Deputy Minister of Tourism Fish Mahlalela recently conducted a two day visit to the Limpopo and Mpumalanga Provinces with a stakeholder engagement on the significance of private sector partnerships in advancing the growth and development of tourism beyond the COVID-19 pandemic.
Addressing tourism industry leaders and business enthusiasts, Deputy Minister Mahlalela said the current economic climate was amicable for private sector investment as it could potentially elevate the trajectory of tourism recovery.
“As an economic driver, tourism has the potential to create multiple opportunities for all. Its ability to generate demand and production across various sectors of the economy asserts its significance in our country’s Economic Reconstruction and Recovery Plan (ERRP).”
“As government, we realise that seamless collaboration between all organs of the state is vital for the recovery of the tourism sector. But It is through private sector investment that we will be able to create an enabling environment that will nurture the effective and sustainable development, management and promotion of tourism,” added Deputy Minister Mahlalela.
Over the past two years, the Department has partnered with SANParks to financially support the enhancement of tourism facilities at various national parks across the country. An average of R160 million was invested into high-impact projects such as the New Airport Terminal at the Eastgate Airport (Hoedspruit Military Base); the SleepOver Motel Orpen Gate, Mnisi Resort (MontDor Orpen Lodge); the Kruger Shalati – The Train on the Bridge (Skukuza), and the SleepOver motel at Kruger Gate (Skukuza).
The SANParks national parks contribute immensely to tourism arrivals and spend. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, an average of 7 million tourists would visit the Kruger National Park contributing to overnight accommodation statistics. Since 2002 SANParks has embarked on multiple Public Private Partnerships (PPPs) that have yielded a revenue of over 1.4 billion. SANParks has identified 100 PPP that will be announced at their upcoming Investment Summit in March.
“As tourism steadily recovers, consumer demand for diverse and niche tourism offerings will also increase and we need to be ready.”
“We will continue to support the sector through our Investment Promotion, Facilitation and Aftercare efforts to drive investment, grow tourism and improve visitor experience.”
“We are encouraged by the work being done by SANParks through its PPPs initiative, and we look forward to renewed investor interest that leverages on the tourism’s cross-cutting nature to explore new ways to revive and sustain the sector,” concluded Mahlalela.