Media statement by President Jacob Zuma on the occasion of signing South Africa’s entry into the World Tourism Organisation Golden Book, Tuynhuys, Cape Town
4 May 2011The Minister of Tourism, Marthinus van Schalkwyk,
MECs for Tourism,
President and CEO of the World Travel and Tourism Council, David Scowsill,
Mr Dawid De Villiers, President of the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) Ethics Committee,
Ladies and gentlemen of the media,
We are delighted to have this opportunity for South Africa to add her contribution to the United Nations World Tourism Organisation’s Global Leaders for Tourism campaign, by signing our entry into the Golden Book.
This joint campaign by the World Travel and Tourism Council and the UN World Tourism Organisation will certainly help to position travel and tourism high in the global agenda.
We are promoting tourism at the right moment, alongside the World Economic Forum (WEF) Africa which has brought together more than 900 influential participants from 60 countries.
We encourage the WEF participants to not only focus on the important business of WEF, but to also find time to explore the beautiful sitesthat our country has to offer, in Cape Town and other cities.
We take tourism very seriously in this country given its job creation potential. That is why we have identified tourism as one of the six job drivers in our New Growth Path framework.
Tourism’s contribution to the gross domestic product (GDP) of our economy has increased from just less than five percent in 1994, to an estimated 7.7% in 2010.
Tourism is therefore well positioned to be a leading avenue for addressing unemployment, especially given its labour intensive nature.Tourism jobs are not only created in the travel and tourism industry, but also in manufacturing, financial services, agriculture, healthcare and numerous other peripheral industries.
More significantly, this sector has become a fertile environment for entrepreneurs and small, medium and micro enterprises.
Historically disadvantaged people are increasingly making their careers in tourism, creating jobs for others and building their own businesses. This is particularly true in terms of job creation in rural areas, as well as amongst women and the youth. We have ambitious but achievable plans.
We aim to increase the number of foreign tourist arrivals to South Africa from seven million in 2009 to 15 million by 2020. We plan to increase tourism’s total contribution to the economy from R189 billion in 2009 to R499 billion by 2020.
We want to increase the number of domestic tourists from 14.6 million in 2009 to 18 million by 2020.
Most importantly, we want to create 235 000 new tourism jobs by 2020. We will do everything possible to promote and grow the tourism sector so that we can achieve these developmental goals.
Tourism also has an immense social value. The industry promotes people to people contacts and enhances understanding, tolerance and respect within nations and also across cultures and borders.
It is one of the most powerful tools for nurturing world peace and stability.
Given the importance we attach to this industry, we are delighted to be the first African nation to join the Global Leaders for Tourism campaign.
Thank you for the opportunity.
Cell: 082 3304910
Source: The Presidency
Issued by: The Presidency
4 May 2011
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