South African Tourism has launched an initiative to empower more than 200 seasoned female entrepreneurs in the sector to kick-start and redefine the tourism industry in the country.
Twenty-five female entrepreneurs have been selected in each province to take part in the Women in Tourism entrepreneurship programme over the next year.
— Dept of Tourism (@Tourism_gov_za) January 25, 2022
SA Tourism Acting COO Hanneli Slabber says it involves formal training, mentorship and business development.
Slabber says COVID-19 regulations have made travel more cumbersome and tourism operators need to offer visitors more in a different way.
Last week, Chief Executive Officer of the Tourism Business Council of South Africa (TBCSA), Tshifhiwa Tshivhengwa announced they have embarked on an advocacy programme in a bid to start to promote the country again as an attractive tourist destination.
Tshivhengwa says the programme will seek to change the mindset of tourists on aspects such as safety.
The COVID-19 pandemic has negatively affected the tourism industry in South Africa and the rest of Africa mainly due to lockdown regulations and travel restrictions that were imposed.
When scientists in South Africa first alerted the world to the existence of the Omicron variant last year, there was panic.
Several countries then imposed travel bans, preventing citizens of eight southern African nations, including XSouth Africa, from traveling to their countries.
After much criticism and condemnation from various stakeholders across the globe, the travel bans were lifted.
SA Tourism board member Thebe Ikalafeng elaborates on challenges facing the tourism sector:
Knysna cited as top tourist destination
Meanwhile, Knysna tourism authorities say they’re filled with pride after the town was named a top tourist destination in the world. Knysna was number 19 on the Tourism Sentiment Index – 100 Most Loved Destinations Around the World for 2021.
Other Western Cape towns such as Stellenbosch came in at 23, Hermanus at 41, and Cape Town at 54.
Congratulations to all Greater Knysna tourism operators, industry role-players, and businesses for maintaining world-class standards especially under the pressures of the Covid-19 pandemic. We are all aware of the contribution our tourism industry makes to our local economy. pic.twitter.com/t4I2GtUYc4
— KnysnaMunicipality (@KnysnaMuni) January 21, 2022
-Additional reporting by SABC News