Tourism Ministers commit to creating jobs

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Tourism Minister Derek Hanekom and his G20 counterparts have committed their countries to create more jobs and promote entrepreneurship in tourism, especially for women and the youth. 

The G20 forum aims to strengthen cooperation between advanced and emerging countries. 

The Tourism Ministers from the G20 countries form the T20 group, which is holding its annual meeting in Buenos Aires this week. 

Minister Hanekom was invited by José Gustavo Santos, the Minister of Tourism in Argentina, the host country for this year's meeting. 

"The global focus on creating jobs in tourism fits in perfectly with South Africa's strategy to tackle unemployment, poverty and inequality through inclusive tourism growth. 

"The digital revolution, and the sharing economy that it supports, is changing the nature of jobs in tourism. 

“We need to work together through platforms like the T20 to formulate policy and devise innovative strategies that create decent, meaningful work for the people who need it most," Minister Hanekom said. 

The T20 statement notes that tourism accounts for 10% of the world's Gross Domestic Product. 

Tourism creates jobs within the sector and in many other linked sectors, and supports a higher share of employment for women and the youth, entrepreneurship and business opportunities in rural areas, compared to many other sectors of the economy. It also contributes to the preservation of natural resources and cultural heritage. 

The statement committed all member countries to establishing tourism innovation centres, incentives and programmes to stimulate innovation and entrepreneurship, and to linking start-ups, main companies, investors and governments. 

The T20 countries agreed to create a global research network to track the changing demand for skills due to the technological revolution, and to promote policies and initiatives that promote innovation in tourism. 

The T20 meeting was attended by representatives of the European Commission, the International Labour Organisation, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development, the United Nations World Tourism Organisation and the World Travel and Tourism Council.

Minister Hanekom will also attend the World Travel and Tourism Council's meeting in Buenos Aires today. 

The WTTC, which includes business leaders in the travel and tourism sector and chief executives of the world's leading tourism companies, raises awareness of the economic significance of tourism, which now supports about 292 million jobs throughout the world. 

Minister Hanekom will participate in a panel discussion on tourism as an engine for employment. Tourism in South Africa now supports about 686 000 direct jobs (4.4% of total employment) and 1.5 million direct and indirect jobs. 

"These discussions about global best practice are essential in devising appropriate policy to support inclusive growth in tourism and the jobs that will come with it. 

"We are confident that we can achieve the National Tourism Sector Strategy's target of supporting one million direct jobs in tourism by 2026. 

“We will learn from the experience of other G20 economies and continue working together with our partners in industry, in training institutions and in communities, to grow tourism inclusively," said Minister Hanekom. – SAnews.gov.za

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