Ugu’s municipalities challenged to create tourism drawcards

2011-09-28 00:00

UGU South Coast Tourism (UGUSCT), in partnership with the Department of Economic Development and Tourism (DEDT), hosted a one day workshop at Kapenta Bay Hotel in Port Shepstone recently.

The workshop, which was attended by local government and private sector members, shed light on the role council will play in tourism marketing and development.

Ayanda Zondi from the DEDT gave a presentation on municipal roles and responsibilities.

UGUSCT Development Manager for Tourism Bukeka Zwezwe said councillors had to indentify tourism opportunities in their communities and help maintain current tourism ventures, liaising between Ugu and their communities.

There was also a presentation on the tourism legislative framework and tourism co-ordinating structures.

Patrick Mbalo from Tourism KwaZulu-Natal said the provincial master plan is to identify the key tourist drawcard for a destination and to maintain and better that drawcard.

“In certain destinations the drawcards will be its heritage or wild-life.

“Each destination will have to focus on their primary tourist attraction instead of various projects which are not necessarily sustainable or economically viable,” Mbalo said.

Zwezwe said that whilst there are many local municipalities within a district not every local municipality will be a tourist destination.

“The challenge now is to go back and see how to incorporate and how all local municipalities within the district can benefit from a primary tourism drawcard,” Zwezwe said.

There were also presentations on tour guides, mentorship programmes and SMME development.

witness@feveronline.co.za

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THE travel industry hopes to increase the number of domestic trips from 30,9 million in 2009 to 54 million by 2020, Tourism Minister Marthinus Van Schalkwyk said yesterday.

“Culture and heritage tourism products... are important drivers in growing our domestic market,” he said in a speech prepared for delivery in Clarens, in the Free State.

He said his department and its partners want to promote a culture of domestic travel. It hoped to integrate culture and heritage resources into tourism development, to support economic growth and job creation. The department was developing a strategy to identify, develop, promote and manage authentic culture and heritage experiences that appeal to international and domestic markets.

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