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14 November 2022 Media Release: Tourism sector recovery in the spotlight

Media Release: Tourism sector recovery in the spotlight

For immediate release
14 November 2022

The Economic Development and Tourism Unit of Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM), recently facilitated Tourism Information Sharing Sessions held in Oudtshoorn and Oubaai respectively. Sessions were organised by the Department of Tourism in collaboration with GRDM; an initiative that is in line with the broader objectives of the Tourism Sector Recovery Plan.

The main objectives of the programme are to:

  • implement goals and objectives of the National Tourism Sector Strategy (NTSS)
  • assist in the recovery of the Tourism Sector;
  • promote access to information;
  • initiate and facilitate platforms where the department can communicate its priorities, planned projects and programmes; and
  • build capacity of businesses within the tourism sector through sharing information on services offered, and opportunities for SMME’s especially the rural enterprise.

The following information, was furthermore shared with stakeholders: Funding and support to the tourism sector (capital and non-capital) through the Tourism Incentive Programme (TIP) – Department of Tourism. The TIP was established by the Department of Tourism during the 2015/16 financial year with the purpose of stimulating growth and development in the tourism sector. It aims to provide financial assistance to privately owned tourism enterprises.

Garden Route District Municipality’s Tourism Team facilitated and represented the Garden Route & Klein Karoo regional Tourism brand at both sessions.

Five programmes are currently funded under the broader TIP, namely:

1.  The Green Tourism Incentive programme (GTIP)

The Green Tourism Incentive Programme (GTIP) is a resource efficiency incentive programme of the Department of Tourism. The GTIP objectives are to encourage and support private sector tourism enterprises to adopt responsible tourism practices by moving towards the sustainable management of water and energy resources, whilst adhering to responsible tourism practices. Through grant funding, the GTIP assists private sector tourism enterprises in reducing the cost of investing in more energy and water efficient operations, while increasing their competitiveness, profitability, employment and operational sustainability in the long term. The GTIP was initially launched in 2017 and reviewed in 2021 resulting in additional benefits to the tourism sector for the installation of solutions for the sustainable management and usage of electricity and water.

2.  Tourism Transformation Fund (TTF)

The Tourism Transformation Fund (TTF) is a dedicated capital investment funding mechanism established by the Department of Tourism in collaboration with the National Empowerment Fund (NEF) and focuses specifically on financial support for black entrepreneurs investing in projects in the tourism sector. The TTF aims to drive transformation in the tourism sector in a more direct and impactful manner that will not only assist black-owned tourism enterprises to expand and grow, but also to catalyse the rise of a new generation of black-owned tourism enterprises to propel the tourism sector to greater heights.

3.  Tourism Equity Fund (TEF) – applications are currently placed on hold.

 4.  Market Access Support programme (MASP)

The Market Access Support Programme (MASP) aims to assist small inbound tourism enterprises to access and engage with tourism buyers in new and existing markets by reducing the cost burden of qualifying enterprises to attend and participate in predetermined international and domestic tourism trade platforms. The programme aims to not only facilitate growth in foreign tourist arrivals and increased foreign exchange earnings for South Africa, but also to stimulate enterprise growth and expansion that will ultimately lead to further job creation and transformation in the sector.

5.  Tourism Grading Support programme (TGSP)

The Tourism Grading Support Programme was introduced to encourage wider participation in the tourism grading system and to reduce the cost burden of grading on small tourism enterprises. The programme also aims to stimulate an increase in conformity to quality standards in tourism which in turn will enhance the overall visitor experience and improve South Africa’s competitiveness as a tourism destination.

The following information/presentations were furthermore shared with the delegates at the event:

GRDM’s Tourism officials Denver Johnson and Kayakazi Klaas, with the Manager for Economic Development and Tourism, Ms Melanie Wilson, represented the Garden Route and Klein Karoo regional tourism brand at the sessions.