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Minister Patricia de Lille and Deputy Minister Maggie Sotyu committed to partnerships geared towards driving tourism growth

Following the swearing in of Minister of Tourism, Patricia de Lille and Deputy Minister, Maggie Sotyu, the Minister and Deputy Minister have affirmed their commitment to leading the Department of Tourism and working with all tourism sector partners to achieve continued growth of the tourism sector.

As the work of the 7th administration commences, Minister de Lille has committed to continuing the partnership between government and the private sector to drive greater growth and transformation in the tourism sector. The tourism sector is thriving and the rebound has been solid as tourism arrivals to South Africa increased over the past year.

Between January and December 2023, South Africa welcomed 8.4million international arrivals of which 6.5million were from the African continent.

The positive trajectory of the tourism sector continues as arrivals to South Africa between January and May 2024 totalled nearly 3,8 million, up by 9.7% compared to the same period in 2023.

Of the nearly 3.8million arrivals between January and May 2024, over 2.8million arrivals were from the African continent.

Arrivals to South Africa from all other markets such as Europe, Central and South America, China, India and many other countries continued to grow year on year according to the latest arrival statistics from StatsSA.

South Africa has also affirmed its global status as a leading tourist destination having claimed several tourism accolades and awards in 2023.

“I am deeply honoured to continue serving the people of our beautiful South Africa. The work continues in earnest and the Deputy Minister and I are ready and charged to work with the entire tourism sector to take the tourism’s performance to the next level. Government cannot do it alone so we will continue collaborating and working in partnership with the private sector to grow tourism arrival numbers and the sector’s contribution to economic growth and job creation,” Minister of Tourism, Patricia de Lille said.

Deputy Minister, Maggie Sotyu said: “I am thrilled to continue serving my country and the people of South Africa in the exciting and growing tourism sector. I look forward to working with Minister de Lille and all tourism partners to grow tourism to its full potential”.

The key priorities include:

  • Growing tourism arrival numbers by effectively marketing South Africa as a prime travel destination, diversifying our tourism offering and supporting efforts by the private sector to achieve growth in tourism 
  • Supporting the growth of tourism businesses through the R1.2billion Tourism Equity Fund and the Tourism Transformation Fund
  • Supporting the efficiency and climate resilience of the tourism businesses through the Green Tourism Incentive Programme
  • Working with all members of the National Tourism Safety Forum to enhance tourism safety measures
  • Working with the Department of Home Affairs and key source markets to improve the visa regime
  • Working with the Department of Transport and the tourism sector to improve efficiencies with the Tour Operator Licences
  • Working with tourism partners across the country to develop and place greater focus on township and village tourism
  • Working with the international community to enhance South Africa’s status as a leading destination and learning from international best practice solutions

Minister de Lille concluded: “I want to thank the entire tourism sector for all their hard work and achievements in growing our tourism performance and I want to thank them in advance for the work we will continue doing as partners. Our focus must be on delivery and taking our work to the next level. Thank you for all the well wishes and I look forward to continue working with you all in the 7th administration.”


Media Enquiries:
Media Liaison Officer to Minister Patricia de Lille: Zara Nicholson
Mobile: +27 79 416 5996