The KwaZulu-Natal Provincial Government is working hard to ensure its tourism industry grows to the benefit of entrepreneurs from previously excluded communities.
“We are working hard to ensure that this industry is not just growing but is also inclusive and transformed to accommodate entrepreneurs from the historically excluded communities as we intend attracting more than 3.4 million international tourists by 2030 to complete the already booming domestic market,” MEC for Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs Sihle Zikalala said.
Addressing the launch of the Qabuleka Guesthouse on Saturday in Nongoma, the MEC said tourism is one of the province’s strategic sectors and contributes in excess of 8% to the provincial Gross Domestic Product.
“In terms of monetary value, this is estimated at R24 billion a year and our long term objective is to scale up this figure to between R65 billion and R98 billion over the next years which would generate around 183 000 employment opportunities,” he said.
The MEC said the Qabuleka Guesthouse will contribute to the growing demand for business people and tourist accommodation in the Nongoma area which seems to be experiencing steady growth.
“Local job creation is the key to boosting local economy. With the injection of economic activities, including tourism, we are also optimistic that the locals, especially young people would be inspired towards pursuing careers and business options in the tourism industry by capitalising on Zululand’s infinite beauty, cultural and historical splendour,” Zikalala said.
He encouraged the province’s tourism industry to provide the best service to its visitors.
“It is incumbent upon all of us that we provide our visitors with top drawer service … We have to improve the levels of professionalism and cleanliness as part of compliance in terms of registration and adherence to protocols governing hospitality and leisure establishments in the country. This should also feature being part of the peer organisations to learn new traits in the sectors to be able to remain relevant in the fast changing business environment,” he said.