South African Minister of Tourism, Marthinus van Schalkwyk, has launched the National Rural Tourism Strategy.
The strategy illustrates the National Department of Tourism’s commitment to the development of rural economies in general and rural tourism in particular.
“The strategy can greatly contribute to the alleviation of pressure in areas that are often characterised by poverty and underdevelopment,” he said.
The main problem areas that are hampering rural tourism development have been identified.
• Tourism has been inadequately resourced and funded in rural areas.
• A number of key rural tourist attractions are located in rural areas and are not receiving the benefits stemming from the tourism industry.
• The limited involvement of local communities serves as a major constraint in developing tourism in rural areas.
To address these challenges, the strategy aims to facilitate the co-ordination of rural tourism development initiatives among relevant stakeholders; create an enabling environment for rural tourism development to stimulate job creation; and identify and recommend strategic areas/nodes for tourism development in rural areas within the sector.
To access the full article, please visit the Southern African Tourism Update website.