Proposals under discussion to increase value of Western Cape tourism sector to R28 billion
The Western Cape Government, in partnership with the private sector, this week workshopped proposals to increase the value of the Western Cape’s tourism sector by 65% up to R28 billion.
The proposals were discussed during a two day design lab hosted by Project Khulisa, a special initiative involving government and the private sector to grow the economy and create jobs.
Alan Winde, MEC of Economic Opportunities, said international and local experts participated in the discussions.
“The Western Cape already has an amazing offering in place, our focus will be on optimising that offering. We can achieve this through responding better to the changes in the global tourism landscape so our destination remains cutting-edge and fresh.”
MEC Winde said the digital revolution was raised as having changed the way people planned their trips.
“New media is disrupting the way the tourism sector operates. Technology is impacting on every aspect of the travel experience, starting from the very beginning when potential visitors are deciding which destination to visit. Travellers rate their experiences online and tourists who have enjoyed their trips become brand ambassadors for the destination. By embracing these trends, we can use the digital age to our advantage.”
Focusing on securing additional high-end tourists from growing source markets was also proposed.
“Through increasing demand in our strongest markets, we will be able to lobby for more direct flights. Around 80% of the flight’s revenue comes from the front of the plane, so high-end travellers should be a definite focus area.”
MEC Winde said a comprehensive three year events calendar, with events determined for each of the 156 weeks, was also proposed.
MEC Winde said a follow up design lab was planned at which the final set of proposals would be ratified.
Following this, an action plan would be developed for the sector and submitted to Cabinet for approval by August.
“Project Khulisa has shown that under a high-growth scenario we can increase the economic contribution of the tourism sector up to R28 billion from R17 billion. Under this same scenario, it could add up to 100 000 formal jobs. Currently, 204 000 residents are formally employed in the tourisms sector. To achieve these goals, the private and public sector have to collaborate and jointly invest in a set of focussed, specific projects,” said MEC Winde.
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SOURCE: SOUTH AFRICAN OFFICIAL NEWS