Tourism minister says she will do everything in her power to enhance safety at KNP following a drop in visitor numbers

South African Tourism Minister Patricia de Lille. Picture: Bertram Malgas

South African Tourism Minister Patricia de Lille. Picture: Bertram Malgas

Published Jul 18, 2023


Tourism minister Patricia de Lille conducted an oversight visit to Kruger National Park and revealed she will work with provincial and local government, private sector and communities to improve safety of tourists at the attraction,

This follows reports that the number of tourists visiting the park has dropped by 21% since 2019, with the drop attributed to safety issues.

The decline in number of tourists visiting the Kruger National Park is a concern for the minister.

“It is well known that unfortunately there have been many crime incidents in and around the Kruger with criminals attacking tourists and this is a matter that we take very seriously, not only because we want to safeguard tourists, but we cannot have criminality stand in the way of our tourist attractions thriving because that is how we can ultimately create more jobs for our people and bring prosperity for all,” she said.

De Lille said the Department of Tourism is finalising a refined training curriculum for Tourism Monitors and they’re set to deploy more than 2 200 Tourism Monitors to key tourist attractions and hotspot areas across the country in coming months as part of efforts to enhance tourism safety.

“The Department of Tourism has budgeted R174 million for the Tourism Monitors programme to improve safety around the 59 tourism hotspot areas identified by the National Tourism Safety Forum.

Of the more than 2 200 Tourism Monitors that will be deployed to tourism hotspots, 350 Tourism Monitors will be deployed to SANParks establishments with 100 of the 350 Tourism Monitors to be deployed to the KNP,” said the minister.