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Published on : Monday, June 19, 2017
An amendment of the national tourism strategy is in the offing as it preserves its focus on foreign tourism as the main driving force for the industry, places higher stress on investment in terms of domestic segment to add fuel to the growth in the domestic travel industry.
A final draft has been submitted on 5th May by the Ministry of Tourism on National Tourism Sector Strategy (NTSS) – a modified version of the original 10-year NTSS, which was initially published in 2011 – for public comment over the following 60 days.
However, the urgency for the focus on the improved version is warranted. In recent times, domestic tourism has declined a lot, falling short of the first NTSS’s prediction that local holiday trips would increase from 4m in 2009 to 6m by the end of 2015 respectively. In 2009, total drop was 3.6m and fell to 2.84m in 2015, with a further drop projected for last year, as per the prediction of national marketing agency South African Tourism.
The continued slow growth of South Africa’s economy was one of the reasons of the decline which is again forecast to grow by just 0.8% this year, as well as a depreciating currency and low levels of job creation.
The new NTSS said, ‘domestic economic conditions are the main factor contributing to lackluster domestic tourism growth and spend, although market awareness and product offerings play some part. Domestic holiday numbers affect the economic impacts of tourism and, with improved domestic tourist performance, the economic impacts would have undoubtedly been more positive.’
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