JOHANNESBURG, Sept. 7 (Xinhua) -- South Africa will get a boost in tourism safety in the next few weeks with the deployment of 2,200 tourism monitors to key tourist areas in all nine provinces to tackle crime, a senior government official said Thursday.
South Africa's Tourism Minister Patricia de Lille said the department has allocated 174.5 million rands (about 9.11 million U.S. dollars) for this financial year for the deployment of the tourism monitors.
"We have worked with the private sector to revise and improve the training curriculum for tourism monitors which also includes training by the South African police," De Lille said at the Tourism Business Council of South Africa leadership conference in North West Province.
Between 2022 and 2023, there were two incidents where tourists were killed and that caused "untold damage" to the country's tourism industry, according to the minister, who noted that President Cyril Ramaphosa has signed into law the legislation on the use of audio and visual link to present evidence in court.
"This entails instituting virtual court proceedings, which would allow tourists to be part of the proceedings even if they had left the country before the conclusion of a case, and alternatively tourists could connect through audio-visual link at the South African missions in their countries of origin," she said.
De Lille said they are confident to surpass the pre-COVID tourist levels by March next year, judging by the increase in visitors and spending in the country. ■