Tackling crime and reducing stringent visa requirements will help grow South Africa’s tourism industry. This was the view of President Cyril Ramaphosa at the close of Africa’s Travel Indaba in Durban on Saturday.
The 2019 tourism expo provided a platform for South Africa and other African countries to market themselves as tourist destinations.
Traditional music and dance showcased Africa’s unique tourist attractions and products at the event.
— Travel Indaba (@travel_indaba) May 4, 2019
Africa’s Travel Indaba attracted more than 7000 delegates from about 80 countries. Over three days, exhibitors and international buyers met to strike business deals at one of the biggest indabas to date.
The high crime rate remains a concern and is often cited as a deterrent for tourists. “We have to deal with crime and counter the perception that Africa is an unsafe tourism destination, this means we must devote resources to tackling acts of criminality especially towards tourists,” says Ramaphosa.
The President believes visa requirements needed to be relaxed. “We must reduce the onerous and often unnecessary bureaucratic red tape that tourists who want to visit our countries face. If a tourist is held back by a lot of red tape, they immediately just give up and go to another destination.”
Ramaphosa says private sector participation is necessary to develop the tourism industry. He has encouraged unity among all government departments in the country in order to promote tourism on the continent.
He has referred to the tourism industry as a gold mine which governments can exploit to grow the respective economies.
Ramaphosa has also stressed the link between job creation and tourism.
President Cyril Ramaphosa attends the 2019 Africa Travel Indaba at the Inkosi Albert Luthuli ICC, Durban (2/2) pic.twitter.com/xLOQ7PgQDx
— PresidencyZA (@PresidencyZA) May 4, 2019