TBCSA applauds ACSA on heightened security at OR Tambo
The Tourism Business Council of South Africa welcomes measures taken by ACSA to enhance security at OR Tambo International Airport (ORTIA) following the armed robbery that took place on Tuesday 7 March 2017.
Through its Tourism Safety Initiative (TSI), the Council is currently engaging with industry role-players based in the ORTIA precinct and nationally to address issues of safety and security affecting tourists and tourism businesses. TSI is the travel and tourism private sector’s vehicle through which TBCSA works to coordinate and foster industry collaboration on key areas such as intelligence gathering, analysis and reporting; stakeholder relations and information sharing; advocacy on issues of tourist safety and security; trade support and tourist emergency support.
Speaking on the side-lines of ITB Berlin in Germany, TBCSA CEO, Mmatšatši Ramawela says “news of a security breach of this magnitude at ORTIA are deeply worrying, particularly from a destination reputation point of view. Whilst we are grateful that no shots were fired and that nobody was hurt during the armed robbery, the brazen manner in which the robbery took place has cast a shadow of doubt and fuelled negative public speculation about the level of security at our airports especially ORTIA, which is our leading airport in the country”.
In light of statements issued yesterday by Airports Company South Africa (ACSA) and the Acting National Commissioner of the South African Police Service (SAPS), Ramawela added that the Council welcomed steps taken to heighten the level of security at ORTIA and the swift pace at which the authorities have moved to investigate the robbery.
She says “given the pivotal role that ORTIA plays as an important regional (and international) transport and tourism hub, we welcome measures taken by both ACSA and the police authorities to deal with this matter and the security assurance given about airports. As the authorities proceed with their work to arrest the perpetrators of this crime, it is incumbent on all of us in the industry to be extra vigilant with our visitors and to spread the message of safety assurance as much as we can. This is no time for our country to have negative headlines on the safety and security as we need the increased tourist numbers to continue boosting our economic growth, which is in turn good for the image of our country”.