ATC200610: Report of the Select Committee on Trade and Industry, Economic Development, Small Business Development, Tourism, Employment and Labour on Budget Vote 38:Tourism, the Strategic Plan and the 2020/21 Annual Performance Plan of the Department of Tourism And South African Tourism, Dated 9 June 2020

NCOP Trade and Industry, Economic Development, Small Business Development, Tourism, Employment and Labour

REPORT OF THE SELECT COMMITTEE ON TRADE AND INDUSTRY, ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT, SMALL BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT, TOURISM, EMPLOYMENT AND LABOUR ON BUDGET VOTE 38:TOURISM, THESTRATEGIC PLAN AND THE 2020/21 ANNUAL PERFORMANCE PLAN OF THE DEPARTMENT OF TOURISM AND SOUTH AFRICAN TOURISM, DATED 9 JUNE 2020

 

 

  1. Background

 

The Select Committee on Trade and Industry, Economic Development, Small Business Development, Tourism, Employment and Labour(Committeee),having considered Budget Vote  38: Tourism, the Strategic Plan and the 2020/21 Annual Performance Plan of the Department of Tourism (Department) and the South African Tourism (SA Tourism), tabled by the Minister of Small Business Development (the Minister), in terms of the Public Finance Management Act of 1999 (PFMA), as well as the Money Bills Amendment Procedure and Related Matters Act, 2009, reports as follows:

 

  1. Introduction

 

The Department tabled the 5-year Strategic Plan for 2020/21 -2024/25 and the Annual Performance Plan for the 2020/21 financial year on 18March 2020.However, due to the impact of COVID-19 on the tourism industry, the Minister withdrew the Annual Performance Plans of both the Department and South African Tourism in the letter dated 8 May 2020 as published in the ATC No 51 – 2020. The Minister then tabled a revised Annual Performance Plan on 20May 2020.

 

The Committee considered the 2020/21-2024/25 Strategic Plan, and the 2020/21 Annual Performance Plan of the Department and South African Tourism on 26 and 27 May 2020. The Committee has also considered the adequacy of financial resources for the implementation of these plans. The Department submitted that the current strategic plan, and annual performance plan are aligned to the Medium Term Strategic Framework (MTSF). The actions of the Minister to withdrew the initial strategic plans was a clear demonstration that the COVID-19 has a direct impact to the initial spending plans of the Department and its implementation agency-SA Tourism.  

 

Long before the COVID-19 outbreak, South African economy was experiencing low economic growth, weak fiscal position, decline in investment attractive ratings and major State-Owned Entities experience deep hole in their balance sheet. The COVID-19 has worsened an already bleeding economy posing a potential for social instability. Recent reports from the Reserve Bank and the World Bank including National Treasury show that the country would register higher rate of unemployment that might surpass the current rate of 29 per cent, and the economy might decline between 6 and 7 per cent in 2020.

 

The Department reported that the pandemic has created massive damage to the tourism industry. Massive job loses would be witnessed, and many businesses would face liquidation. The COVID-19 pandemic has ravaged international tourism economy. It was reported that the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) has projected a decline of 290 to 440 million International Tourist Arrivals; 5 to 7 years lost in numbers of tourists; decline of 300 to 450 US$ billion in Tourism Exports (receipts); and 1/3 of 1.5 US$ trillion lost in Tourism Exports. From a domestic tourism perspective,lockdown measures to contain the spread of the virus have significantly damaged the tourism economy. However, it was reported that with sound recovery strategy and plan for tourism,depending on the duration of the pandemic. It is expected the that the tourism industry would recover and continue to play its important role to the national economies.

 

The Committee recognised the depth of the crisis presented by the COVID-19 pandemic in relation to the operations of SMMEs in the tourism industry, and the deeper problem of the unemployment that would have to be tackled.According to the 2019 WTTC annual review that tourism in South Africa contributed 1.5 million jobs and R425.8 billion to the economy in 2018. The registered tourism performance of South Africa reveals that South Africa is the largest tourism economy in Africa. Further, the tourism industry plays major role in the economies of many regions, and cities in South Africa.

