Tourism linked to job creation

Qwaqwa – Tourism Minister Marthinus van Schalkwyk has encouraged the country’s youth to take advantage of the job creation potential presented by tourism and cultural products.

Speaking at World Tourism Day celebrations held at the Basotho Cultural Village just outside Qwaqwa in the Free State, Van Schalkwyk said government was prepared to support the youth by equipping them with business skills geared towards the tourism industry.

Free State MEC for Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs Mxolisi Dukwana told BuaNews that the provincial government was doing everything in its power to promote culture and tourism.

Echoing the same sentiments as the minister, he said young people should get involved in tourism. He said that was good reason for the youth to promote and preserve their cultures, as they were an important attraction factor for visitors to South Africa.

“Our culture is what defines us as a nation and as a country.”

World Tourism Day is celebrated annually on 27 September. Its purpose is to foster awareness among the international community of the importance of tourism and its social, cultural, political and economic value.

This year’s theme, Tourism: Linking Cultures, is a celebration of tourism’s role in linking together the cultures of the world through travel.

The event seeks to address global challenges outlined in the UN Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and to highlight the contribution the tourism sector can make in reaching these goals.

World Tourism Day 2011 will also draw attention to the importance of preserving and promoting the cultures of the world in all their forms.

Free State resident Madibakeso Tshabalala, who came to the event clad in Basotho traditional attire, told BuaNews she was proud of her culture and wanted young people to follow in her footsteps. “Our kids must know about our culture and be proud of it.”

Van Schalkwyk said in 2010, 29.7 million domestic trips were taken, compared with the 30.3 million taken in 2009.

He said the first quarter of 2011 showed a positive growth of 7.5% in domestic trips.

South Africa prides itself on its heritage sites, which attract thousands of foreign tourists. – BuaNews

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.