Letter to the Minister of Tourism: Dear Mr Derek Hanekom

2016-12-10 21:25

Honorable Derek Hanekom, I write this letter to you today as a concerned youth that forms part of the so called infamous millennial generation - the generation that is too young, yet too old to be attracted to our political parties.

I am a huge fan of the work that you have done, from the time you were minister of science and technology until now. Your hard work and the confidence you bring to the people around you by being on the ground and listening to our people is admirable to say the least. I love your work but I feel that there is room for improvement when it comes to the bigger picture in relation to the tourism industry in South Africa. I have spent a lot of time traveling this year to Canada, UK, UAE and many countries in Africa respectively.

My time in the UAE is the reason why I'm writing this letter to you. The UAE progression chart is genius. Oil will dry up eventually and oil prices could double in an instant so the UAE President, VP and his Ministers decided to target tourism as the key source of income for the UAE in the future. Sultan Al Mansouri, Minister of Economy, has said: "The UAE is focused on tourism as one of the main pillars of the post-oil economy, estimates indicate that the tourism sector will contribute 5.4 per cent annually over the next 10 years to reach Dh236.8 billion (R947.2 Billion) by year 2026."

Mr Hanekom, our country is beautiful, we have amazing wildlife and beautiful mountains, wonderful scenery and a sunny climate. We have a country that speaks TOURISM! I know that currently tourism provides 1 job in 12 in SA but we need to look at the bigger picture. I swear tourists come into South Africa thinking this isn't value for money, these people are giving everything here for free. Why are we not charging a 10% tourist levy? Also a 20% uplift the city charge? Tourist come here and everything is too cheap for them.

I would love to travel to the UAE with you so that we could identify possible tourist income sources we can incorporate in South Africa. There are so much we can duplicate and better over here.

I know you plan on spending R499 billion from 2012 to 2020 but we need to look at turning our country into a money making pot where the people in the country benefit the most from this. People love Cape Town and Durban but how about we do what the UAE does, let's build a Sun City in the Northern Cape, build a tourist heaven in Limpopo. The UAE starting with Dubai and Abu Dhabi has commercialised every single area there into a spot that makes money for the government and indirectly for the people of the country.

I would love to engage with you on this further.

Thank You

Kind Regards

Zareef Minty

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