SA’s youth can help transform tourism

SA’s youth is being encouraged to start owning their businesses, especially in the sphere of cultural and township tourism. 

This is the message from Deputy Minister of Tourism, Tokozile Xasa, following a youth-focused Imbzio held in Khayelitsha that sort to draw attention to how small-micro-medium-enterprises (SMME) development are the backbone for new entries in the tourism industry.

Speaking at a Gala Dinner held in Celebration of World Tourist Guide Day on Thursday evening, Xasa stated government wants to encourage the youth, especially in townships to not only look for employment, but to start their own business.

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“We have identified gaps in terms of how we can help the youth start their own businesses such as getting proper skills, market access, funding, mentorship and coaching,” says Xasa.

Xasa says the state’s tourism enterprise program is being reviewed to fund infrastructure-related projects based on their social responsibility initiative.

Each approach needs to be assisted according to its specific needs, says Xasa, but first and foremost the youth must believe that they have what it takes to come up with a plan and then apply for assistance on the ground for help with things like putting their business plans together, according to the minister. 

“We have programmes where we are training the youth in the overall hotel set up as well as food safety and also tackling the issue of market access,” says Xasa

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According to Xasa the department’s market access programme is focused on these youth-owned products with the aim to give them international trade exposure, linked to their target market, and is not just centred on tourism but also the value chain across the broader business sector.  

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