The Ministry of Tourism is expected to soon provide more details on the Tourism Equity Fund – announced by President Cyril Ramaphosa in his State of the Nation Address (SONA) 2020 last night (Thursday) – which he said would stimulate transformation.
CEO of the Tourism Business Council of South Africa, Tshifhiwa Tshivhengwa, told Tourism Update that while he was highly anticipating the finer details of the fund from the Ministry, he believed it would significantly boost the entry of new tourism owners, including women and the youth.
“Funding is often a real deterrent and this will really help to fast-track transformation in this country,” he said.
Speaking to Tourism Update earlier in the week, CEO of South African Tourism, Sisa Ntshona, also addressed the issue of transformation, pointing out that transformation in the tourism industry was not about replacing Paul with Sipho. “It is about new entrants adding to the value chain; bringing in something different to what’s already on offer.”
Ntshona said then transformation would not be about competition but rather enhancing and diversifying the offering.
Deputy Minister of Tourism, Fish Mahlalela, agreed, highlighting that the Tourism Equity Fund was an important step in ensuring transformation in the sector. “We need people to see the value in getting involved in tourism, in establishing businesses and wanting to become involved in tourism.” He said diversification of the tourism sector was crucial to transforming the sector.
He further echoed a sentiment expressed by Ntshona that locals needed to be more encouraged to travel in their own country. “It’s only once they see the benefits of tourism that they will be encouraged to participate.”
Click HERE to read the full SONA speech.