Tourists’ safety warrants ministerial intervention – DA

The Democratic Alliance (DA) has called for an inter-ministerial committee to tackle ‘tourism safety concerns’ in light of reports of foreign visitors cancelling trips because of recent attacks on tourists.

Cancellations ‘do not bode well for the country’s already fragile economy as tourism is an essential contributor to South Africa’s economy, especially in the Western Cape’, the party warned.

DA Shadow Minister of Tourism Manny de Freitas said in a statement that while the party agreed that attacks on tourists were ‘isolated’, tourism minister Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane’s assurance that South Africa ‘is a safe holiday destination leaves (potential visitors) with little comfort as they need assurance that the country can address the matter effectively’.

Anxieties about tourists’ safety were brought to the fore by the recent death of Ukrainian businessman Ivan Ivanov who was stabbed while hiking above Chapman’s Peak Drive in Cape Town.

De Freitas said the DA commended the police for arresting suspects in the case, but said ‘this does little to change the perception by potential tourists that South Africa is unsafe’.

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The DA proposed an inter-ministerial committee including the ministers of police; home affairs; forestry, fisheries and environmental affairs; sports, recreation, arts and culure; and tourism ‘to work together to ensure that tourists are indeed safe in reality and in perception’.

De Freitas said: ‘Not addressing this matter will have a direct impact on our economy and job creation as less tourists means less employed people within the tourism and hospitality sector.’

First published on Daily Friend

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