Judi Nwokedi, Women in Tourism South Africa and Board member of SA Tourism, was among the speakers who attended the Tourism Management Symposium at the University of Pretoria.
Speakers and experts at the symposium focused on ways to make South African tourism grow. Nwokedi says the challenges lie with government policy worldwide. This has a direct impact on tourism numbers.
In addition the industry faces uncontrollable factors like Ebola, Natural disasters, changes in immigration regulations and xenophobia.
Nwokedi says we are entering boom season, but are already fully booked by international tourists and there is no capacity for growth. This makes it difficult for the industry to find more accommodation for additional tourists that want to come to South Africa, especially in big cities like Cape Town.
September and October is peak season for international tourists. The biggest challenge now is does domestic tourism market grow, asks Nwokedi. She says South Africans do not appreciate their own country’s beauty and do not travel locally enough. Only a small number of South Africans visit the countries heritage sites.