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Published on : Wednesday, May 13, 2015
South Africa will always be open to welcome people from around the world, says Tourism Minister Derek Hanekom. He added that the tourism sector was now contributing more than 9.0 per cent of South Africa’s gross domestic product (GDP) and supported more than 1.5 million job opportunities nationwide.
On the African continent, he said, tourism directly and indirectly supported 20.5 million jobs and represented 8.1 per cent of Africa’s GDP. In some countries, more than 50 per cent of their GDP came from tourism.
Speaking at the opening of the 2015 Tourism Indaba in Durban on Saturday, he said, “Driving the growth of tourism in South Africa are a wealth of wonderful tourism assets: our landscape and biodiversity; our wildlife; our people and our cultural heritage. We have also developed a wide range of products and services that create memorable experiences for tourists.”
He said international arrivals in Africa increased to 56 million tourists last year, and were expected to grow by between 3.0 per cent and 5.0 per cent in 2015.
According to Hanekom, this would probably exceed the projected growth in global arrivals, which was between 3.0 per cent and 4.0 per cent for 2015.
“We are determined that our country will always be open to welcome people from around the world. We are united in our resolve to build the positive brand of Africa as a continent of unparalleled tourism opportunities, and to enhance tourism as a mainstream economic sector, a sector of hope for Africa and its people,” he said.
Tags: South Africa