Minister Tours Cape’s Popular Tourism Sights Ahead of World Tourism Day
In celebration of World Tourism Day tomorrow (27 September 2013), Alan Winde, Minister of Finance, Economic Development and Tourism, visited several of the province’s well-known tourist spots.
Among others, Minister Winde had a family braai at Oudekraal and cycled the famous Chapman’s Peak route, stopping in at various pavement coffee shops throughout the day.
“The experiences I had ahead of World Tourism Day have afforded me greater insight into why more and more tourists are choosing to visit Cape Town above other places in the world. This destination offers something for everyone, including beautiful scenery and quality natural experiences. It’s simply fantastic,” said Minister Winde.
World Tourism Day was instituted by the United Nations World Tourism Organisation in 1980 and has been celebrated around the world ever since.
Tourism plays a critical role in the South African economy. It currently supports one in 12 jobs in the country and contributes R189 billion to the national GDP.
In 2012, tourism in the Western Cape sustained 150 000 jobs and contributed R18 billion to the region’s economy, making it one of the province’s biggest economic drivers.
Minister Winde said the Western Cape Government plans to increase the contribution of tourism to the province’s GDP to 15% by 2015. This will be done through various initiatives promoting leisure and business travel to the region.
These include spreading the benefit of tourism to rural areas through the development of tourism-based infrastructure products. There will be a focus on introducing more compelling winter tourism experiences to ensure the industry is sustainable year-round.
Following the retraction of SAA flights from Cape Town direct to Europe, the Western Cape Government is also engaging with other operators to secure additional direct routes. These discussions are proceeding well.
“Tourism is the province’s most valuable asset and it’s one that can give our people jobs. That is why I am determined to see tourism to the Western Cape grow in leaps and bounds. As we celebrate World Tourism Day, I would like to encourage Western Cape residents to follow in my footsteps by becoming tourists in their own areas”, said Minister Winde.