Hon House Chair, the NFP welcomes the report of the Portfolio Committee on Tourism tabled here today. One of the core mandates in terms of the statement made by our President in February and in June 2019, is to attempt to double the tourism figures from 10, 5 million in 2018 to 21 million in 2030.
We note the concerns and impact crime has on tourism in the country. We welcome the co-ordinated effort by both the Portfolio Committee on Tourism and the SA Police Service to address crime against tourists. We also note that South Africa is ranked 101 out of 128 countries in the world in terms of safety.
We take note the fact that various stakeholders and individuals have participated in this workshop to try and create a more safer environment for our tourists. A matter of concern for us is the statistics and data that we get from Statistics SA compared to what we get from the SA Police Service. However the memorandum of understanding that has been entered into between the two departments is welcome.
We also concur with the findings that media plays a pivotal role in South Africa. We find that negative reporting in South Africa by the media have a negative impact on tourists coming to South Africa.
Yes, I think they need to play a positive role. I think what is important is that while we may disagree on a lot of things, have differences and we want power and control, but what we must not forget is that we are all South Africans and that we need to put South Africa first. I think an initiative of this nature must be welcome.
Let us not forget that every tourist that comes here is a human being. It is someone's son, someone's daughter, someone's brother and someone's sister. What we ought to do as South Africans is to welcome, to embrace, to protect, to guide them and make sure that they are safe and secure in South Africa. If we can do that, yes, indeed, we will be able to reach our target of ensuring that we have lot more tourists coming in South Africa.
When you speak to many people outside South Africa and you mention South Africa they say, no, no, I don't want to visit there it is too dangerous. It is up to us to sell South Africa in the interest of this country and in the interest of the millions of South Africans. The NFP welcomes this report. Thank you.