Deputy Minister Fish Mahlalela: Africa’s Travel Indaba

Remarks by Mr Fish Mahlalela, Deputy Minister of Tourism at Africa’s Travel Indaba (NTCE Indaba) in Durban on 10th May 2023

Programme Director

Mr Marks Thibela, CATHSSETA CEO

Ms Sharon Mukhola from TUT

Mr Tshifhiwa Tshivhengwa, TBCSA CEO

Ms Rosemary Anderson, FEDHASA National Chairperson

Ms Hannelie Du Toit, SATSA COO

Ms Zani Buthelezi, Department of Basic Education -KZN

Ms Sthembiso Dlamini, GTA CEO

Ms Judy Nokwedi, GTA Board Chairperson

Distinguished guests

Ladies and gentlemen

Allow me to express my sincere gratitude to all of you for gracing this important Indaba where the future of the tourism industry is being rebooted to enhance its efficiency to the economy.

It’s Africa Month and we are here today to celebrate Africa’s Excellence at this Pan-African Travel Indaba. The purpose of this session is to solicit industry and other stakeholders’ buy-in and support for the planning and preparatory process towards their participation in the hosting of the NTCE 2023 in September 2023.

Networking is therefore an investment in your business and we welcome you to this “meeting of the minds session.”

By way of background, the Department of Tourism’s National Tourism Sector Strategy has, amongst others, identified a need to address skills shortages in the tourism sector by training and building capacity of unemployed youth and graduates in especially critical and scarce skills in the hospitality and tourism services sector.

Hence, the NTCE was birthed to intentionally create a talent of pool for the sector.

The NTCE is designed to bridge the information gap between the industry, government, learners and educators. The main aim of the NTCE is to promote tourism as a career, profession and business of choice targeting learners from high schools, TVET Colleges and University students, out of school youth and unemployed tourism graduates.

Inversely, the NTCE becomes a platform where the tourism industry can sell itself as a business and employer of choice, as they interact with young people through exhibitions, as speakers and on other interactive platforms hosted at the event.

The purpose of the NTCE 2023 is to provide a platform for the sector to create awareness on the available careers and professional opportunities in the tourism industry and give the learners an opportunity to interact with their potential employers. The primary target groups include high school learners from grade 9 – 12, TVET College students, university students, educators and unemployed tourism graduates.

The NTCE is hosted in one Province over three consecutive days annually in three consecutive years to ensure that an impact is created, not to just to have a “hit and run” situation without impact.

As a national event, it is also designed to be a culmination of small and smaller annual career exposition events that Provinces and Municipalities are respectively encouraged to host as preludes to the NTCE.

This is with the view that not all prospective participants may be able to attend the NTCE over the three days. This is the final leg of the three-year term that the Expo will be hosted in Gauteng.

The expected outcomes of this session are:

Increased awareness on NTCE 2023 objectives.

Better understanding on the importance of partnerships in training and development issues.

Increased participation of business during NTCE 2023 as speakers and exhibitors.

Increased opportunities for internships, learnerships, bursaries and employment.

New and creative ideas to partnerships for improving future interventions.

The NTCE 2023 will take place on the 29, 30 September and 01 October 2023 at the Nasrec, Johannesburg Expo Centre.

The NTCE leaves a legacy where Provinces commit to host annual Provincial expos every year post hosting the event. Host Provinces report economic benefits through local small business procurement. The host city and the Province experience visitor increase before, during and post event.

Tourism is the world’s fastest growing employment sector that continues to adapt to new trends. South Africa is therefore rebuilding the sector to ensure its sustainability for future generations. We have to therefore ensure that the talent supply meets demand.

To drive growth and recovery of the tourism sector, we need to boost the talent pool. A robust recovery plan needs to be firmly anchored in bold strategy that will position the economy on an upward trajectory and growth path.

A demand-led skills supply in the sector is therefore pivotal. While tourism is a significant economic lever, it is so much more than generating revenue. Tourism is a people-centric sector with people at the heart of its brand.

Tourism is a significant pillar in the South African economy. Over the years, tourism has experienced continued growth and has undergone such a ?diversification in our country to become one of the fastest growing economic sectors.

?Modern tourism’s success depends on, and is closely linked to skills development. These dynamics have turned tourism into a key driver for socio-?economic progress.?

Recovery drives growth and the tourism sector is one of the critical intervention areas that have been identified in the Economic Reconstruction and Recovery Plan as tourism is a key driver of the economic recovery in the country.

The Department of Tourism together with its stakeholders, have collaborated to develop the robust Tourism Sector Recovery Plan. This Plan is anchored on three interlinked pillars or strategic themes: protecting and rejuvenating supply, reigniting demand and strengthening enabling capability for long term sustainability.

At this platform, we give expression to the essence of this Travel Indaba – Shaping Africa’s tomorrow through connection today. Let us use this connection to advance and drive networks for a most successful NTCE.

Let us make meaningful connections today. Let us forge potential partnerships and enjoy the fruits of collaboration. We look forward to your active participation in NTCE 2023!

Allow me to quote Henry Ford, who said: “Coming together is a beginning. Keeping together is progress. Working together is success.”

I thank you.

Source: Government of South Africa