The National Department of Tourism briefed the Committee on the review of the National Tourism Sector Strategy. After looking at emerging trends at a global level and key sectors the ne Sector Strategy the Draft Strategy went through the gazetting phase. The Department emerged with the new Sector Strategy which was widely supported by key parties.
The new Strategy places greater emphasis on partnerships and institutional capacity. The Strategy is targeting a National Gross Domestic Product Direct contribution of R302 billion from tourism and for 1million jobs to be directly supported from the tourism industry by 2026.
The Strategy is based on five pillars; Effective marketing, facilitating ease of access, the visitor experience, destination management, and broad-based benefits. Each of these pillars has their own work streams and their own targets. The Strategy focuses on institutional arrangements to ensure that there is sufficient capacity at provincial and local levels as well as in the private sector.
Members of the Committee raised concern that the new Strategy must be implemented at ground level. There was also concern over the lack of transformation in the area as well as a lack of focus in rural areas. Members also called for the National Department to work more closely with local government.
Election of a Chairperson
The Committee Secretary said Ms Makhubela-Mashele (ANC) had been acting as the Chairperson since the end of February and her tenure has now reached an end. Therefore, the Committee must elect a new Chairperson in terms of Section 175 (1) of the rules of the National Assembly to serve until the end of the term of the Portfolio Committee on Tourism.
Ms P Adams (ANC) proposed Ms Makhubela-Mashele to act as Chairperson.
Ms E Masehela (ANC) seconded the proposal for Ms Makhubela-Mashele to serve as the Chairperson.
Ms Makhubela-Mashele was elected as the Chairperson.
Apologies had been received from the Minister Mr Derek Hanekom, Deputy Minister Ms Elizabeth Thabethe and Director-General Mr Victor Tharage.
The Chairperson welcomed the Members of the Committee and delegates from the Department of Tourism. From South African Tourism were Ms Sibongumusa Ngidi, Chief Director for Policy and Planning; Ms Aneme Malan, Deputy Director-General in the Department of Tourism responsible for Tourism Research, Policy and International Relations, Ms Bahupileng Peege, Director for Strategy Development; Ms Petra Van Niekerk, PLO in the Office of the Director-General; and Ms Melanie Titus, PLO in the Office of the Minister.
Briefing by Department of Tourism
Ms Mala said the new National Tourism Sector Strategy (NTSS) was approved by Cabinet on 6 December 2017 after thorough consultation with all affected parties Nationally, Provincially and from the Private Sector. Subsequent to the approval of the NTSS they drafted the implementation mechanism which was approved by the Sector on 8 March 2018. The Department was finalising the design and the layout of the printed document.
Ms Ngidi briefed the Committee.
There was a comprehensive environmental scan to look at the trends at global level of those key sectors which affect tourism. There was then a drafting process which took into account information from the Environmental scan. The final draft before the formal draft was then gathered for public comment. After reviewing all the comments, they emerged with the final, approved NTSS. The Department was now at a stage where they are creating awareness on the strategy using various platforms.
The Department had a panel of experts advising and guiding the process who were drawn from various organisations in the public and private sectors. There were also formal provincial consultations which were held in each province. There were bi-lateral meetings with key departments. The NTSS was then taken through the Cabinet process and it was gazetted in May 2017. For a 60-day period there was the gazetting process and 15 formal submissions were received. These submissions must be looked at in the context where they had received a whole range of submissions as they were consulting physically with the provinces various stakeholders. The Minister also had a consultation process with industry which was hosted in August 2017.
Ms Ngidi said generally the NTSS was very well received by stakeholders. The submissions were generally in agreement with the orientation and the key activities of the NTSS. The NTSS was approved by Cabinet in December 2017.
NTSS 2016 – 2016 Targets
The Targets are based on the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) targets. By 2020 the direct contribution to National GDP is targeted at R 175 Billion. The Number of direct jobs supported by the Sector is targeted at 1 million by 2026 and 802 526 by 2020. These figures are based on the model of the WTTC. The WTTC is the only model that can do forecasts and it is used globally by every country that is a key player in tourism. It takes into account the Tourism Satellite Account (TSA) and through research it provides broader information about what is likely to happen in the tourism space. Since it is used globally it assists the Department through the comparability of data. The targets are based on forecasts and they can be revised depending on what happens.
NTSS 2016 – 2026 Strategic Overview
The key to the Vision is the inclusive growth of tourism. The Department has looked at the World Economic Forum in terms of where the competitive advantages are and vision encourages them to look at those competitive advantages which are nature, culture and heritage. The mission is to increase the direct contribution of tourism to the economy. Research is a key area that they want to focus on as well as working in partnership with their partners. The guiding principles and values are very similar to the ones they had in the 2011 strategy.
Overarching Goal and Five Strategic Pillars
In respect of each of the five pillars, actions are identified. These actions were identified through the consultative process and from the period of 2015 to now. The Department has started establishing five work streams in line with the five pillars. These work streams are looking at those actions and further providing detail as to how they will achieve the five pillars. The challenge the Department had when identifying these actions was how to strike the balance between identifying actual actions and making sure this still remains a strategy.
Pillar 1: Effective Marketing Outcome Statement
Ms Ngidi said they need to see a coherent approach to promoting South Africa so that it becomes top of mind with respect to potential visitors. The Department also wants to see an improved conversion rate between investments in markets and tourists to South Africa.
