“Innovation is critical to South Africa’s tourism growth and competitiveness domestically and internationally. Growing initiatives such as the Tourism Indaba, lifestyle and Niche tourism, Culture and Heritage product offerings will boost our international arrival statistics whilst benefiting South African communities through job creation”, said Minister of Tourism, Marthinus van Schalkwyk. Speaking at a breakfast event held in the North West province, Minister van Schalkwyk encouraged business owners and stakeholders from the tourism sector to partner with communities to drive domestic tourism and foster a culture of travel.
The growth and outlook for domestic travel and tourism is optimistic. Currently, domestic tourism contributes R 1.1 billion towards South Africa’s GDP. Total tourist spend went up from R9, 2 billion in 2011 to an estimated R10, 2 billion in 2012 due to an increase in average spending per trip from R870 compared to R690 in 2011. “Service excellence and the affordability of travel and accommodation packages will go a long way to urging South Africans to travel and explore the country whilst fostering a culture of travel. I encourage all stakeholders within the tourism sector to pull together in order to drive domestic tourism” said van Schalkwyk.