Focus On Growth And Jobs Will Come

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Focus On Growth And Jobs Will Come

While tourism to South Africa has shown significant growth both in terms of arrivals to the country as well as spend in the country, SA’s tourism industry could and should be growing faster.

This was the message from new SA Tourism CEO, Sisa Ntshona. He said that growing the tourism sector’s contribution to the country’s GDP would be a key goal for him in his new role. Tourism contributes roughly nine percent to GDP, including its direct and indirect contribution, and he believes this figure can grow.

Ntshona also emphasised that growth was key to job creation and should therefore be the focus. He explained that jobs were not so much created as they were the consequence of growth and investment. “Focus on growth, and the jobs will come,” he said.

Over the past few years, SA’s growth in international arrivals had averaged about three percent, whereas the global average was 4 percent, said Ntshona. He believes SA should match or exceed this average. The organisation’s aim is to grow tourism arrivals by five million in the next five years, adding one million domestic tourists and four million international tourists.

Ntshona emphasised that inclusive growth was the mandate of SA Tourism. For that reason, he said it was essential for the organisation to drive growth as well as transformation. He said it was not a case of either-or, because succeeding in one but not the other would amount to failing to achieve its mandate.

Collaboration, better data and innovation are also high up on the new CEO’s agenda. Ntshona said SA Tourism was looking to collaborate with the private sector and that the organisation wanted to interact with people who had new ideas to drive innovation.

The CEO believes more data will give the sector the market intelligence to make smart decisions. For example, he said the sector currently had access to data on who was coming to the country, where from and duration of stay. However, he suggested, the sector also needed to know what these people do and where they spend their money. Ntshona said the organisation would also share more of its own market research in future.

Driving domestic tourism is also a key aim of the organisation. He said the goal was for all South Africa’s 45 million citizens to become brand ambassadors for the country.

Source: Tessa Reed. Image: Pixabay

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