Chairperson, South Africa's status as a premier global leisure destination is now firmly established. We have the capability and the means, the welcoming culture and the varied, textured, beautiful destination that the world's travellers - ever more demanding and discerning - want when they choose a destination.
Our vision for the department is to be a catalyst for tourism growth and development in our country in order to crystallise the tourism mandate - our National Tourism Sector Strategy, NTSS, which we adopted exactly one year ago.
Furthermore, the draft Tourism Bill has been developed as a legal framework. Public and stakeholder participation has been concluded and the draft Bill will be introduced to Parliament during the third quarter of this year.
In 1950 the world had 25 million international arrivals, whereas in 2011 it had 980 million. It is estimated that in 2012 - this year - there will, for the first time ever, be 1 billion international arrivals. Within a decade, this figure is forecast to increase to 1,6 billion. This is exponential growth.
International competition in the tourism market will be vigorous. Our efforts will thus require flexibility, innovation and responsiveness. During the last five years our country has outpaced the growth of all competitor locations in the leisure arrivals category. Foreign direct spend in rand terms has grown faster than arrivals, with an 11% per annum growth rate. South Africa's tourism industry has also managed to build on the momentum achieved during a record-breaking 2010 by growing a further 3,3% and attracting over 8,3 million international tourists in 2011. As members will recall, it is obvious that "tourism" is a narrower category than "all international arrivals".
While South Africa's core markets in Europe and North America remain our major source of long-haul tourists, the country's overall tourism growth in 2011 was largely due to a 14,6% growth in the emerging markets of Asia, driven by a growth of 24,3% from China and 26,2% from India. Tourist numbers were also up, thanks to a 6,9% increase in arrivals from our continent.
European tourist arrivals declined by 3,5%, largely due to the ongoing impact of the global economic crisis in many countries in Europe. There are exceptions: The German market grew by almost 10% and that was good news. North American numbers grew by 2,3%, despite that continent's also facing major economic challenges.
In order for our country to respond favourably to, inter alia, the global challenges facing the growth and development of tourism, our department has established an International Tourism Management Branch. The objective of this branch is to provide strategic, political and policy direction for the development of South Africa's tourism potential across various regions of the world. This will be done working together with key departments such as the Department of International Relations and Co-operation, including our diplomatic missions around the world, the Department of Home Affairs and the Department of Transport. In this way, we hope to extend the work of the department to improve the competitiveness of South Africa's tourism industry in the global arena.
The marketing of South Africa as a destination remains the mandate of South African Tourism. Currently, South African Tourism has 128 joint marketing agreements in place across the tourism industry, with successful partnerships in our key markets.
South Africa also held onto its World Cup year growth of 66,7% out of Brazil. This was from a relatively low base. In 2011 we grew by a further 0,8% on top of that 66,7%. I would also like to announce that SA Tourism plans to increase its focus on this market, opening an office in Brazil in the coming financial year.
From an African continental perspective, Nigeria and Tanzania were two of the continent's biggest growth markets in 2011, with tourist arrivals from these two countries growing by 37,5% and 45,8% respectively. We will be investing R218 million over the next three financial years in order to support SA Tourism's efforts to grow our share of the African market. We have opened an office in Angola and plan to have five SAT offices open on the continent in the next five years - hopefully even before that time. The second office is set to open in Nigeria in the coming financial year.
This past financial year has also seen business tourism taking centre stage, especially in the light of the establishment of our first National Conventions Bureau, which is now a business unit in SA Tourism. For the next five years our country has already secured over 200 international conferences, estimated to attract 300 000 delegates and provide an economic boost of more than R1,6 billion.
On the domestic side of business, the NTSS has identified domestic tourism, among others, as a critical element, not only in reaching the job creation targets set by government, but also, in doing so, developing a sustainable and reliable basis on which future tourism growth can flourish. The Domestic Tourism Growth Strategy, DTGS, is now in place, with a clear action plan and organisational structural capacity to support implementation. This is effectively supported by a campaign that was launched yesterday: "Whatever you are looking for, it's here". Not only do we want South Africans to want to discover more about their country, but also that this campaign will contribute to the development of a culture of tourism and the enhancement of social cohesion among South Africans. This new domestic tourism campaign now focuses on a larger cross section of the population.
The department has also been restructured and the Domestic Tourism Management Branch now focuses specifically on providing strategic, political and policy direction for national tourism management.
During this financial year, the Tourism Empowerment Council of South Africa, Tecsa, commonly also known as the Tourism BEE Charter Council, will be appointed to monitor the implementation of the sector transformation agenda. Tecsa is tasked with monitoring the implementation of the section 9(1) gazetted Tourism BEE Charter and the scorecard in order to achieve the economic transformation of the tourism sector against the sector targets. I would last year, that we were the first sector ever to have a unanimous and agreed charter between government and all the stakeholders in the private sector.