Pillar 1: Effective Marketing Initiatives
Ms Ngidi said campaigns have to be introduced. The Department is proposing that there should be a targeted International Tourism Relations Plan. The Department would like to implement an expanded and enhanced Domestic Tourism Marketing Strategy.
Pillar 2: Facilitating Ease of Access
Ms Ngidi said this pillar is about looking at those issues that may limit the ability of tourists to visit South Africa. The Department is saying there should be consideration of visa regimes and matching it with those markets they believe they can win easily to ensure visa regulations do not become a hindrance for tourists to South Africa.
Pillar 3: Visitor Experience Outcome Statement
The Department is striving to provide quality visitor experiences for tourists to achieve customer satisfaction and inspire repeat visitation.
Pillar 3: Visitor Experience Initiatives
Ms Ngidi said Tourism safety is a crucial area of focus. The Department has resuscitated the National Tourism Safety Forum which has very active participation from SAPS. Studies have shown that perceptions of safety that inhibits people from coming to South Africa.
Pillar 4: Destination Management Outcome Statement
Ms Ngidi said this pillar is about those relationships and activities that support tourism, the one action that relates to the development of standards and guidelines for tourism destination, development and planning. A Draft Destination Planning Manual that is making its way through the approval processes.
Pillar 4: Destination Management Initiatives
The Department will be developing clear proposals and guidelines with respect to marketing and development of tourism throughout the three spheres of government. The Department will be developing a performance dashboard based on current sources of data to predict industry trends for policy purposes.
Pillar 5: Broad-Based Benefits Outcome Statement
The purpose of this pillar is to promote the empowerment of previously marginalised enterprises and rural communities to ensure inclusive growth of the tourism sector.
The institutional arrangements are important for the implementation of the NTSS. While the Department of Tourism will coordinate national arrangements, Provinces are expected to coordinate at the Provincial level as well as at a local level. The Department does interact with local governments and the Department stresses to local government the need for municipalities to provide for a tourism framework. The Western Cape and KwaZulu-Natal are examples where institutional arrangements are flourishing.
Monitoring, Evaluation and Reporting
The Department will lead, support and monitor the implementation of the NTSS and provinces are also expected to do so at a provincial level. The NTSS Delivery Forum has been retained as the mechanism for implementation, monitoring and reporting. Participation in the forum is to include parties from all levels of government as well as from the private sector.
Ms P Adams (ANC) referred to slide 28 and asked when the annual progress report on the implementation of the NTSS will be compiled and what the overall outcome of this report is.
Ms Ngidi responded that each work stream will have its own implementation plan. The Annual performance Plan from the National Department will reflect some of the actions that are relevant to it from the implementation plan. Copies of the National Implementation reports can be provided.
Ms Adams asked if the Department keeps track of the local tourism associations. Does the National Department have any say in how the local tourism association is compiled?
Ms Ngidi said the Department has been making incremental efforts with respect to local governments and tourism. In their new structure there is a dedicated local government section which will further assist local government.
Ms Adams asked what the National Department is doing to assist Provincial Departments who are struggling to reach their required levels.
Ms Malan said the Department is still working with local and provincial governments.
Ms Adams asked how the Department plans on mitigating the effect that the grounding of SA Express is going to have on tourism figures.
Ms E Masehela (ANC) said that while the strategy is sound it is the implementation that is more important. She asked what the Department will be doing to ensure that domestic tourism is well developed to ensure that we do not have to rely solely or too heavily on international tourism.
Ms Malan said domestic tourism is a priority and should be a backbone of our tourism industry. The NTSS highlights some key interventions to ensure the growth of domestic tourism.
Ms Masehela asked how the Department will be ensuring that the standard of the voluntary grading is of a good standard and appealing to people outside of South Africa.
Ms V Bam-Mugwanya (ANC) raised concern over the gap between the Strategy and implementation at ground level. She also stressed the need to focus on tourism at a local level and rural areas that have been given little attention. She said the Department needs to do proper market research before giving money to local governments and monitor how the money is being spent.
Mr S Bekwa (ANC) said the Vision of the NTSS to contribute to inclusive growth is important. He did not see any programmes that spoke to domestic tourism and disadvantaged people.
Ms Malan said that most, if not all the Department’s programmes are geared, not always financially, towards inclusive growth. Part of this is their incentive programme and other initiatives.
Mr Bekwa asked for clarity around the timeframe of the multi-stakeholder response to the implementation of the recommendations of the Tourism Human Resource Development (THRD) framework.
Mr Bekwa asked what the current status quo on the realisation of broad based benefits from tourism across the value chain was.
Ms Ngidi said there was currently a report on the levels of transformation which will be released at some stage. Generally, there is poor transformation particularly in the management, ownership and procurement areas.
The Chairperson asked if the NTSS document was the final one because she was not satisfied with the current document.
Ms Malan said that it was not the final document. The final document would be available in the next month or two.
The Chairperson asked if the Department thought it was creating a conducive environment for all to thrive given that the NTSS is a sector strategy and that involves multiple parties.
The Committee Content Advisor said he thought they need to follow up on the implementation plan because the NTSS is a high-level document and it does not zoom into specifics and it does not have timeframes. He advised the Department to send implementation, monitoring and evaluation reports to the Committee for analyses.
The Chairperson said due to time constraints the Draft minutes on the Agenda would be postponed to the next Committee meeting.
The Chairperson thanked the Department for the presentation.
The meeting was adjourned.
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