Friday, February 11, 2011

Tourism welcomes Zuma's speech

The Tourism Business Council of South Africa (TBCSA) has commended President Jacob Zuma for the positive tone expressed towards the Travel and Tourism sector in his State of the Nation address. 

"This must be the first time that tourism has received such an extensive mention in the President's speech," said TBCSA CEO Mmat'at'i Marobe.   "We hope this positive tone is not restricted to the President's office, but also reflected across Cabinet.".
  The tourism industry, she said, could create more jobs if various departments supported commitments made by Zuma.
  The sector is currently faced with difficulties, including management of messages about South Africa for domestic and international distribution.  Other challenges include simplifying the visa and immigration processes.

Southern Africa Tourism Services Association CEO Michael Tatalias also commended Zuma for committing to deal with the challenges of air access.   "We need a clear and decisive long term strategy to convert the 2006 Cabinet decision on liberalisation of the skies into bold policy to seize the opportunities for growth," said Tatalias.   Tourism, he said, could play a key role in assisting government in creating more jobs.

The tourism private sector commended Zuma for the increased budget for the Industrial Development Corporation, the R9-billion job fund and the plans for small business.

It also commended Zuma for committing government to pay its service providers within 30 days.