CAPE TOWN – Technology is rapidly changing the landscape of the travel and tourism industry and, in turn, is creating new opportunities for South African small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to take advantage of.
This is according to Arnold February, Area Manager at Business Partners, who is speaking in light of Tourism Month – an annual initiative in South Africa aimed at highlighting the importance of the industry and the opportunities that it offers. “This year, the theme for tourism month is Tourism and Digital Transformation, outlining the need for increased investment in digital technologies to bolster innovation and entrepreneurship in tourism.”
February notes that the travel and tourism industry is already a large contributor to both employment and gross domestic product GDP in South Africa. “A report by the World Travel & Tourism Council revealed that in 2017, the total contribution of travel and tourism to employment (including jobs indirectly supported by the industry) was 9.5 percent of total employment (1 530 500 jobs). This is expected to rise by 3.3 percent in 2018 to 1 580 500 jobs, after which an annual increase of 2.8 percent is expected, increasing the number of jobs in the sector to 2 082 000 in 2028 (11.1 percent of total).”