Inclusive growth of coastal tourism, on the occasion of World Tourism Day
Cape Town – As South Africa’s tourism sector suffered heavy losses during the pandemic, what better way to rekindle the spirit and celebrate Tourism Day today with the endless opportunities before us? given the constant growth of the industry.
With tourism seen as an opportunity to reduce the unemployment rate in the country, WESSA Tourism’s Blue Flag Project Director Morgan Griffiths said tourism is part of the source of sustainable job growth.
âTourism has been an economic engine and a key employer in South Africa. The pandemic has certainly set this sector back, but as South Africa recovers and begins to attract vaccinated tourists from around the world, it has the potential to be a source of sustainable job growth. Especially that of SMEs and support for jobs and rural businesses. The celebration of World Tourism Day draws our attention to this aspect, as well as to the benefits of sharing our cultures, history and natural heritage with the world.
WESSA organizes numerous environmental and sustainability training courses across South Africa. One of the key programs they implement is the international Blue Flag program for beaches, marinas and boat operators.
WESSA is the national operator of the international Blue Flag program, a program of the Foundation for Environmental Education. Municipalities and private companies seek Blue Flag accreditation as a competitive brand and marketing advantage.
For WESSA, this is an opportunity to promote responsible tourism and sustainable management of marine and coastal environments, in particular through the protection of the quality of marine waters, safety, security and environmental education.
In a statement, Prime Minister Alan Winde mentioned that while official confirmation from the South African Covid-19 Modeling Consortium has yet to be obtained, it is clear that the third wave in the Western Cape has come to an end.
“As we mark World Tourism Day, I call for the Western Cape to move immediately to Alert Level 1 with the end of the national state of disaster as soon as possible.”
âIt’s not fair for our small businesses, especially in the hospitality and tourism industry, to have restrictions in place for an extra day than is necessary to protect the healthcare system. We need to find the right balance to save both lives and jobs, and we need to be nimble to ensure changes are made as soon as possible.
âI also encourage our own residents to explore the different regions of our province to see for themselves why the rest of the world loves coming here every year, and in doing so, you will also be helping to create jobs at a time when our economy needs it. the most, âWinde said.
As many changes are still needed to get locals to preserve the country, Griffiths is encouraging people to get vaccinated, as vaccinations will prevent further lockdowns.
âLocal, national and international tourists seek safe destinations and activities (personal safety and health), in healthy or pristine environments and want to know that their presence does not harm local people and the environment.
âReputation is everything. Every action that prevents environmental degradation improves personal security and contributes to the growth of sustainable and inclusive tourism is essential. Customers and tourism operators can promote sustainable growth by participating in programs such as Blue Flag and Fair Trade. Ultimately, the participation of every South African in the vaccination campaign is essential so that we can end the need for additional lockdowns and be removed from the so-called red lists of countries tourists should avoid, âsaid Griffiths.