The Tourism Department has raised its concern regarding the continuing crime rate that is sky rocketing in South Africa.

The department says criminal activities impacted negatively on the country’s tourism industry, causing a decline in the number of tourists visiting South Africa.

These sentiments emerged during the National Tourism Careers Expo held in Rustenburg in the North West.

The 11th Annual National Tourism Careers Expo was attended by scores of learners from across the country.

They were exposed to career opportunities in the tourism industry.

The World Tourism Council says travel and tourism in South Africa has contributed 1.5 million jobs and over R420 billion to the economy in 2018.

But the Department of Tourism says despite the fact that the industry is still dominated by the few, the major concern is the criminal activities taking place in the country, which is impacting negatively on the country’s tourism industry.

“As you know, when tourists want to travel the first thing that they ask is, ‘it safe to go to South Africa?’ So, we have those challenges but we are still working around (them).

“We have created a safety monitoring team that is working together with the South African Police Services to be in a position to create a safer environment for tourists so that they can be able to travel to South Africa without any fear,” says deputy Minister of Tourism, Fish Mahlalela.