 

The Committee emphasised that preservation of jobs, and support to many tourism related businesses should be on top of government agenda taking into account the important role that the industry plays in the economy, and employment. Further, the Committee support the interventions initiatied by the Department to establish the Tourism Relief Fund geared to support SMMEs operating in the tourism industry. The Committee urged that existing transformative policies and legislation should be applied taking into account the exceptional situation presented by the COVID-19 to the economy, and to the livelivehoods. Partnerships amongst social partners should be enhanced, and to ensure that the impact of the  pandemic to businesses and jobs  is minimised.

 

The Committee noted that the tourism industry is primary driven by the private sector, hence partnership between government and the indystry players such as the Tourism Business Council of South Africa (TBCSA) would be crucial in jump-starting the tourism economy, and also driving transformative initiatives in the tourism industry. Further, the Committee noted the importance of directing resources in stabalising and stimulating domestic tourism.

 

SA Tourism reported that the numbers for the domestic market fared better in 2019 than in the previous year. The number of holiday trips grew by 170.6 percent from 2.6 million in 2018 to 7.1 million in 2019.  The special offer-driven campaigns had a big uptake in 2019, as all the months where there was a special promotion showed a spike in domestic travel.This is indicative of the potential that lies in the domestic market, provided that dual pricing offerings are available to locals who view travel as too expensive. The initiave planned to maximise the contribution of domestic tourism to the economy were commended by the Committee.

 

  1. Overview of the Legislative and Policy Mandate of the Department

 

The Estimates of National Expenditureadvocates that the purpose of the Department is to promote and support the growth and development of an equitable, competitive and sustainable tourism sector, enhancing its contribution to national priorities. Beside the Constitution of the Republic, the Tourism Act of 2014 (Act No. 3 of 2014) is the current legislation governing tourism in South Africa. The Act seeks to:

  • Promote the practising of responsible tourism for the benefit of the Republic and for the enjoyment of all its residents and  foreign visitors;
  • Provide for the effective domestic and international marketing of South Africa as a tourist destination;
  • Promote quality tourism products and services;
  • Promote growth in and development of the tourism sector; and
  • Enhance cooperation and coordination between all spheres of government in developing and managing tourism.

 

The White Paper on the Development and Promotion of Tourism in South Africa, New Growth Path, National Tourism Sector Strategy emphasise the crucial role that the tourism industry could play in addressing unemployment, inequality and poverty including driving the transformative agenda of the country. Further the National Development Plan(NDP) recognises that the tourism industry could play a significant role in stimulating growth of national economies, as such it places the tourism industry at the centre of government inclusive growth agenda. The Department submitted that over the 2020 medium term it will continue to structure its functional operations to respond to the government economic policy plans such as the NDP.

 

  1. Budget Policy Area

 

The Department submitted that over the medium term it will respond to the MTSF priority 1Building a capable, ethical and developmental State, priority 2:Economic Transformation and Job creation and priority 7: Better Africa and the World by focusing on the following departmental outcomes:

  • Improving its governance and accountability systems towards achieving an unqualified audit outcome  including implementing the departmental integrity management programme to promote integrity and ethical conduct;
  • Increase tourism’s contribution to employment creation and the gross domestic product;
  • Support and promote investment in tourism infrastructure;
  • In partnership with SA Tourism, implement measures and initiatives to increase the number of international tourist arrivals and domestic travellers, including , reintroducing tourism safety initiatives;
  • Improving the regulatory environment;
  • Further increase diversification of the country’s product offering; and improve transformation levels in the sector.

