National Science and Technology Forum (NSTF)

Science and Sustainable Tourism #ScienceTourism

Science, engineering and technology (SET) cannot ignore tourism. Tourism can lead to increased SET awareness, influence funding, and it involves areas directly related to SET.

Tourism in SA? Travel and tourism contributed a total of $27bn to South Africa’s GDP in 2016. This is larger than that of the automotive manufacturing, agriculture, and chemical manufacturing sectors. It directly supported nearly twice as many jobs as the mining sector and more than five times as many jobs as the automotive manufacturing sector. (‘Benchmark Report 2017 – South Africa’, World Travel and Tourism Council)

Tourism and science? Sustainable tourism crosses over into many science-related fields, from the green economy and environmental protection to medical tourism.

How can you become involved? NSTF Discussion Forums gather stakeholders together across the public and private sectors, to put forward recommendations to influence Government policies. This discussion forum will consider issues such as:

  • How SA’s tourism industry can help and hinder environmental sustainability and how to best maintain a balance
  • Developing best practices for eco-tourism (where ecological and social responsibility is built into the enterprise)
  • Infrastructure and technologies needed for sustainable tourism
  • Incorporating tourism into SET. Examples include paleo-tourism to view fossils, archeological sites and rock paintings, and astro-tourism such as the Square Kilometre Array radio telescope (SKA)
  • Considering tourism as part of science conferences and conventions


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