WILL SHE tread where others have failed, that’s a big question following the introduction of a new Chief Executive Officer Yoland Ruiters, at the Gauteng Tourism Agency?
Albeit she has been on acting capacity for the past months at the agency, her thick resume in the administrative and political fields speaks volume.
Ruiters- quietly so- has been working hard behind the scenes to champion the agency’s work in developing a new 5-year strategic tourism marketing master plan for the Gauteng City Region and strengthening the corporate governance systems at the provincial tourism body.
In accepting her new challenge, she promised to elevate the much-known mantra that, tourism is private sector led, government supported, community based and labour intensive.
“Township tourism products beneficiation and promotion, the drive to get locals and government decision-makers across the different spheres to appreciate the value of tourism, leveraging business tourism opportunities, the bidding and hosting of mega events in Gauteng, bringing new innovations, especially around the opportunities associated with the 4th Industrial Revolution (4IR) in our destination marketing work, coupled with partnership driven destination management activities, will be our key focus areas, working together with the tourism industry players in the province,” said Ruiters.
Tourism in Gauteng continues to contribute around 4% of the total provincial workforce and its estimated 3% contribution to the Gross Domestic Product by region and 9% overall nationally, highlights the sector’s importance to the economy of Gauteng and the country.
In hard numbers, we are talking more than 300 000 people employed by the sector, contributing in the region of R50 billion per annum to the provincial economy.
An agency like GTA is tantamount to running a church with egos and short sighted characters, will she be up to the task and get her ducks all in the row?
GTA too many unlocks business opportunities in the province, to such an extend even growing to other regions in the SADC States.
With the Youth Month celebrations wrapping up next week, Ruiters, will with new Tourism minister Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubani, NYDA and other agencies be challenged by youth organisations at the forthcoming “Youth in Tourism Dialogue” to be held at Disoufeng Pub & Restaurant, Soweto on Saturday from 8am.
It forms part of ‘Tourism celebrates 25 Years’ of Democracy and Youth Activism in Soweto’.
How will the youth benefit from this all important gathering, remains to be seen?