 

The Department submitted that over the 2020 medium term it will conduct the following policy and legislation reviews:

  • White Paper on the Development and Promotion of Tourism in South Africa, 1996
  • Tourism Act, No. 3 of 2014
  • Tourism BEE Charter
  • National Tourism Sector Strategy, 2016

 

Further, the Department reported that it will continue to implement the National Development Plan 2030. The Committee noted the commitment of government to increase international arrival target by facilitating an additional increase of 21 million by 2030. However, the Committee agreed with the Department that the COVID-19 pandemic would have an impact to the Medium-Term Strategic Framework including the National Development Plan 2030, as such the it would have an effect on the implementation of the departmental strategic spending priorities. The revised strategic plan submitted by the Department acknowledge the effect of the COVID-19 to the departmental operations and the required functional operation of the SA Tourism. The Committee noted that the national budget is strained, and that would have an effect to the spending plans across government departments. As a result, other policy priorities might be scaled-back.Taking into account the significant impact the pandemic caused to the tourism industry additional funding and financing would be required to assist the Department to carry tasks in response to COVID-19 pandemic, and also implement standing priorities, which are pivotal. Over the medium term, the Department was urged by the Committee to improve working relations with the private sector, and tourism industry players. Further to enhance partnership with the private sector, and use current resources to leverage private sector resources to reset the tourism industry.

 

Further, the Committee emphasised that transformative policies such the Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment should be implemented. However, the Department should also be mindful that the current crisis would necessitate flexibility in implementing standing government policies taking into account that the pandemic has affected productive capacity of all businesses, which employ many people irrespective of race, gender and class. The key focus of government should mitigate the impact of the pandemic to the businesses and save as many jobs possible to minimise the impact of COVID-19 to the income of businesses and households. South Africa need growth and expansion of small businesses to fuel economic growth, and create needed jobs. 

 

  1. Overview of the Departmental Spending

 

The COVID-19 would certainly put pressure on the current departmental budget. The demands of businesses operating in tourism industry would require policy responses to mitigate the damage that would be caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Further, the Department would need over the medium, resources to support and promote initiative that seek to reset the tourism industry.

The Department is expected to increase spending at an average annual rate of 4 per cent from R2.39 billion in 2019/20 to approximately R2.7 billion by 2022/23. The bulk of the Department’s spending over the medium term is on transfers to the SA Tourism amounting R4.1 billionfor the implementation of initiatives to marketing South Africa as a tourism destination of choice.

 

Over the 2020 medium term period, approximately R1,1 billion is expected to be spent on Compensation of Employees spending item. Whilst, approximately R2 billion is anticipated to be spent on Goods and Services spending item. As already indicated in this report, the bulk of the Department spending is deployed to the Transfers and Subsidies spending item, which covers transfers to SA Tourism (R4.1 billion), departmental transfers to Public corporations and private enterprises (R441 million), Non profit institutions (R1,3 million) and foreign agencies (R7,3 million). Over the medium term, the Department is expected to implement various tourism incubator programmes, extend the Working for Tourism Programme and implement the Tourism Incentive Programmeto support growth and development of tourism in rural areas in in townships. Further, the Department intends to restructure theTourism Transformation Fund, a collaboration with the National Empowerment Fund(NEF).

Table 1 shows how the Department is expected to spend over the 2020 medium term. The revised departmental annual performance plan indicated areas that the department would implement to accommodate the COVID-19 pandemic policy response. It is anticipated that the Minister of Finance when tabling the special adjustment budget the changes will be reflected in the Special Adjustment Budget. The Department has organised its expenditure plan into four functional policy programmes, which comprise of Programme 1:Administration; Programme 2:Tourism Research, Policy and International Relations; Programme 3: Destination Development and Programme 4:Tourism Sector Support Services.

Table 1: Summary of the Departmental Spending for the 2020 Medium Term Expenditure Framework

Source: Estimates of National Expenditure, National Treasury

 

 

Over the medium term period, the Tourism Research, Policy and International Relations functional policy programme is anticipated to spend approximately R4,4. As indicated in this report, the bulk of the spending would be directed to the SA Tourism (R4.1 billion),departmental transfers to Public corporations and private enterprises (R441 million), R11,6 million will provide bursaries to drive external human capital for benefit of the tourism industry, and R7,3 million would be directed to meet departmental international obligations as required by the UNWTO.

