South Africa’s tourism minister Marthinus van Schalkwyk has been appointed to chair the World Economic Forum (WEF)’s Tourism Council until next year.
According to the government’s Bua News, Van Schalkwyk, who has been part of the South African delegation to Davos for the past two years, was invited by executive chairman Professor Klaus Schwab, to chair the Aviation, Travel and Tourism Industry Agenda Council.
The minister said he was honoured to be part of the council, adding that it plays a vital role in facilitating debate and to advise the WEF and the international community on emerging issues in his portfolio.
The key challenge, he said, was to break out of the silo mentality that still exists in some quarters. He regarded the tourism and aviation sectors as interdependent.
“The two sectors share many challenges, barriers and opportunities ... Pertinent issues currently on the global agenda are firstly how travel, tourism and aviation can play a leadership role in the transition to a greener economy and secondly how these sectors can contribute to an equitable global trade expansion,” van Schalkwyk said. The councils, such as the one van Schalkwyk will chair, are fully integrated into the WEF Community.
They are also integrated into the Global Agenda Partnership, which brings together the world’s foremost experts in an ongoing and collaborative process to address global, regional and industry challenges. Specifically, they monitor key trends, identify global risks, map interrelationships and address knowledge gaps.