China remains important tourism market for S. Africa: Parliament

2020-02-26 14:39:40 25

South Africa continues to market in China which remains an important tourism market despite the COVID-19 outbreak, the Parliament said on Tuesday.

"The Chinese market has become one of the significant markets for South Africa," Parliament said in a statement emailed to Xinhua.

This came after Lin Jing, Chinese Consul General in Cape Town, briefed Parliament's Portfolio Committee on Tourism and Portfolio Committee on Health earlier in the day about the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak.

The Department of Tourism is training local tourist guides in Mandarin to effectively cater for the Chinese tourists, the parliamentary statement said.

South Africa annually receives approximately 100,000 Chinese tourists who usually travel as groups and stay longer - and their stay contributes to GDP growth in the country, said the statement.

With the increased number of tourists from China, the Portfolio Committee on Tourism previously had urged the tourism sector to develop a dedicated strategy to harness the tourists from China.

Also on Tuesday, the committee commended China on its response to the COVID-19 outbreak.

China has ensured that its response was effective and proactive in confining the COVID-19, Committee Chairperson Supra Mahumapelo said, adding that China's actions, including mobilizing medical personnel and building fully functional hospitals in a short space of time, should be commended.