Everything you must know about the South African tourism ‘Masterplan’
On Friday, 13 October 2023, the Tourism Sector Masterplan was officially gazetted, marking a significant stride in South Africa’s efforts to bolster its tourism industry.
Tourism Minister Patricia de Lille expressed optimism regarding the Masterplan, emphasising its potential to foster inclusive participation from all societal sectors, including women, youth, and individuals with disabilities.
“This Plan also gives impetus to the recovery and sustained growth of the sector,” De Lille said.
Tourism holds a pivotal role in South Africa’s economic landscape, noted for its labour-intensive nature and extensive value chain that significantly contributes to employment creation.
The sector’s synergies with other economic domains provide ample business opportunities for SMMEs, thus earning its spot as one of the seven key sectors in South Africa’s Re-Imagining Industrial Strategy endorsed by the Cabinet in 2019.
How the Masterplan is expected to impact the tourism industry
The Masterplan sprang from the conversion of the Tourism Sector Recovery Plan (TSRP), a priority assigned to De Lille by President Cyril Ramaphosa.
The TSRP, initially spanning from 2021/22 to 2023/24, evolved into the Tourism Sector Masterplan, extending its timeline of implementation through the 2025/26 financial year.
This evolution encompassed the integration of all TSRP interventions, adhering to the National Tourism Sector Strategy (NTSS) 2016 – 2026 vision, mission, guiding principles, and values.
Aimed at counteracting the COVID-19 pandemic’s adverse impacts on the tourism economy, the TSRP proposed various measures to rejuvenate supply, reignite demand, and enhance enabling capability for tourism recovery.
The Masterplan adopts and expands upon these measures, outlining seven strategic interventions underpinned by specific actions, aimed at not only recovering the sector to pre-pandemic levels but also positioning it for long-term sustainable growth.
These interventions align with the broader Economic Reconstruction and Recovery Plan (ERRP), particularly emphasising employment creation, infrastructure investment, sustainability, inclusion, and skills development.
The strategic interventions include implementing norms and standards for safe operations, stimulating domestic demand, strengthening supply-side resources, supporting core tourism infrastructure, executing global marketing programmes, fostering regional tourism integration, and creating a conducive policy environment for sector growth and development.
“The successful implementation and resourcing of the Masterplan is dependent on the commitment of all stakeholders to adopt an integrated approach in implementing the identified strategic interventions and actions. This requires sound and effective governance structures and processes that manage and support tourism which the Masterplan has outlined,” De Lille said.