Coast KZN

21 Sep 2017

Cabinet approves marine and coastal plan for SA Tourism

Gabi Zietsman (Traveller 24)

The cabinet has approved the Marine and Coastal Tourism Implementation Plan, spearheaded by the Department of Tourism, which aims to grow the industry and focus on job creation.

In a statement, SA Tourism announced their plans to ensure massive growth in the marine and coastal sector, which will see the creation of 116 000 new jobs and will contribute R21,4bn to the national GDP by 2026, within a sustainable development methodology.

The plan will focus on six nodes in the first five years, which will prioritise destinations like Durban, Port St Johns to Coffee Bay, East London, Port Elizabeth, Cape Town, West Coast and the uMkhanyakude District, where a multi-million rand facelift has already been approved for the Mkhuze Airport.

The initiatives to be implemented in these nodes will include marketing, permitting, research, beach precinct development and skills development among others. Some have already started, including the Blue Flag Beaches Programme, whale watching, shark cage diving and off-road 4×4 beach driving.

Minister of Tourism Tokozile Xasa welcomed the Cabinet’s decision to implement the plan, which was developed in partnership with various tourism stakeholders.

“I would like to convey my gratitude to the relevant public and private stakeholders who took part in the development of the detailed plans for the Coastal and Marine Tourism Implementation Plan. I can say without a doubt that it is only through these kind of partnerships that we can successfully implement this plan; together ‘We Do Tourism’,” she said.