World Tourism Day celebrations were concluded in style as Limpopo Economic Development, Environment and Tourism (Ledet) and Limpopo Tourism Agency (LTA) partnered with Sekhukhune District Municipality to host a tourism seminar and heritage tour of some of the tourist attractions in the area.
LTA Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Ndumiso Matlala said Sekhukhune has a lot of tourism potential that has to be unlocked. “Tourism has labour absorptive capacity as it can create job opportunities thereby reducing poverty among communities,” he elaborated.
He challenged tourism entrepreneurs in Sekhukhune to create other avenues in the Tourism sector that will make visitors spend as they come to the province. He also encouraged the people of Limpopo to develop a culture of travel as that assists in reenergizing their bodies and minds. “LTA is looking into reintroducing school tours to visit many tourist attractions in the province. Limpopo is currently the highest visited province in the country on the domestic tourism front and we want to have attractions of note to attract them to spend money but also to have longer stays in the province,” Matlala concluded.
Organisations invited to give presentations were Sekhukhune Development Agency (SDA), Small Enterprise Development Agency (Seda) and Ledet.
During his presentation titled “The untapped Tourism opportunities, CEO of Sekhukhune Development Agency (SDA), Sephaka Motswiane, commended LTA for the achievement of being the most visited province in the country but indicated that Sekhukhune does not feature in statistics given the low tourism development in the district.
Motswiane said that they are creating other routes but wish to also resuscitate the Marota Route formerly known as the Kings and Kingdoms. The other routes to be developed with the help of Ledet include Flag Boshielo Dam with a huge tourism potential, De Hoop Dam, Potlake Nature Reserve, and the Tourism Centre or Visitor Information Centre in the district around De Hoop Dam.
Sabelo Ntshangase, Business Advisor at Seda, spoke about opportunities they have to assist aspiring entrepreneurs by providing funding, skills training mentorship or handholding and marketing.
Pattern Mametja, Tourism Officer at Ledet, informed the audience about internship and learnership opportunities and support programmes offered.
Delegates to the seminar were very optimistic that Sekhukhune tourism was on the correct path and would rekindle given the many opportunities brought to light by the CEOs of LTA and SDA. It was also resolved that the seminar become an annual feature of Tourism Month.
Later in the day, delegates were taken on a tour of Tšate Heritage Site, where Kgoši Sekhukhune fought and won his battles against the colonisers and then to Potlake Nature Reserve. The tour was meant to stimulate the culture of travel among the people of Sekhukhune with the hope that they will spread the message about the tour through the word of mouth and social media, which are strong channels of communication.
Story: Herbert Rachuene