Tourism industry goaded to build on successes for future growth – Hanekom

Despite the global financial crisis and all other challenge, the tourism industry has continued to grow. 

This is according to Tourism Minister, Derek Hanekom, who says South Africa like any other leisure destination has its own challenges.

 Speaking at the 2014 Lilizela Awards held in Johannesburg last night, Hanekom called on the tourism industry not allow temporary disruptions to derail its plans.  “Through innovation and leadership, we will collectively spur this industry on to even greater growth. We have demonstrated that we have an extremely resilient and counter-cyclical industry,” he said.

 Hanekom said the industry has grown through the worst times of the 2008 global financial crisis, the Icelandic volcano that brought global air travel to a standstill and the spread of the H1N1 virus.

 “Let us just keep our eye on the ball, ride out the storm and sharpen our communication to get this message out to each and every travel consumer.  Let’s raise our sights to the future, build on the successes we have already achieved, and consolidate our efforts to realize our goals and aspirations,” he said.   

The Lilizela Tourism Awards is an initiative of the National Department of Tourism and it is managed and delivered by the Tourism Grading Council of South Africa (TGCSA). The awards, launched last year, identify and reward tourism businesses that work passionately and with pride to help enhance South Africa’s global destination competitiveness.

 Also according to, Hanekom last year nearly 10 million international tourists visited our shores. Tourism directly and indirectly contributes 9% to our GDP and supports one in every 11 jobs in our economy he said.  And in the first six months of last year, gold exports brought R32 billion into the economy and that in the same period, tourism contributed R35 billion.

 “Many of you have demonstrated that it makes business sense to conduct your operations responsibly, in a way that supports social, ethical, cultural and environmental principles,” the Minister said.  He congratulated all the nominees for the role they have played in the industry.

 Award categories

 The 2014 Lilizela Awards recognises industry players within four focus areas reflecting eight categories, with the ninth category being the Minister’s Award.

 The Minister’s Award recognises outstanding people and organisations that have performed in a manner that pushes the industry closer to tourism’s 2020 vision to grow arrivals to 15 million and create 225 000 new jobs by 2020, with a total direct and indirect GDP contribution target from R189.4 billion (2009) to R499 billion (2020).

 Mavuso Msimang scooped the Minister’s Award. Msimang is the current Chair of Tourism Business Council.

 “Tourism is one of many sectors that have benefitted immensely from Mr Msimang’s vast experience and wisdom, his dedication to transformation and his unshakeable passion to create a South Africa that works for all of us,” the Minister said when presenting the award to Msimang.

 “Through his leadership, SA Tourism, South African National Parks, the State Information Technology Agency and the Department of Home Affairs became the organisations that they are today,” he said.

 An overjoyed Msimang said: “It’s quite a privilege to be associated with the industry. It’s nice to be in the industry.”

 In the Lilizela Emerging Entrepreneurship category, Limpopo Guesthouse was the overall winner.

 In the B-BBEE Sustainable Development category, Ubuhle be Naga in Mpumalanga and City Lodge in Gauteng were the winners. 

 The national finalists were selected from more than 1 200 entries.

 Source: SAnews.gov.za

(edited)

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