Over the medium term the functional policy programme is expected to continue to monitor and evaluate tourism projects and initiatives which entails developing and publishing an annual state of tourism report, including developing quarterly reports on tourism performance, provide monthly analyses of tourist arrivalsand to review the implementation of National Tourism Sector Strategy. Further, the functional policy programme will promote and enhance the value of tourism and its opportunities by hosting annual tourism research seminar, and continue to participate and engagement in multilateral and bilateral processes by participating in multilateral forums and strategic formations, such as the United Nations World Tourism Organisation and the Indian Ocean Rim Associationto advance South Africa’s tourism priorities.

 

Over the medium term, the Department will hosta workshop targeting African countries to share best practices in the tourism industry. Over the medium term, the Department made a commitment to improve oversight over the South African Tourism, and further enhance partnerships with industry players.

 

It was reported that the aim of the SA Tourism is to position South Africa as an exceptional tourist and business events destination that offers a value-for-money, quality tourist experience that is diverse and unique. The work of the is structured on 5 functional policy programmes:

  • Programme 1: Corporate Support – provides support services to the organisation, as well as ensure compliance with statutory requirements. In 2020/21 financial year the programme is anticipated to spend R140.9 million.
  • In 2020/21 financial year, Programme 2: Business Enablement is anticipated to spend R94.7 million. The purpose of the programme is to ensures strategy development and integration with business performance monitoring, governance and evaluation; to provide centralised research insights and analytics to support the core business and provide an open source for information sharing with the tourism sector.
  • Programme 3: Leisure Tourism Marketing – provides destination tourism marketing for leisure tourists for both international and domestic markets. In 2020/21 financial yearthe programme is anticipated to spend R1.1billion.
  • Programme 4: Business Events – markets South Africa as a business events destination.In 2020/21 financial year the programme is anticipated to spendR140.9 million.
  • In 2020/21 financial year, Programme 5: Tourist Experience is anticipated to spend R72,5 million. The programme functional purpose is to deliverquality experienceexpected by international and domestic tourists through: grading establishments; product capacity building; and itinerary building.

It was reportec that over the medium term, the SA Tourism would focus on: boosting domestic and international tourism, improving customer relations management and increasing trade partnerships. Further, over the medium term SA tourism is anticipated to spend approximately R4,9 billion. Of which, R674 million would be directed on Compensation of Employees spending item, approximately R4,2 billion would be directed on Goods and Services spending item.  The COVID-19 pandemic will also have effect on the operations of the SA Tourism. To that effect other priorities would be scaled-back, and new priorities as policy response to COVID-19 will be introduced.

Apart of the grant that SA Tourism receives from the Department, it also receive revenue from the Tourism Marketing Levy (TOMSA), SA National Convention Bureau (SANCB), Tourism Grading Council South Africa (TGCSA) and Interest Income. For the 2020/21 financial year the following receipts are expected to be affected by the COVID-19. TOMSA – R144 million, however the shutdown of the sector has resulted in zero TOMSA levy collections. In 2020/21 financial year, SA Tourism does not expect to recieve TOMSA. Further, SA Tourism is expected to lose R63,5 million revenue generated from the Exhibition Income. The revenue generated from TGCSA, which amount to R25 million would not be forthcoming, and the COVID-19 pandemic would have an effect to the expected Interest Income amounting to R23 million.

Over the medium term, SA Tourism in partnership with the Department is expected to support tourism recovery strategies and plan to stabilise and spur growth of the tourism industry to meet government policy outcomes.As indicated in this report the SA Tourism spending represents bulk of the departmental spending (56.3 percent). Most of the spending is directed to support international marketing functions. The Committee made an undertaking to pay attention to monitor public expenditure of the SA Tourism. The Committee urged the Department to turn the COVID-19 crisis to an opportunity to invest in activities that seek to spur domestic tourism, and support local communities to enjoy local tourism products and services (offering cheaper domestic tourism deals). The Committee emphasised that resources should also be allocated to support growth and expansion of Villages, Townships, Small Towns and Dorpies (VTSDs) tourism initiative.

