Cabinet has welcomed the launch of the National Tourism Monitors Programme in Soweto, which aims to improve the safety of tourists.
Tourism Minister Tokozile Xasa launched the pilot programme in Gauteng on Tuesday.
The programme places youth aged 18 – 35 in tourism hubs like Vilakazi Street in Orlando, Soweto, where they will help to improve tourist safety.
The programme, which further aims to revive the township tourism economy, will be rolled out to other provinces.
The Department of Tourism, in partnership with the Gauteng Tourism Authority, launched the programme in Vilakazi Street, which is the only street in the world where two Nobel Laureates – former President Nelson Mandela and Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu – have lived.
“This programme is aligned to the National Development Plan (NDP) goals and aims to create employment for 200 youth, who will be trained to become monitors at tourism destinations for a 36-month period,” Cabinet said.
Cabinet encouraged business owners and communities in Gauteng to work with the tourism monitors to improve the safety of tourists and harness the economic potential from this industry.
Launching the programme, Minister Xasa expressed the importance of increasing visibility around tourist hotspots. The aim of the monitors is to create access to information and ensure safety at destinations, while giving tourists quality services and experiences.