Tourism Minister Lindiwe Sisulu said she was optimistic that despite the devastating impact of the pandemic, tourism on the African continent could bounce back by 2030.
Lefty Shivambu / Gallo Images
- The tourism sector bled nearly a third of its jobs in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, Tourism Minister Lindiwe Sisulu said on Monday.
- Following the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic, statistics show a decrease of R1.2-trillion and a loss of 7.2-million jobs in the tourism industry in Africa.
- South Africa is hosting the African Travel and Tourism Summit in Johannesburg this week.
Data from the World Travel and Tourism Council shows the tourism sector bled nearly a third of its jobs in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, Tourism Minister Lindiwe Sisulu said on Monday.
The tourism industry in Africa, which generated more than R3 trillion and accounted for just under 7% of the continent’s GDP before the pandemic, also previously supported 24.7 million jobs, she said.
But after the outbreak of Covid-19, WTTC statistics show a decrease of R1.2 trillion and a loss of 7.2 million jobs, said the minister.
Sisulu said it was a significant step that up to 500 people can now attend outdoor events and 250 people can attend indoor events in SA.
But, she said, post-pandemic recovery would require careful attention to policy priorities to be resilient, inclusive and sustainable.
Priorities should include support for the health sector, effectively use monetary and fiscal support, expand social safety nets and make growth more equitable to address increasing poverty, she said.
Efforts should also be made to make the workforce ready for the future of work, and foster regional and multinational cooperation.
Sisulu said she was optimistic that despite the devastating impact of the pandemic, tourism on the African continent could bounce back by 2030.
“The world tourism organisation estimates that tourism in Africa could more than double to 134 million tourists in 2030 as opposed to 50 million we had in 2010. We are gearing ourselves for that. In our case in South Africa we regard ourselves as a desirable tourism destination, which accounts for a substantial amount of the country’s revenue,” she said.
But she said the tourism industry would have to “rethink and recalibrate” to meet the challenge.
She added: “Before the Covid-19 pandemic the dream and narrative around Africa’s tourism sector was inspiringly vivid. It was a dream of a continent rising – rising and freeing itself from the shackles of stigmatisation of us as unsafe, uncouth and unwelcoming.”