Further, the Committee stressed that the Department should enhance multi governance function with local and provincial government to ensure that investment in the tourism industry have an impact to rural economies to improve rural incomes for both small businesses and households.

The Department should scale-up coordination with other departments and agencies in energy and transport industry to ensure that investment support tourism. 

The Committee noted the  actions of the Department to scale back other marketing activities due to disruption caused by the COVID-19. The Committee would also monitor the implementation of the Tourism Relief Fund. As indicated in this report the Committee agrees in principle that transformative policies should be implemented, however the current crisis need flexibility in implementing standing government policies. The current aim is to preserve tourism business productive capacity, and protecting jobs.

With regard to Destination Development functional policy programme, over the medium term period, the programme is anticipated to spend R1,5 billion. Most of the spending in this programme would be directed to the Working for Tourism Programme. The spending priorities in this programme are geared to boost tourism destination, job creation, accelerate skills development, and drive transformation in the tourism industry. The Department plans to create 15 946 tourism work opportunities over the medium term. This is an increase from 12 993 projected in the previous financial year.  Over the medium term, in terms of Compensation of Employees, the programme is expected to spend approximately R192 million. For the Goods and Services, it is anticpated to spend R1,35 billion.

 

Over the medium term, the Department through Destination Development is planning to increase the tourism sector’s contribution to inclusive economic growth by diversifying and enhancing tourism offerings in priority areas by implementing nine destination enhancement and route development initiatives. Further, the Department would undertake 18 destination planning and investment development initiatives.

 

The Committee emphasised the important role that the Working for Tourism development initiatives could play in tourism industry particular in developing tourism infrastructure in Villages, Townships, Small Towns and Dorpies (VTSDs). The Committee stressed that a coordinated approach with other departments and government agencies such as SANParks including local and provincial government would need to be stregthened and enhanced. Further, implementing of tourisminfrastructure projects should be scaled-up, and governance issues should be tackled.The Department will implement tourism plans through the District Development Model in the three pilot areas, namely, OR Tambo district, Waterberg district, and eThekwini Metro. The Committee urged the Department to ensure that the Tourism Sector Master Plans should be integrated to local government integrated plans to ensure the efficiency of the District Development Model.

Further, the Committee urged the Department to improve the implemtation of the Tourism Safety initiative. The Committee stated that the role of the South African Police services need not further emphasis.

 

In relation to the functional policy programme4: Tourism Sector Support Services, the Department submitted that the programme is anticipating to spend approximately R856 million, over the medium term period. Over the medium term, spending on Compensation of Employees is expected to be approximately R285 million, and for Goods and Services, spending is expected to be approximately R155 million. For the same period, spending on Transfers and Subsidies is expected to be approximately R455 million. This spending covers transfers and subsidies to Departmental agencies and accounts (R12,3 million), Public corporations and private enterprises(R441 million) and R1.3 million to Non-Profit Institutions.

 

The Tourism Sector Support Servicesaims to incentivise priority areas, including providing market access support, tourism grading support, implementation of energy efficiency initiatives and funding of transformation initiatives in the tourism sector towards unlocking capital investment by black tourism entrepreneurs.

 

 The Committee noted the existence of the Tourism Transformation Fund, and Tourism Equity Fund. The Committee made a commitment to oversee the implementation of the two funds including the Tourism Incentive Programme. The Committee emphasise the importance of the initiatives to drive inclusive, and sustainable tourism industry that would benefit women, youth including rural and township areas. The Committee over the medium term would monitor the implementation of tourism incubators. Further, the Department was urged to work with the private sector to leverage funding and financing to scape-up tourism initiatives. Further, the Committee stated the need for development resources to be spread equitable across provinces, and with in provinces to address imbalance distribution of development initiatives.

