"Our culture is what defines us as a nation and as a country," said Tourism Minister Marthinus van Schalkwyk. He encouraged the country's youth to take advantage of the job creation potential presented by tourism and cultural products.
World Tourism Day
The Minister was speaking at World Tourism Day celebrations held at the Basotho Cultural Village just outside Qwaqwa in the Free State recently. He 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 said that South Africa prided itself on its heritage sites, which attract thousands of foreign tourists.
He added that the provincial government was doing everything in its power to promote culture and tourism.
Cultural tourism is an important attraction for visitors to South Africa. Getting involved in tourism is an excellent way for the youth to promote and preserve their cultures, he added.
Tourism has been identified as one of the six main economic sectors that should drive economic growth and job creation. Government aims to increase the number of foreign tourist arrivals from 7 million in 2009 to 15 million by 2020 and tourism’s total contribution to the economy from R89 billion in 2009 to R499 billion by 2020.