Question NW499 to the Minister of Tourism

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30 April 2020 - NW499

Profile picture: Gondwe, Dr M

Gondwe, Dr M to ask the Minister of Tourism

Given that climate change poses a threat to the sustainability of the tourist industry, what measures has her department put in place to ensure that tourist destinations are ready to tackle challenges related to climate change?


The Department is currently implementing the Tourism and Climate Change Response Programme (2010). The programme addresses both climate change mitigation and adaptation measures within the tourism sector as follows:

Mitigation Measures

    • The Department has a Tourism Resource Efficiency Programme. The programme focuses on energy efficiency, water efficiency and waste management in tourism.
    • The Department is currently completing a pilot project on Tourism Resource Efficiency Training for unemployed Youth. One Hundred and Eighty (180) unemployed youth were trained by the National Cleaner Production Centre – South Africa (NCPC – SA) on Resource Efficient Cleaner Production and the Fundamentals of Energy Management. The trainees were placed at tourism establishments across the country for a period of six (6) months. During their placements, trainees assisted establishments to better manage their energy and water use.
    • The Department also has a Green Tourism Incentive Programme (GTIP). The incentive is implemented through a partners that include the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC), Small Enterprise Finance Agency (SEFA) and National Cleaner Production Centre (NCPC). Through this grant, the Department provides funding to assist tourism enterprises with between 30% and 90% on the capital investment cost of retrofitting tourism facilities with renewable energy and energy efficient systems. Through this incentive, the Department seeks to encourage private tourism enterprises to move towards cleaner and renewable energy sources to facilitate increased competitiveness and operational sustainability; encourage enterprises to improve energy efficiency; reduce high up-front capital requirement and facilitate reduction in operational input costs.

Adaptation Measures

    • The Department is also involved with a Tourism Adaptation Project (TAP). The project seeks to build the resilience and adaptive capacity of the tourism sector to the impacts of climate change.
    • In 2012, the Department partnered with the Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA) and the Deutsche fur Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), a German Corporation for International Cooperation (German Development Agency) to conduct a Baseline Assessment of the Impacts of Climate Change on Tourism. A Basic Vulnerability Guideline was developed to assist tourism attractions to assess their vulnerability to climate change.

Currently, the Department has partnered with the Department of Forestry, Fisheries and Environment (DFEE) and the GIZ to conduct risk and vulnerability assessment of 27 tourism sites across the country. A three-year tourism adaptation implementation plan will be developed as part of this project. The project will be completed at the end of March 2020.

Communication and Outreach:

    • The Department continues to raise awareness on both the contributions of tourism and its vulnerability to the impacts of climate change. Information booklets on tourism and climate change are distributed to stakeholders. Furthermore, awareness is raised through capacity building and information sharing sessions.

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