Expert Opinions

National Budget Speech 2023: Tourism & hospitality sector hoping for much-needed support to revive the industry

By Alan Campbell, Sales & Marketing Director of ANEW Hotels & Resorts

It’s once again that time of the year for the much-anticipated National Budget Speech, led by Finance Minister Enoch Godongwana. There is much anticipation for Wednesday, 22 February 2023, when the amount of support for the South African tourism and hospitality industry will be revealed.

According to the National Treasury, this year’s budget aims to “strike a balance between competing national spending priorities and limited resources.” ANEW Hotels & Resorts Director of Sales & Marketing, Alan Campbell, shares his thoughts on what the hospitality industry hopes to hear. 

Our beloved hospitality & tourism industry requires some much-needed encouraging news. Before the Covid-19 pandemic, South Africa’s tourism sector accounted for approximately 7,1 percent of Africa’s GDP and contributed $169 billion to the continent’s economy. Life in the proverbial sense of the “tourism world” was pleasant. As we all know too well, this industry was hit hardest by the devastating pandemic and has been facing an uphill battle ever since. We hope for respite and good news that the much-anticipated budget speech will assist in tackling some of our industry challenges. 

Collins Word of the Year for 2022 encapsulates, so effectively, what we have endured as an industry. As Dion Chang recently put this into context, 2022 was the year of “Permacrisis’. This was a period where we reshaped and figured out new ways of working to recover from the instability and insecurity following the pandemic.

The most recent festive period indicated an optimistic increase in international travellers (and loads of domestic travellers) enjoying the glorious product, which is South Africa. Having been through this reassuring upheaval, the tourism and hospitality industries are looking forward to receiving a pragmatic message from the minister.

The ever-colourful and endearing Archbishop Desmond Tutu once said, “Hope is being able to see there is light despite all of the darkness”. Who would have thought that this quote would be so fitting in 2023 with realities like load-shedding, which we won’t escape in the short term. As an industry, we need to find solutions, and we cannot expect this speech to solve all our problems.

From our business perspective, we (ANEW Hotels & Resorts) are approaching this announcement enthusiastically because a positive outlook needs to start at” home” and spread further. The new financial year of 2023 presents us with a lot of optimism because we intend to expand our connections, invest in our people, and continue to invest in this glorious country. It is imperative that a positive outlook then spread outwards. When a crisis strikes, South Africans are fantastic at coming up with innovative solutions, resulting in growth and success stories – much like ours.

This year we want to spread a lot of good news stories about our people, our business, and the country. Whatever the outcome of this year’s Budget Speech, we won’t let that impact our view. As South Africans, we remain very humorous, innovative, and resilient. Let’s collectively put the good energy out there!

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