The National Tourism Sector Strategy (NTSS) calls for collaborative partnerships and clear frameworks between spheres of government and other stakeholders. The accelerated implementation of the NTSS requires a highly organised interaction between spheres of government, local communities and the private sector. The Tourism sector needs consistent information sharing on national frameworks, strategies and developments if tourism is to grow collectively.
Tourism is one of the significant economic sectors in South Africa because of its potential to create jobs and worthy contribution to the GDP.
To this end the Department of Tourism hosts a Local Government Tourism Conference (LGTC), every two years, where the role players discuss the challenges in the tourism sector. The LGTC is used to develop a common approach to tourism with recommendations agreed to and implemented.
The purpose of the LGTC is for public and private sector to engage on topical issues including job creation, transformation and constraints. One of the objectives of the Conference is to deliberate on tourism policies, legislation and strategies and how they impact on local government
For sustainable tourism development, it is important to understand the tourism network and how the public and private sectors interact within the system. The effectiveness of cooperative relationships between both public and private sectors is discussed.
Tourism stakeholders also collectively deliberate on matters of transformation in the sector and possible solutions to challenges. Lack of policy and legislative coherence, clarity of roles and responsibilities and the capacity of local government to deliver also receive attention.
The LGTC is designed to create a common understanding on the concurrent functioning of each sphere of government in the development of tourism. The conference identifies key constraints faced by each spheres of government and industry in the development of tourism, and how these constraints can be resolved
It reflects the importance of strategising on how to empower all spheres of government to align & integrate their tourism plans with national imperatives.