Deputy Minister of Tourism, Tokozile Xasa urged business to plug into the opportunities available in the ocean economy in the Nelson Mandela Bay at an event hosted on Thursday by the Nelson Mandela Bay Tourism (NMBT) discussing the impact of unlocking the tourism potential of South Africa’s Oceans through Operation Phakisa.
“Industry has the capacity to work together to unlock the full potential of the oceans economy and business needs to use the tourism space to enter the oceans economy. There are so many opportunities available in the tourism industry and business needs to be open to the idea,” said Xasa.
“The fact that Operations Phakisa was launched in Nelson Mandela Bay must be a motivation to industry to anchor the oceans economy in the region and lead with regards to creating opportunities that will have a positive impact on the economy,” said Xasa.
Nelson Mandela Bay Business Chamber Chief Executive Kevin Hustler supported the statement made by Xasa as the Business Chamber has been lobbying for the oceans economy and the related windows of opportunity for some time already. However, Hustler said that, “the re-honing and diversification of the current skills base within the region needs to be focused to meet the needs of emerging sectors in the Ocean Economy. The oceans economy has the potential to create multiplying waves of change for the city. Our coastline is an untapped resource sitting, waiting for us to realise its enormous economic potential”.
Hustler said that Operation Phakisa plays a critical role in fast-tracking delivery on some of the priorities encompassed in the National Development Plan.
Present at the event, Executive Mayor Danny Jordaan stressed that, “it was important for the city to look at other economic streams other than the automotive sector and unlock the opportunities available in the tourism industry”.
Furthermore, Jordaan labeled the next five years in the Nelson Mandela Bay as the five golden years, with the following pillars: Automotive industry; Township economy; Creative economy; Ocean economy; Tourism.
Nelson Mandela Bay Business Chamber Chief Executive Kevin Hustler said, “we are pleased that the Metro leadership are thinking proactively ahead and we encourage the leadership to have a robust engagement across all stakeholders towards creating an overarching city vision for 2030. The Business Chamber in collaboration with the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (NMMU) Business School has developed a high level Business Vision that we look forward to seeing integrated through the Metro’s overarching vision.”