It’s official. Tourism Minister Patricia de Lille says the Tottenham Hotspur, SA Tourism deal is not going ahead. The planned sponsorship deal attracted major controversy, with questions about the costs and whether it was the right vehicle to attract tourists to our shores. #DStv403
JOHANNESBURG - Tourism Minister Patricia de Lille says SA Tourism's proposed R1-billion sponsorship deal with UK football club Tottenham Hotspur won't go ahead.
The deal attracted major controversy with questions about the costs and whether it was the right vehicle to attract tourists to our shores.
De Lille says the money can be better spent promoting the country.
"It's in the best interest of the country and the best interest of the nation that my advice that I gave to the board last week publicly advising them to stop this proposed deal, the board has now agreed to stop the proposed deal," she said.
"When we enter into such big transactions and commitments to commit the country and the budget over the next three years, we must be careful and carefully consider the value for money. And we also have to weigh up our priorities.
"Now I understand that the board did do some due diligence and they have come to a decision on the 31st of January to proceed with the proposed deal subject to consultation, but where we are now, it's closed.
"We have to look at how we use that money to promote international tourism, local domestic tourism and I will continue to engage with the board so that we can find good use for this money going in to the future," De Lille said.
She said ideas to revive South African tourism must come from the sector itself.
De Lille says existing stakeholders already have great plans and it's time to listen to them.
She concedes she's new to the sector, but has promised to ensure an environment conducive to innovation.