The MEC for Finance, Economic Development and Tourism, Vusi Mkhatshwa launched the tourism month programme at Emfuleni Park in KaNyamazane. A series of events and activities aimed at promoting Mpumalanga as a destination of choice was unveiled to the media and tourism stakeholders.
The MEC said this year’s Tourism Month celebrations afford the sector an opportunity to recognise how far they have come as a sector, in spite of the impact that the COVID-19 pandemic has had in the last few years. Tourism month is a time that the tourism industry places a focused approach on domestic tourism, engaging and collaborating as the greater tourism sector to grow domestic tourism.
The theme for this year is “Rethinking Tourism” which is a perfect time to reignite and find ways of doing business differently following the devastating impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. This theme further shows us how the sector was resilient during this time and as we rebuild the sector, we are committed to travel that journey together.
“Tourism is a major economic driver and it continues to fuel economic growth and job creation. As we continue to gather in different forms and in large numbers, we are confident that the sector will continue to see a steady rebound of business events”, said Mkhatshwa.
During the month of September the province will be showcasing the various tourism offerings in the province and encouraging local communities to travel and explore what is on offer. They will be hosting a number of activations in various townships around the province as well as in tourism attractions so as to showcase the broad tourism offerings.
“We will be embarking on our annual Parks Week from 12 – 15 September where locals will be afforded an opportunity to visit ten of our selected nature reserves for free. This will also include an opportunity for primary school learners to be hosted on a day’s visit to our nature reserves. For the terms and conditions, we encourage people to visit our website, www.mpumalanga.com
Acting CEO of MTPA Mduduzi Vilakazi, said domestic tourism is key in ensuring that local people discover the diverse offerings available in the province and the country at large.
“As we roll out our programme, we will be celebrating our own Tourism Awareness Day in Emanzana on 17 September 2022, which will afford tourism businesses and locals to showcase their products,” he said.
Vilakazi highlighted that the focus in September will therefore be to continue with our awareness campaigns to educate our local communities on the importance of realising that tourism is everyone’s business and requires that we all work together in providing a safe environment. This includes continuous collaboration with the private sector to ensure that we all speak in one voice when promoting destination Mpumalanga. Our product owners and tour operators will continue to offer affordable packages and new tourism products that will encourage people to travel.
We have a series of exciting events lined up for the month of September to attract more visitors into the province. Visit our website www.mpumalanga.com for a detailed list of events scheduled for this month.