JOHANNESBURG, 16 SEPTEMBER 2019 – SATSA acknowledges the release of South Africa’s 2018/2019 crime statistics on 12 September 2019, at a time when perceptions around the safety and security of travellers visiting the country remain one of the biggest threats to the country’s tourism sector.
Keeping travellers safe is a top priority for any tourism destination worldwide. South Africa is no different and SATSA continues to work closely with the National Department of Tourism on its National Tourism Safety Strategy and with local destination marketing organisations like Wesgro to create proactive awareness about South Africa and what tourists can do to mitigate risk when they visit the country.
We believe that every citizen of South Africa has a fundamental right to be safe – as do the tourists visiting our shores. The latest crime statistics are deeply concerning, with murder, sexual offences, assault, aggravated robbery, common robbery and other contact crimes seeing an average increase of 2.6% over the last year. It is clear that South Africa continues to grapple with unacceptably high levels of crime (with gender-based violence and femicide in the spotlight over the past couple of weeks), effective policing and the safety of its citizens.
In the main, the violence that affects South African communities so profoundly (including contact crime, drug-related crime and gangsterism) is not targeted at tourists. The majority of tourism experiences remain safe and visitors are unlikely to experience crime during their stay.
In a world where crime, terrorism and other safety concerns increasingly come to the fore, tourists have every right to be concerned about their safety when visiting any destination. For our part, we have identified hot spots in South Africa where tourists’ safety may be at risk and are employing initiatives to safeguard our tourists, for example, deploying Tourism Monitors, cameras and drones on Table Mountain and identifying ATMs where tourists have been targeted in the past.
While we are doing our part, we urge all visitors to take precautions to reduce their risk – the same precautions they would take no matter where in the world their travels take them.
For the 8.6 million international travellers who continue to visit SA each year, as well as the thousands whose jobs are directly and indirectly supported by tourism, ensuring safe travel and a world-class experience for all our visitors is of utmost importance to us.
For more information about SATSA’s tourism safety communications initiative, or initiatives to mitigate the risk of tourists impacted by crime, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 083 449 4334.