Minister De Lille ready to take over Tourism sector

Minister De Lille ready to take over Tourism sector

The key factor-focus for the new Minister of Tourism Patricia De Lille is safety for any tourist coming into South Africa, be it in parks, hotels and other facilities in the country.

Minister De Lille was recently elected by President Cyril Ramaphosa early this week, moving away from the portfolio of Public Works and Infrastructure. Next week the minister will lay down a plan that will revolve around making sure that there is tourism safety for both local and international tourists in the country.

The Tourism minister said that the shortage of transportation for tourists during their visits was one of the factors threatening the sustainability of the sector. As part of her new strategies and action-plan, she will be engaging with the department of transport to find out what or where the fuss is in ensuring the licensing of tour guides and operators.

 “I will engage with the Minister of Transport to check what the glitch is with regards to creating employment for guides and operators in the business of transporting tourists; that is the approach that I have adopted, for the sake of creating employment and safety of our visitors.” Minister De Lille said.

“In March 2021 cabinet approved seven strategies for economic recovery and from those promises made to achieve a department’s five-year plan. We also need to check if the strategies intended are working or not. So far what is there to see is that as a country we have not reached our full potential where economic reconstruction and recovery” she said.

Minister De Lille said that she would be meeting the South African Tourism board to discuss in detail a way forward regarding the deal with United Kingdom (UK)’s Tottenham Football Club (FC) that was since halted a few weeks ago.

“I have requested the CEO of SA Tourism to meet me and give me a lowdown on where all matters stand regarding the sponsorship; I will have detail and acumen on forging ahead in this regard.”

When Deputy Minister Fish Mahlalela was in Berlin on Monday, he alluded that the police are looking into the feasibility of establishing units that will deal directly with ensuring he safety of tourists.

“We need to look at the value chain of how long tourists stay in our country and how they are received. De Lille said.