Minister Hanekom to host global tourism leaders

Feb 15, 2015

Taleb Rifai, Secretary-General of the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), and David Scowsill, President and CEO of the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC), will this week visit several iconic sites in South Africa as guests of the Minister of Tourism, Derek Hanekom.

Both leaders are attending the International Institute for Peace through Tourism symposium this week.

“Our own icon of reconciliation, Tata Nelson Mandela, will also be honoured at the symposium for his role in creating unity from diversity,” said Minister Hanekom. “We know that sustainable tourism and inclusive economic growth cannot be achieved without lasting peace.”

“Tourism in South Africa has been an outstanding success story in driving economic growth, community upliftment and job creation. We must focus on making this growth more inclusive as we build a sector that is sustainable from social, environmental and economic perspectives,” said Hanekom.

Rifai and Scowsill would visit some of South Africa’s unique attractions that embodied the deep significance of the country’s rich cultural heritage, said the Department of Tourism. These include the Cradle of Humankind at Maropeng, Robben Island and Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden.

The delegation will also visit the University of Johannesburg’s School of Tourism and Hospitality to see how skills training is improving the quality of service and enhancing the overall experience of tourists to South Africa.

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