As we draw closer to the holiday season, families are looking forwards to taking time off and enjoy down time with their loved ones.
Limpopo Tourism Agency (LTA) is highly optimistic about tourism growth after the launch of its 2021/22 Summer Campaign at the Phalaborwa Gate of the Kruger National Park on Friday the 22nd October 2021. This was done as an initiative to promote and drive domestic tourism during this festive season. The aim of the launch is to showcase Limpopo as a suitable holiday destination for this festive season, but most importantly to grow its market share of domestic travelers. The Agency took advantage of the President’s announcement of easing restrictions by moving the country to adjusted alert level one.
The Phalaborwa Gate of the Kruger National Park was a hive of activity with some Small Medium and Micro Enterprises (SMMEs) exhibiting their products on 22 and 23 October 2021 at the same venue. The Chairperson of Limpopo Tourism Agency Board, Mr. Andrew Dipela could not hide his excitement when he said that Limpopo is on the move and aims to again reclaim its number one spot as the most visited destination in the country. He said, “We want to reclaim the Kruger National Park as approximately 70% of it is Limpopo Province”.
The emphasis will this year again be on the “More to Enjoy” pay-offline as a way of emphasizing diverse destination offerings. Dipela further said, “The plan is to target local travelers and especially the visiting friends and relatives (VFR’s) from neighbouring provinces such as Gauteng, North West and Mpumalanga who often come to Limpopo during this period”. The exiting news is that the Agency also invited buyers and/or tour operators to come and grace the occasion with the intention of them buying some of the exciting packages from the province for the festive period.
The objectives of this initiative are mainly to create awareness about destination Limpopo’s product offerings including heritage and culture; promotion of Limpopo as an accessible value-for-money destination for all and for all seasons within and beyond the borders of the province; and to position destination Limpopo as a favourable leisure tourism destination of choice and instill a culture of intra-provincial travel now that the country is on adjusted alert level one.
The Agency also planned a media tour that commenced on the 20th October 2021 covering Hoedspruit town attractions before heading to Phalaborwa and then Magoebaskloof on the 21st October 2021. It was critical for the Agency to expose media to some hidden gems of the province such as Aerotel Hoedspruit, Boeing 737 converted into a hotel, offers accommodation with a restaurant, free private parking, an outdoor swimming pool and a bar. Other attractions that media representatives were exposed to included, were Mohlatsi Ultimate Mango shop, Hoedspruit Reptile Centre and Blue Mountain Restaurant where dinner, which was supposed to have been lunch was enjoyed. The delicious menu at this restaurant left almost all media representatives with tongues wagging and stunned.
The CEO of LTA, Mr. Moses Ngobeni, emphasized the importance of this campaign as it is through it that the province can be turned around on the domestic tourism front. He said, “The Agency will take the activations of this campaign to all the districts of the province and move out to the neighboring provinces of Gauteng, North West and Mpumalanga to urge people in those provinces to visit Limpopo Province which has so much more on offer”.
The MEC of Limpopo Department of Economic Development, Environment and Tourism (LEDET) thanked the tourism industry captains and players for their resilience and patience to continue with their operations under a very difficult environment.
“It is unfortunate that this campaign coincides with COVID-19 pandemic, which has hit the tourism industry and other related value chains in the sector. To this end, much effort is required to recover the ailing industry and I must say we are joining hands with LTA and other important stakeholders such as media to spread positive messages that tourism is open for business in Limpopo. This will be achieved in part through traditional marketing methods and alternative methods such as social media and other content generation platforms, hence we have invited different media channels to help us realize that dream”, said MEC for LEDET, Mr, Thabo Mokone.
He further said, “Limpopo has so much potential to surpass any other province in the country given its strategic location of being bordered by three SADC countries, Botswana, Zimbabwe and Mozambique. What is required is a way of harnessing the relationship we already have with these countries to make tourism easy with them so that we can all mutually benefit”.