FDC concerned on lack of tourism players’ innovation

According to the Chief Executive Officer of the Free State Development Cooperation, Ikhraam Osman, most players in the tourism sector needs must come on board an ensure that they produce viable business ideas that can make the province compatible in the global space. He spoke to Dumelang News in the wake of the entity’s drive to participate in exhibitions currently under way at the Sand Du Plessis Theatre in Bloemfontein where the National Tourism Careers Expo is held until Saturday.
“Here we are trying to bring it the attention of our players in tourism space or any other industry that FDC is here to hear your proposals and business plans. We don’t choose who is giving us a good proposal or a bad one, what we want is to see our applicants being able to know their product, especially in the hospitality and tourism sector where we receive very low applications,” said Osman. He added that out of ten outlets of bed and breakfast and hospitality applicants, none of them could cut a deal with them, this he attributed to insufficient research from business owners in the sector.
“We believe that before a business person approach us, we advice that there should at least be some kind of research done so as to minimise chances of failing during assessments. Honestly, we don’t worry who comes from where, what we want is a real deal, someone who can show our team that they have what it takes to compete in the space,” he encouraged.
FDC is a point of contact for investment needs in the province where at no cost, the agency can assist in identifying opportunities and facilitating their development. Meanwhile, Deputy Minister of the Department of Tourism, Elizabeth Thabethe said the expo is an interactive opportunity between learners, tourism educators, tourism curricula experts and stakeholders to discuss diverse careers available in the sector.
“It is designed to empower thousands of learners across the country with information on tourism as a career choice through funding opportunities such as learnerships, internships, bursaries and life skills programmes. The two-day event programme includes among others presentations and motivational talks from South Africa's leading tourism entrepreneurs and personalities and platforms assisting youths and unemployed graduates to prepare for job applications,” said Thabethe during the opening ceremony on Thursday. She said it was worth noting that the Tourism Act is also subjected to some amendments which should lead to sharper transformative legal instruments for the industry.
“Already, preliminary emerging issues indicate that expos of this nature represent key space for engagements across the diverse interest groups,” she said.
HOD for the Department of Economic, Small Business Development, Tourism and Environment Affairs, Gadijah Brown, emphasised the importance of responsible tourism where she encouraged tourism business owners to consider recycling as an option. She said although the sector was one of the most difficult to enter, it has results that are worth the investments.

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