The future of tourism within the Northern Cape and South Africa was put in the spotlight on Thursday (03/08) when local, national and provincial stakeholders gathered at the Big Hole Protea Hotel for a brainstorming session.
The objective of the session was to develop a deeper understanding of the future of tourism, the challenges and opportunities and how they can jointly contribute to the sustainable momentum and success of Northern Cape tourism.
The session was hosted in partnership with SA Tourism, the Northern Cape Tourism Authority, the Department of Economic Development and Tourism and local government tourism departments.
Current plans, strategies and activities aimed at unlocking the sustainable potential of tourism within the province are the 5-in-5 Strategy, Northern Cape Tourism Insights, SAT Tourism Insights and the new campaigns We Do Tourism and Good Times in a Box.
Sisa Ntshona, CEO of SA Tourism, emphasised the importance of tourism as a potential contributor to the economy of the Northern Cape.
He further pointed out that traditional destinations should be relied on for growth or job creation.
The 5-in-5 Strategy means that South Africa wants to attract an additional five million tourists within the next five years.
“The strategy is to use the countries that we are going to be visiting to source those tourists,” Ntshona elaborated.
“We are going to be using our ten offices around the world, as each one is set a target that they contribute towards South Africa.”
He added that each one of the nine provinces also has to share a slice of their cake in terms of tourism internationally and domestically.
He pointed out the importance of ensuring that the province has the correct capacity in terms of accommodation and experience they are going to share.
Through sessions like these, SA Tourism gives provinces like the Northern Cape the opportunity to profile itself in its uniqueness.
Seeing that the province is at the bottom of the list in terms of expenditure on holiday trips, he urged that the province sells its own uniqueness to other South Africans and the international market.
According to SA Tourism, the projected provincial contribution from South Africa’s domestic and holiday trips are rated between R2,6 million and R3,6 million on average throughout all provinces.
The Northern Cape stood at R0,5 million in comparison to Limpopo at R8,3 million.
The role of local municipalities and partnerships in promoting tourism within the province was also put in the spotlight as local stakeholders questioned their interest in the matter.
Highlighting the critical role of local municipalities, Sharron Lewis, the CEO of the NCTA, mentioned that a memorandum of understanding is being signed with regard to their roles in the different events.
Admitting the existence of challenges, she added that the partnership with municipalities, especially with the Sol Plaatje municipality, has launched new tourism plans.