Following the increase in tourist arrivals last year by 3.3% in South Africa, the Government is planning to enlarge its rural tourism channel.

This will encourage rural citizens to take advantage of their tourism and heritage sites.

According to the country’s Minister of Tourism, Martinus van Schalkwyh, the strategy is to develop rural tourism, which will alleviate pressures in areas undermined by poverty and underdevelopment. He noted that although major tourist attraction are in rural areas, those tourist areas are not receiving adequate attention.

Van Schalkwyk declared that the recent strategy to develop rural tourism will facilitate development among relevant stakeholders, create an enabling environment to stimulate job creation; identify and recommend strategic areas for tourism development in rural areas within the sector.

From last year’s growth report, Gauteng and Western Cape provience were the major tourist sites.

South Africa also plans to enlarge its tourism coast by opening a office in Nigeria, which is the country’s major tourist market in Africa as well as in Brazil, ahead of the coming FIFA world cup in 2014 in the next financial year.

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