Lack of a comprehensive approach to tourism planning is holding back the development of SA’s tourism industry, says Unathi Henama a tourism expert and lecturer at the Tshwane University of Technology. As a result of poor planning as well as the effect of stringent visa regulations, lower flight frequency and perceptions about crime, the country’s tourism industry is unlikely to grow by more than 5% in 2019, says Henama. “This [planning] methodology has been presented to the government and there has been intense lobbying to ensure that it becomes part of government policy. I hope that it will find expression in the January statement of the ANC, and filter down to the cabinet lekgotla which will inform government policy,” he says. This comes as the domestic tourism industry is losing its shine mainly because of the country’s sluggish economic growth. In the first quarter of 2018, the performance indicators of domestic tourism fell drastically. Bed nights, a measure of occupancy of one...

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