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SONA 2019 sets Encouraging Tone for Vacation Industry

CAPE TOWN, 30 June 2019 – The Vacation Ownership Association of Southern Africa (VOASA) says it is encouraged by President Cyril Ramaphosa’s commitment to more than double international tourist arrivals through the renewal of the country’s brand, a world-class VISA regime and by ensuring that visitors enjoy a safe vacation while visiting the country.

These statements were made by President Ramaphosa during the State of the National Address (SONA) on 20 June and in the Debate on SONA on 26 June.

Commenting on SONA 2019, VOASA’s Chief Operating Officer Alex Bosch, said; “The shared vacation ownership and timeshare industry is a significant contributor to the health, performance and diversity of South Africa’s tourism mix and ecosystem as it enables local and international holidaymakers to take regular vacations in our country while boosting our economy.”

According to the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC), the travel and tourism sector grew 3.9% to contribute a record $8.8 trillion and 319 million jobs to the world economy in 2018. In South Africa, domestic tourism rose a staggering 59,7% in the first 4 months of 2019 compared to the same period in 2018 – as recorded by the South African Tourism and Statistics South Africa.

“This proves the power of the timeshare industry to open doors towards creating more employment opportunities and enabling world-class tourism and vacation facilities in South Arica,” adds Bosch.

The timeshare industry has a significant footprint in the domestic tourism market with 158 resorts across the country and an 85% occupancy rate. It is a mature R3.5 billion per annum industry that contributes billions of rand to the GDP and generates employment for around 27 000 people, ranging from highly skilled to informal positions.

Timeshare owners also generally spend more than double on local attractions while on holiday, as their accommodation is prepaid, giving them more disposable cash to support local economies.

By enabling South African and international visitors to travel to these resorts, the industry makes a positive economic contribution through a diverse array of vacation products.

The President stated in his maiden SONA address in February that ‘tourism is an area that provides the country with incredible opportunities to, quite literally, shine’.

In line with the President’s priorities for economic transformation and job creation, including a targeted focus on sub-sectors, VOASA believes that the South African shared vacation ownership and timeshare industry represents and should be recognised as a key economic sub-sector within the overall tourism sector.

“As the representative voice and body for the industry in South Africa, we pledge our support and commitment to work with Government to ensure an enabling regulatory environment for our industry’s contribution to tourism’s role in revitalising our economy,” concluded Bosch.

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