The Tourism Grading Council of South Africa has also done superb work, specifically in the past financial year. With the introduction of the new, stricter and more comprehensive grading criteria, it is most encouraging to note that the chairperson of the Tourism Grading Council managed to attract 1 165 new establishments in the past 12 months.
The past financial year has also seen the department delivering on a number of key objectives relating to product development, namely the development of the National Heritage and Cultural Tourism Strategy, as well as the Rural Tourism Strategy. The former aims to mainstream heritage and cultural resources in the ambit of tourism and thereby enhance the country's competitive edge as a tourist destination.
The Rural Tourism Strategy will, in turn, focus on ensuring a more even geographic spread of tourism, with greater emphasis on supporting tourism growth in rural areas in particular, and also with a greater involvement of rural communities. I would like to thank the Deputy Minister for her role in that regard. Later on she will also report to Parliament. The importance of intergovernmental relations in implementing this strategy cannot be overemphasised. However, the success of the strategy is wholly dependent on provincial and local government playing their part.
During the past financial year, the department exceeded its Expanded Public Works Programme target for full-time equivalent jobs. As part of this programme, training or skills development is critical for the tourism sector.
The department has many successful Social Responsibility Implementation, SRI, programmes. I would like to mention one specific project that is very close to my heart, the National Youth Chefs Training Programme. A month or two ago Members of Parliament were present at the graduation ceremony. We launched and implemented this programme last year as part of the department's Expanded Public Works Programme SRI initiative. To date 545 young persons have graduated as chefs and 120 have already been placed with established hospitality institutes, such as hotels, bed and breakfast establishments and restaurants. [Applause.] Altogether 300 of the 545 have been enrolled for second-level training and, because of the success of the programme, another 500 young people have been enrolled for the first time. One of the lessons that I think all of us, across government, should take from this programme is that it is one thing to train people and quite another to make sure that they have jobs afterwards. That is the success of this programme.
The sector is also a fertile environment for entrepreneurs and small, medium and micro-sized enterprises, SMMEs. We will continue collaborating with the Tourism Enterprise Partnership, Tep. Tep was successful in achieving and exceeding its performance indicators over the past year. For 2011, Tep supported 4 991 jobs created by SMMEs, which delivered an increased turnover of R454 million. This raised Tep's contribution to job creation over the past 10 years to more than 66 900 jobs and a turnover of over R5,3 billion. Again, the lesson that we can learn from this programme is that there are some things that government can do and some that the private sector can and should do. Very often partnerships with the private sector are much more successful than when we try doing things on our own.
As a long-haul destination we are heavily dependent on airlift capacity, particularly for the traditional and emerging markets. Recent developments in this area, such as the loss of capacity by some of our core markets, the fluctuations in the oil price and the unilateral approach taken by the European Union in the implementation of the carbon emissions trading scheme, the so-called EU-ETS, are cause for concern. We are working with the Department of Transport and other partners to review the 2006 airlift strategy with a view to enhancing airlift capacity. We will continue to work with the international community, through multilateral and other formations, towards progressive, fair and consensus-based schemes for a more responsible tourism approach from an air transport perspective. Some colleagues may not know - those in the committee will have been fully briefed - that this system will actually levy a tax on all airlines all over the world flying to and from Europe, and also when they fly out of European airspace. It is hugely detrimental to our own airlines and also, obviously, to long-haul destinations.
The sustainability of our achievements depends on our ability to plan for the future, in both the medium and the long term. With constant changes in the geopolitical, economic, social, technological and consumer landscape, it is beneficial for us to understand how these megatrends may affect our country as a destination, as well as our source markets, in the future. In this regard, the department has begun working on possible future scenarios for 2030. Once that has been concluded, we will be quite happy to brief the committee in order to share these with them and to look at the implications for our sector. This will ensure that there is no room for complacency and that there is continuous, robust planning that takes the different futures and scenarios into account.
In conclusion, I would like to take a moment to thank our Deputy Minister, Ms Tokozile Xasa, for her commitment to the portfolio and for sharing this journey with the department. I would also like to thank the Director- General, Mr Kingsley Makhubela, and the very capable leadership team for bringing our new department this far in a very short time. Director- General, thank you for your strategic leadership and guiding vision for the future of tourism. Furthermore, the unqualified report of the Auditor-General after the 2010- 11 audit, which was our first audit as a standalone department, demonstrates administrative success in establishing a sound governance foundation that will support the implementation of our mandate.
Special thanks to Mr Thulani Nzima, who is the new CEO for SA Tourism, and his equally excellent team for working very hard with the department to achieve our targets. In addition, I would like to express the department and SA Tourism's gratitude to the private sector for the constructive relationship we have. Thank you to all our partners for engaging with us and for your commitment to our shared growth goals.
To the chairperson, Mr Gumede, and all the members of our portfolio committee, let me say that we value and appreciate the good working relationship with Parliament. [Applause.]