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The Department of Tourism in collaboration with the Airports Company of South Africa (ACSA) today launched its Tourism Monitors Programme that will see safety measures, and visitor information services boosted at the OR Tambo and Cape Town International Airports.
More than 120 youth who participated in the Department's programme will serve as Tourism Monitors at the two ACSA airports for the next for three years to patrol, raise tourism awareness, report crime to the South African Police Services (SAPS), and support tourists in distress.
Tourism safety is identified by a number of studies as a challenge which threatens tourism growth, foreign direct investment, visitor spend and employment within the sector. To support increased and inclusive growth of the sector, tourism safety has been prioritised by government.
“Ensuring the safety of tourists is a priority for the tourism sector. The Tourism Monitors Programme is a key intervention adopted to enhance safety awareness and reduce tourist vulnerabilities at tourism attractions and sites across the country."
“We implement this programme in partnership with SAPS, preparing the youth through a rigorous 12-month training programme ensuring their proficiency as tourist guides and provide critical occupational health and safety skills," said Lizzy Mathopha - Chief Director of Visitor services at the Department of Tourism.
Tourism's potential to drive economic grow and create employment will rebound as the sector works towards recovery. Youth skills programmes, and collaborative initiatives with industry players will pave the way for an empowered and experienced workforce as the sector fully reopens as the COVID-19 pandemic diminishes.
Speaking at the launch, General Manager for the OR Tambo International Airport Mr. Jabulani Khambule said he was happy to see the aspirations of struggle stalwart Oliver Tambo fulfilled through the Tourism Monitors Programme.
“Oliver Tambo, of whom this airport is named, fought to see the gains of our democracy benefiting the youth in our country. Today, he would have been so proud to celebrate a collaboration between OR Tambo International Airport and the Department of Tourism that realises an empowered generation, more especially one that safeguards our national key points," concluded Khambule
For further information on the Tourism Monitors Programme visit www.tourism.gov.za
Department of Tourism
Ms. Seapei Lebele
Acting Chief Director: Communications
Tel: 012 444 6440
ACSA: O.R. Tambo International Airport
Ms. Samukelo Khambule
Seconded Senior Manager: Corporate Affairs
Tel: (011) 921 6242