 

  1. Issues Arising from Engagement

 

  1. The Committee noted the impact of COVID-19 to the domestic and global economies, and its direct impact to the global and domestic tourism economy.
  2. Further, the Committee noted that government prior to the COVID-19 outbreak, government tax revenue was low, as a result of low economic growth, and debt to GDP was increasing, big state owned enterprises were experiencing weak balance sheet and put pressure to the already contained fiscus.
  3. The Committee urged the Department to balance these challenges whilst ensuring that assistance to small business is not compromised. The Department would have to reprioritised programmes. In some instances, it will have to scale back other priorities.
  4. Further the Committee noted that the COVID-19 would have an effect to the implementation of the departmental strategic spending plans, and the Department although submitted a revised annual performance plan it is expected to revised the spending plans after the Minister of Finance has tabled the Special Adjustment Budget.
  5. Greater working and collaboration with the Department of Health to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 to the tourism industry would be needed.
  6. As the result of COVID-19, the SA Tourim revenue generation is expected to be affected. The tourism industry was most affected by the lockdown measures adopted by many national governments including South Africa. The only expected revenue generation stream is the transfer and subsidy spending item received from the Department. 
  7. The Committee indicated a need for the Department to finalise the Tourism Amendment Bill, including the review of the National Grading Scheme and Sharing Economy (e.g. Airbnb).
  8. The Department indicated that it is planning to review the National Grading Scheme to accommodate transformative goals in the tourism industry.
  9. The Department further reported it will over the medium term develop a new White Paper with the aim to promote development and growth tourism industry in line international best practices.
  10. The Committee urged the Department to continue to work with other departments such as Home Affairs, and Transport to ensure harmonisation of of policies across departments. The Committee commended the Department for advancing for the introduction of world-class e-visa regime including e-gates at the airports.
  11. Further, the Committee noted efforts by the Department to stabilise its organisational operations including that of the SA Tourism. The Department has renewed the employment contract of the Director-General, and the Chief Executive Officer of the SA Tourism was reinstated in his position. The Committee also noted that the three vacancies in the South African Tourism Board have been filled, and the Minister was in the process of filling the positions of the Board Chairperson and the deputy Chairperson. Further, the Committee noted the two resignations in the Entity in the positions of the Chief Strategy Officer and the Chief Quality Assurance Officer.
  12. The Committee emphasise the need for the Department and the SA Tourism to build intenal capacity to drive implementation of government policy outcomes.
  13. The Committee emphasised that the Department and its entity should ensure corporate and financial governance should be streghthened. The implementation of development initiatives such as the Working for Tourism Programme should be implemented in an efficiently and effective manner. Cases of Corruption should dealt with decisively. Findings and recommendations of the Auditor General should be respected, and adhered to.  
  14. Multi-governance approach should be adopted in implementing tourism development programmes. The Committee urged the Department to ensure that local and provincial governments should be invoved in the development and implementation of the tourism development programme.
  15. The national tourism development programmes should find expression  in the Integrated Development Plans of local governments. The District Development Model adopted by the national government could only be effectively implemented if multi-governance forums are effective, and Tourism Sector Master Plansare integrated into the IDPs.
  16. The Committee noted the efforts of the Department working in collaboration with the Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairsfor the integration of tourism development programme to the development plans of the OR Tambo District Municipality and eThekwini Metropolitan Municipality.
  17. Taking into account that the fiscus is strained, development partnerships with private sector including civil society should be strengthened and enhanced. The Committee urged the Department to ensure that the funds and financing are used to leverage the private sector investment to drive growth and development of tourism.
  18. SA Tourism has adopted the Digital Marketing Strategy, and the strategy is aimed to ensure that the entity conducts a more focussed and highly targeted marketing and maximise the return on investment to the development programmes. The Department indicated that the digital solutions are being developed by the tourism industry to create virtual tourism experiences. Over the medium term, the Department and the SA Tourism indicated that the COVID-19 crisis has also created opportunity for the industry to adjust to meet new challenges presented by the ‘new normal environment’ that would affect financial, economic and business environment.
  19. Further, Department and SA Tourism would development in partnership with industry role players the tourism recovery strategy and action plan. The recovery plan would include activities to stimulate domestic domestic tourism.
  20. The Committee urged the Department and its entity to explore marketing strategies to attract tourists going beyond African Continent, BRICS countries to include G20 countries and other emerging markets.
  21. Over the medium term the Committee indicated that it would pay oversight over the implemtation of the tourim development funds. Further, the Committee emphasised that the implementation of the Tourism Relief Fund should balance the need to drive transformative agenda in the tourism industry, and the need to preserve current business productive capacity, and preserve jobs.
  22. Further, the Committee noted the Department commitment to improve the implemtation of the Tourism Safety initiative. The Department indicated that collaborative efforts with the South African Police services would be at the centre of the implementation of the tourism development programmes.
  23. The Committee noted that the Department and its entity in partnership with Brand South Africa, and InvestSA should forge collaborative initiatives to promote South Africa as an investment destination to attract investments, boost economic growth and job creation.
  24. The Committee suggested that the Department should engage National Treasury including industry players to investigate other revenue generating stream that could be used to boost development funding for the tourism industry.

