Mpumalanga Province has the potential to be a premier international and domestic tourism destination.
The province’s tourism jewels amongst others include the Kruger National Park which offers 2 million ha of flora and fauna, the Blyde River Canyon (3rd largest in the world and ever green), the Makhonjwa mountain range in Barberton with rock formations dating back 3,5 billion years, the mining village of Pilgrim’s Rest, majestic waterfalls and cultural villages.
The Mpumalanga Economic Growth and Development Path (MEGDP) has identified the tourism sector as a driver of economic activity and diversification. Mpumalanga tourism today is characterized by a declining market share due to insufficient marketing spend, fragmented programmes and initiatives, lack of skills and poor quality service, shortcomings in infrastructure, poor institutional relationships and lack of product. The analysis demonstrates that Mpumalanga’s tourism product can be diversified and expanded to cover a wide range of product market segments to include: nature tourism, activity tourism, soft and hard adventure, golf, eco-resorts, residential (long stay), sports, shopping, conference and incentive meetings, special interests, festivals/events and entertainment.
In order to archive the imperatives of the MEGDP focus needs to be on transformation of the tourism industry from a primary factor driven strategy that is characterized by limited investment, insufficient accommodation, medium to low quality product and inadequate airlift capacity towards an investment driven strategy, with sustained investment, i.e. new products, destination marketing and human resource development. The wider objective of this strategy is to obtain sustainable benefits for the people of Mpumalanga by generating additional economic activity.
|The Tourism Business Development Division is mandated to develop and grow the tourism industry within the Province, broaden the participation of historically disadvantaged individuals (HDI’s) and communities in the industry.
The strategic objective of the division is to:
• To facilitate the development and packaging of a diversified tourism products portfolio;
• To identify and promote tourism investment opportunities in MTPA reserves and the Province at large;
• To identify training needs, coordinate training and to promote tourism awareness in the Province;
• To ensure the development of tourism routes and signage for tourist information;
• To facilitate and increase the participation of historically disadvantaged individuals and tourism SMME's in the tourism economic mainstream;
• To implement the integrated infrastructure development and maintenance plan in MTPA owned assets;
• Development of a competitive product platform;
• Encouragement of grading of tourism products as a mechanism for quality assurance;
• Encourage improvement in service level standards and tourism skills development in the tourism industry;
• Develop tourism routes and coordinate the tourism signage;
• Implementation of the Mpumalanga Tourism Growth Strategy;
• Investment promotion in parks and the Province at large;
• To attract investments from the private sector through commercialization of the MTPA assets by 2016;
• To upgrade and maintain MTPA infrastructure to acceptable service standards;