Tourism Business Council of South Africa CEO Tshifhiwa Tshivhengwa says South Africa, on paper, should be one of the top tourist attractions in the world, however, there are factors deterring potential visitors.
Department of Tourism has said that the country is perceived negatively abroad because of crimes involving tourists thus causing a decline in tourism rates.
Bongani Bingwa chats to the Tshivhengwa who responds to this claim about the safety of tourists in the country.
One of the biggest factors that limit people coming into the country, is the issue of safety and security. Any tourist that wants to travel to any country in the world, they consider the issues of safety and security and South Africa doesn't do well when it comes to that. One of the biggest things that our key markets talk about, is crimes.— Tshifhiwa Tshivhengwa, CEO - Tourism Business Council of South Africa
He says violence against tourists is a very serious crime and should be seen as such by government.
Tourism contributed 2.8% to the GDP in 2017, this is bigger than agriculture, it employs one in every four people. We believe that when you commit a crime against any tourist, it should be equivalent to economic crime. You are preventing people to not even consider coming to the country. This is something we need to work on and prioritise the same way we prioritise other crimes.— Tshifhiwa Tshivhengwa, CEO - Tourism Business Council of South Africa
Listen below to the full interview: