14 FEBRUARY 2017
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Pretoria, South Africa: The travel and tourism industry stands to benefit from a more dynamic, competitive and inclusive economy as envisaged in the 2017 State of the Nation Address (SONA) says the Tourism Business Council of South Africa (TBCSA). 
However, this will require a greater level of collaboration between all the social partners to boost economic growth beyond the projected 1.3%, more effort to bolster trade investment and a real commitment to address major regulatory and structural issues that continue to hamper business on a daily basis. This is especially the case in the travel and tourism industry, which is one of the few economic sectors that continue to show growth potential even in the current economic climate.
TBCSA has taken stock of SONA’s core messages, particularly the focus on ‘radical socio-economic transformation’. The Council agrees that economic transformation should mean moving beyond share ownership schemes and stands ready to continue its work alongside government to address some of the industry-specific complexities involved in the implementation of the B-BBEE policy and other economic transformation programmes.

TBCSA CEO, Mmatšatši Ramawela says: “SONA 2017 included a number of notable highlights for the industry – amongst them the important issue of inclusivity. Fortunately, the industry has laid a foundation through the inclusive growth work stream that is part of the National Tourism Minister’s Economic Boosting Initiative.  We look forward to continue working with the Tourism BEE Council, the National Department of Tourism and the Department of Trade and Industry to further unpack the President’s pronouncement on this matter at an industry level”.
Other SONA highlights that are relevant for the industry include:
  • Mention of the Invest SA initiative and planned provincial offices in Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal and the Western Cape – provinces which also happen to be key tourism nodes in the country.  This will go a long way in facilitating the much-needed investment in the industry;
  • The development of the Black Industrialists Programme – a programme that the Council has earmarked to engage the DTI on in partnership with the National Department of Tourism to ensure the inclusion of the travel and tourism industry;
  • The planned investment on critical and capital maintenance programmes to modernize harbours, which will have a significant impact not only for the fishing communities but also for travel and tourism activity in the affected areas;
  • Policies and plans aimed at lowering the cost of data.  Access to fast and affordable data is a must for the modern-day traveller. Thus, lowering the overall cost of data will ultimately lower the cost of doing business, while at the same time ensuring that South Africa remains competitive in the global travel and tourism market place;
  • The fight against crime is an apex priority for government.  The unfortunate attack at a restaurant in Vilakazi Street in Soweto and other similar incidents in different parts of the country that are reported to the TBCSA Tourism Safety Initiative (TSI) portal, highlight the urgent need for government to also prioritize tourist (and tourism business) safety and security.  
TBCSA, however, wished to hear the President providing more details about government’s plan to address issues of land restitution and redistribution on the one hand, transport and overall infrastructure development. The Council applauds government’s stance on the land vs financial compensation, but notes that the broader issue of land ownership and usage is likely to have mixed implications for the travel and tourism industry.  On the transport and infrastructure side, the focus for travel and tourism is of course on improving the state of the country’s roads in key tourist areas. Read more. 
  • Click Here to download the pdf version of this press release

Editors Notes:
Tourism Business Council of South Africa (TBCSA) is the umbrella organisation for business in the travel and tourism industry.  We are a non-profit, member-centric organisation representing the unified voice of business.  We serve to unite and influence the diverse travel and tourism industry to contribute to a competitive, responsible and inclusive travel and tourism (and South African) economy. 
For media enquiries contact:
Ms. Kagiso Mosue
(012) 664 0120 / 073 015 4530 or  

Mr. Peter Amblianities 
Tel: (012) 664 0120

Travel and tourism trade associations affiliated to TBCSA: 
1.  AHI – Afrikaanse Handelsinstituut
2.  AASA – Airlines Association of Southern Africa
3.  AAXO - Association of African Exhibition Organisers
4.  ASATA – Association of Southern African Travel Agents
5.  BARSA – Board of Airline Representatives of South Africa
6.  EXSA – Exhibition& Event Association of Southern Africa
7.  FEDHASA – Federated Hospitality Association of South Africa
8.  NAA –SA - National Accommodation Association of South Africa
9.  PHASA – Professional Hunters Association of South Africa
10. SAACI – Southern African Association for the Conference Industry
11. SABOA – Southern African Bus Operators’ Association
12. SATSA – Southern Africa Tourism Services Association
13. SAVRALA – Southern African Vehicle Rental Association
14. SAYTC - South African Youth Travel Confederation
2017 Tourism Business Council of South Africa, All rights reserved.

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Tourism Business Council of South Africa · 3 Amethyst Avenue, Lyttleton Manor Extension 3, Centurion · Pretoria, Gauteng 0157 · South Africa

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