Cape Town - Most would say that 2016 is a year that can just FALL already. Yet it cannot be denied that tourism has remained a positive for the country for the most part. As a result South Africa's Department of Tourism has received the top accolade at the 2016 National Batho Pele Excellence Awards (NBPEA) for being the Best Functioning National Department of the Year.
The Department of Public Service and Administration‘s (DPSA) Batho Pele Excellence Awards recognise and promote improved public servants performance, and a professional and productive public service.
“I am very proud of the Department, and this Gold award affirms that our vision and plans to grow the tourism industry on the right track,” says Tourism Minister Derek Hanekom.
In 2015/16, the Department achieved more than 85% of its performance targets, and also received an unqualified clean audit by the Auditor General.
Added to this, South Africa's Airports Company Acsa has just revealed that in the third quarter of 2016 passenger arrivals have shown considerable growth - this follows a largely disappointing 2015 in which South Africa's inbound tourism industry was badly affected by visa rules and requirements.
Acsa says the total arrivals and total departures figures for the update period from July to September 2016 show that passenger numbers maintained a steady increase when compared to the third quarter of 2015 - with 4.98 million total arrivals and 4.77 million total departures across its network of airports. This is an increase of 4.4% compared to the same period in 2015.
Tourism was among 38 government departments assessed for strategic planning; finances; operational planning; management and implementation, and the impact of the work done by the department on its beneficiaries and the broader society.
“Excellent service is the keystone of the work we do in tourism. It is entrenched in our strategies and our work culture, and it inspire us to continuously work hard to serve our citizens and position our country as one of the top tourist destination in the world,” says Hanekom.
The Director General of Tourism, Mr Victor Tharage, received the Best Director General of the year awards. The award recognised exceptional leadership skills and expertise, with a proven record of leading transformation and change management in the department.
What to read next on Traveller24:
- Everything you need to know about the new Security System at OR Tambo
- WATCH: Cape Town listed in new Airbnb Trips offering that moves beyond accommodation
- SA Inside guide to an epic Garden Route break this Festive Season