Published on : Thursday, April 6, 2017
The two-day Local Government Tourism Conference (LGTC) at Emperors Palace in Ekurhuleni near Johannesburg witnessed the participation of over 700 tourism stakeholders and officials from all spheres of the South African government and private sector. They have gathered this week to discuss ways to improve tourism planning at local government level.
Newly appointed Tourism Minister Tokozile Xasa emphasized the strategic importance of the outcomes of the event in building a sustainable and inclusive tourism sector while addressing the conference yesterday.
The conference, held under the theme, “Tourism planning is everybody’s business”, enabled delegates to deliberate on the state of the sector and how integrated planning can improve tourism delivery at a local government level, Bernama News reported.
“Tourism can only succeed when it is prioritised and included in the strategies of all three spheres of government. This conference will offer you practical skills on making a business case for tourism in the Integrated Development Plan, developing a basic tourism plan, developing a bankable tourism project funding proposal and co-operative governance to enhance tourism integration,” Xasa said.
“The transformation of our sector is imperative to promoting inclusivity. As the drivers of the Integrated Development Plan and Local Economic Development programmes, local government is a critical stakeholder that will enable us to implement the initiatives that will transform the sector and promote responsible tourism practices for the economic benefit of our people,” he added.
Tourism contributes 3 percent to the South African gross domestic product (GDP) which amounts to 118.928 billion Rand (about 8.56 billion US dollars) and has created more than 7 lakh direct employment opportunities.