Translating Sectoral Growth into Job Creation: A View of South Africa’s Tourism Industry

by LOWITT, S, 2007
Research Report, Employment Growth & Development Initiative, Human Sciences Research Council

Tourism has been identified as a priority job creation sector. Lowitt tests the realism of policymakers’ expectations for the sector. It focuses on three key areas: understanding demand; understanding how demand is translated into job creation; and understanding how the sector interacts with the broader economy through linkages with other sectors, output multipliers, employment multipliers and macroeconomic effects. The study also tests expectations against the current tourism strategy, policy and budgetary constraints. Lowitt finds that the prioritisation of tourism by policymakers is well founded and that the sector deserves its priority status. However, as a necessary condition for the sector to meet these expectations, the issue of airlift capacity must be addressed. This paper forms part of a series of sectoral analyses undertaken by the Human Sciences Research Council’s Economic Growth and Development Initiative, as part of the development of employment scenarios for 2014. The sector studies fall into two categories: ‘reality check studies’, which seek to test policymakers’ expectations for growth and employment in ‘priority’ sectors, and ‘potential contributory studies’, which seek to identify potential future growth sectors, based on their growth potential and labour absorption capacity.