Travel and tourism play a vital role in growing the economy and creating jobs. According to Stats SA, SA has 16.2-million workers and tourism directly employs 4.5% of them, accounting for a total of 726,500. Tourism created more jobs than manufacturing and mining between 2014 and 2017. It is thus critical that the industry is protected from forces that could impede its growth and sustainability. In 2017, travel and tourism contributed R412bn to our GDP and its direct and indirect contribution to employment is 1,530,500 jobs, according to the World Travel and Tourism Council. This is a sector the government must fully embrace, and nurture its growth so it can further contribute to the economy and employment. The tourism sector created 31,752 net new jobs in 2017. This is the greatest number of net new jobs generated by tourism within a year in at least the past eight years. It also represents the second year of employment growth after the sector saw a net loss of 12,262 jobs in 2015....

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