Off the back of the recent elections, presidential inauguration and the appointment of the new cabinet, it goes without saying that May 2019 has proven to be a game-changer for South Africa and the tourism industry.
With this in mind, we would like to congratulate the new Minister of Tourism, Ms. Mmamoloko ‘Nkhensani’ Kubayi-Ngubane, and her deputy, Mr. Amos Fish Mahlalela, on their respective appointments.
I would also like to extend a hearty word of thanks and appreciation to Mr. Derek Hanekom for his great work in bringing government and private sector together to achieve the mutual goal of raising the profile of tourism in South Africa and enhancing the destination’s competitiveness.
Mr. Hanekom has laid a strong foundation on which to build and we look forward to further strengthening the collaboration with Ms. Kubayi-Ngubane and Mr. Mahlalela.
As we embark on a new journey, it is worth reflecting on what the past five years has taught us. Perhaps the best place to start is my one-on-one interview with Mr. Hanekom at WTM Africa earlier this year. SATSA members had an opportunity to attend this informal discussion, where Mr. Hanekom shared his insights into and experiences over the past five years, as well as his expectations about the future of tourism in South Africa.
While Mr. Hanekom conceded that his tenure as Minister of Tourism began with challenges, it was working with and getting to know the South African tourism industry, collaborating to solve problems, that was the greatest catalyst to some of the changes we saw over the past five years.
To view the full interview with Minister Derek Hanekom, click here.
What’s next then? For SATSA, our continued commitment to lobby on behalf of our members for an enabling environment to be created so that South Africa’s competitiveness as a tourism destination improves. We are doing this with great success through a fully functional Tourism Business Council of South Africa, in conjunction with partner associations, so that we drive actions to increase our tourist numbers collectively.
May has been a busy month for SATSA, not least because of several initiatives we are undertaking to achieve the goals I’ve already mentioned, such as the SATSA animal interaction study, efforts to streamline NPTR and preparation for our annual conference. As you know we will be using the conference platform to celebrate SATSA’s 50th birthday and launch our updated logo. You can also expect a fresh new look with a more modular format, interesting insights from thought leaders, an innovative line-up of topics and speakers and, most of all, a whole new approach to networking.
Don’t forget to book your spot for the conference here!
May also brought with it the loss of our dear friend and colleague, Francois Grove, who I was privileged to work with over the past 20 years. As a special part of SATSA and the industry, Francois leaves us with a great legacy. I know you will join me in extending our condolences to his friends, colleagues and family.
Here’s wishing you all a productive and successful June.