For Immediate Release
BOOST TOURISM TRADE CONFIDENCE BY IMPROVING INTER-GOVERNMENTAL RELATIONS
Pretoria, 23 June 2014: The Tourism Business Council of South Africa (TBCSA) haswelcomed the State of the Nation Address by President Zuma with a request forGovernment to prioritise inter-governmental/business relations and creating an enablingenvironment for the travel and tourism trade.
TBCSA Chief Executive Officer, Mmatšatši Ramawela said the trade welcomed the SONA’sconsistent feature of the travel and tourism industry, saying this sends a strong messageabout Government’s regard for the industry.“We welcome the Presidents’ consistent profilingof travel and tourism in his speeches. To us it’s a demonstration of the increased coverageand attention the industry is receiving within Government.
Ramawela emphasised the need for Government to create a conducive environment for thetrade, highlighting the need to improve inter-governmental relations as one of the mainchallenges which the TBCSA has identified. “Recent pronouncements on immigrationregulations without broad consultation with the travel and tourism trade as a partner ofGovernment constitutes an unfortunate disconnect between the public and private sector.The harm already done in terms of forward bookings and tourist perceptions about thedestination is unfortunate and we fear that it may take some time to repair” she said.
Commenting on the SONA’s remarks about increasing foreign visitor arrivals to more than15 million annually by 2017 and increasing tourism’s contribution to the country’s revenue,Ramawela said that the President’s ambition of achieving double-digit growth in touristarrivals was achievable but could only be reached if there was greater cohesion in intergovernmentalstrategy and support given to the travel and tourism trade.
Marc Corcoran, President of the South African Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association(SAVRALA) said: “SAVRALA welcomes the recognition by President Zuma of Tourism’spotential to assist growth in the South African economy. “We look forward to work withMinister Hanekom to ensure that appropriate government policy and resources place tourismhigher on the agenda to ensure that the R125bn revenue target is achieved. We are,however, concerned that the President failed to address the lack of progress to attain theDecade of Action 2020 road safety targets which should by now have seen a turnaround inthe annual road carnage which continues to claim over 14,000 South African lives annually”.
Ramawela said sentiments expressed by SAVRALA on transport matters are similar to thefrustrations experienced by other sectors within travel and tourism, whose work is directlyimpacted by legislation and policy decisions made elsewhere in the realm of Government.
“In the President’s words, change will not come without some far-reaching interventions. Webelieve one of the interventions should be improvement in inter-governmental and businessrelations at a local, provincial and national level. Create the right climate, and then theinvestment and job creation will follow” Ramawela concluded.
For further information please contact: Ms. Kagiso Mosue, TBCSA Corporate Communications Manager on +27.12.654.2660
Tourism Business Council of South Africa (TBCSA) is a member-based organisation, made up of TourismAssociations as well as leading businesses operating in the Travel and Tourism sector. The Council seeks toensure that the industry is unified and speaks with one voice when engaging relevant stakeholders on macroeconomicissues affecting the sector.
Sector associations affiliated to the TBCSA are as follows:
1. AHI – Afrikaanse Handelsinstituut
2. AASA – Airlines Association of Southern Africa
3. ASATA – Association of South African Travel Agents
4. BARSA – Board of Airline Representatives of South Africa
5. EXSA – Exhibition & Event Association of Southern Africa
6. FEDHASA – Federated Hospitality Association of South Africa
7. FGASA – Field Guides Association of South Africa
8. HOSA – Hiking Organisation of South Africa
9. NAA –SA – National Accommodation Association of South Africa
10. ORCSA – Off-Road Council of South Africa
11. PHASA – Professional Hunters Association of South Africa
12. RASA – Restaurant Association of South Africa
13. SACA South African Chefs Association
14. SAACI – Southern African Association for the Conference Industry
15. SABOA – Southern African Bus Operators’ Association
16. SATSA – Southern Africa Tourism Services Association
17. SAVRALA – Southern African Vehicle Rental Association
18. SAYTC – South African Youth Travel Confederation
19. VOASA – Vacation Ownership Association of South Africa