Cape Town - A new tourism growth strategy aims to create 100 000 jobs in the Western Cape.
Provincial Minister of Economic Opportunities Alan Winde unveiled Project Khulisa at an event hosted at the Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa pavilion at the V&A Waterfront on Tuesday.
“It is encouraging that we continue to see strong investment from the private sector into tourism. The V&A Waterfront is committing R179m in the development of a dedicated cruise-liner terminal," said Winde.
“Other investments include the expansion of the Cape Town International Convention Centre and Tsogo Sun’s planned R680m hotel in the CBD.”
Apart from the job creation target, the objectives of Project Khulisa include increasing the annual number of international arrivals from 1.56 million to 2.1 million; increasing annual foreign direct spend to R17.2bn from R16.7bn; growing the number of domestic trips by 600 000 to 2.9 million per year; adding up to a further 100 000 jobs to the tourism sector, up from 204 000; and increasing the gross value added by the sector from R17bn to R28bn.
“To reach these objectives, we will collaborate with the private sector to pursue a range of initiatives which we have workshopped with industry into a set of action plans," said Winde.
For instance, a programme would be implemented to encourage international conference delegates to add a leisure component to their stay.
Increasing air access will be a key element in improving accessibility. Winde wants to secure three new direct air routes to strategic markets.
An important aspect of improving accessibility in his view is making it easier for people to travel to South Africa.
"To this end, we will lobby national government to amend the visa regulations so we can regain ground in these important new markets. The current laws are one of the biggest threats to our vision for the tourism sector," said Winde.
The new action plan includes positioning the Western Cape as Africa’s cycling capital, maximising culture and heritage tourism as well as food and wine tourism and growing the events economy.
Winde said it was important that Western Cape residents also supported the growth strategy.
“Tourism is big business, and our biggest job creator. If we all come on board to support it, we could see a big change in our economy,” he said.
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