Minister announces initiatives to create work opportunities in tourism sector

Published on : Saturday, July 19, 2014

images-14South Africa’s new Tourism Minister, Derek Hanekom, gave his first Tourism Budget Vote speech in the National Assembly on 16 July 2014, highlighting growth in the sector and announcing new opportunities for employment.


The minister described the tourism industry as the new gold, pointing out that the tourism sector directly employed 617 000 people, or 4.6% of the total workforce, in 2012.

‘This is far more than the number of people employed in the mining sector. If we add indirect employment in the tourism sector, it exceeds 1.4-million people, roughly 10% of the total workforce, representing an impressive annual growth rate of 4.7% over the past 20 years,’ he told Parliament.

Hanekom also highlight key tourism growth areas over the past 20 years.


During that time the number of accommodation establishments has almost tripled from 7 721 to almost 20 000; conference venues have almost doubled from 1 250 to 2 598; the fleet of cars and coaches has more than doubled; and the number of airlines flying to South Africa has grown from 21 to 76.

In 2012, tourism’s direct contribution to GDP was R93-billion, growing annually on average by 7.3% over the past 20 years. And international tourist arrivals to South Africa grew to almost 10-million in 2013.

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