 

  1. Recommendations

 

Following engagement with the Department and SA Tourism, the Committee proposed the following recommendations to the Minister of Tourism:

 

  1. The COVID-19 would certainly put pressure on the current departmental budget. The demands of businesses operating in the tourism industry would require policy responses to mitigate the damage that would be caused by pandemic. National Treasury taking into cognisance available resources should consider to allocate additional resources to the Department to scale-up policy response necessitated by the COVID-19 pandemic.
  2. Additional funds would be needed to scale-up the efforts to attain objectives of the Tourism Relief Fund. Further, a balanced approach should be used in implementing the relief funds. The key focus of government should mitigate the impact of the pandemic to the businesses and save as many jobs possible to minimise the impact of COVID-19 to the income of businesses and households.
  3. By the end of the current financial year, the Department in partnrship with the tourism industry role players develop the COVID-19 recovery strategy and implementation plan.
  4. Over the medium term the Department should in collaboration with local and provincial governments ensure that the Tourim Development Master Plan is integrated to the local government IDPs to support the implementation of the government District Development Model. The Tourim Development Master Plan should also support the development of rural economies.
  5. Public spending to boost tourism industry should be strategic allocated to avoid mis-allocation of resources. Partneship in resource allocation geared to stimulate tourism must be done taking into account the needs, and opportunities presented by provinces, regions, and citities including rurul towns. Equity considerations should be incoporated in the distribution of resources.
  6. The Department in partnership with SA Tourism and local and provincial governments’ tourism development agencies in collaboration with the private sector and civil society should develop drive domestic tourism initiatives.
  7. The Department in partnership with SA Tourism should use the current development funds to attract private sector funding and financing to drive transformative agenda in the tourism industry.
  8. In efforts to ensure additional improvement of the visa regime for South Africa, the Department should engagethe Department of Home Affairs to look at the possibility of recognising other reputable visas to allow tourists to come to South Africa.
  9. Over the medium term, the Department and its entity in partnership with Brand South Africa, and InvestSA should forge collaborative initiatives to promote South Africa as an investment destinition to attract investments, boost economic growth and job creation.
  10. The Department in partnership with industry players should expedite digitalisation of the tourism industry to modernise tourism marketing in line with global practice.
  11. The Department should work with energy and transport sector departments to ensure policies in these industries support growth and development of tourism industry.
  12. The Department and its entity to should explore marketing strategies to attract tourists going beyond African Continent, BRICS countries to include G20 countries and other emerging markets to increase to increase the contribution of the tourism industry to the county’s Gross Domestic Product.
  13. The Department and its entity should enhance the organisational health and capability to meet government policy outcomes.
  14. The Department in partnership with the SA Tourism and collaboration with industry players should provide digital tourism industry solutions to improve tourist experience, and improve the industry competitiveness. The digital tourim solutions should be made available to rural and township tourism businesses.

 

Report to be considered.

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