The meeting was meant to get inputs from the tourism industry players on how the public and private tourism industry could collaborate to ensure the industry grows. According to the framework, South Africa aspires to be a top 20 tourist destination in the world by 2020.

"The NTSS is a long-term framework which responds to the country's development imperatives. We want to align ourselves to the National Development Plan and contribute to the national agenda to inclusive growth by creating jobs and growing the economy. Key among our targets is to achieve an increase of direct jobs to one million by 2026," said Xasa addressing the delegates.

Xasa said they want to use the Fourth Industrial Revolution to improve the sector despite its shocks. The NTSS will serve as a guiding document for economic growth and job creation in the tourism sector.

Xasa said, "There will be shockers due to such technological innovations, but we remain a labor intensive sector."

The Director-General in the South African Tourism Ministry, Victor Tharage presented the draft NTSS with the emphasis on the five strategic pillars of the strategy. These includes effective marketing, facilitating ease of access, visitor experience, destination management practices and broad based benefits which will strengthen the realization on an inclusive and quality tourism sector.

"Sustainability in the South African context depends on transformation of the sector. Our approach needs to be evidence driven," he said.

The framework was approved by the Cabinet in 2011 and stakeholders have been making submissions. The 15 member NTSS Review Panel of Experts are scheduled to meet on August 10 to come up with a final draft to be submitted to the Ministry for consideration. Enditem

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