He addressed a national tourism seminar organised by the Department of Tourism at the Inkosi King Albert Luthuli, ICC in Durban. The seminar aimed at deliberating ways in which to stimulate and grow domestic tourism in South Africa.
Held under the theme "Growing and Stimulating Tourism in South Africa," the department said the seminar also convened to provide an opportunity for industry stakeholders to take part in a collective analysis of South Africa's strengths, weaknesses and opportunities with regard to the development of a domestic tourism sector.
"The need to stimulate and grow domestic tourism is captured in the National Tourism Sector Strategy (NTSS) which was launched in March this year," the department said.
Officials said the ambitious plan which has been approved by Cabinet - will see South Africa becoming a top 20 destination in the world by 2020. The department and its partners aim to increase the number of domestic trips from 30.9 million to 54 million by 2020.
Currently, the dominant purpose for travel among black South Africans is visiting friends and relatives, where spending may be lower and often not well accounted for or recorded compared to domestic holiday travel.
The NTSS advocated for the development of the Domestic Tourism Strategy, whose objective is to promote local travel, motivate for the provision of affordable tourism products and packages that encourage low to medium income earners to take more holidays.
"This means that, this strategy will seek to broaden the mass-based domestic travel campaign that targets all, regardless of gender, age or race. The seminar marked the start of the process towards the development of a comprehensive Domestic Tourism Strategy," the department said.