No sooner had the President of South Africa Mr Cyril Ramaphosa announced that the country will move to alert level 2 than the Limpopo Tourism Agency (LTA) kicked off various programmes and activities to welcome this announcement.
LTA, in close collaboration with the Limpopo Department of Economic Development Environment and Tourism (LEDET) will start the implementation of its recovery plan based on brand maintenance, refocusing of Provincial tourism and rebuilding of the industry as as whole.
"It has been a difficult five months that sent the Tourism industry into a state of anxiety, and to some extent, forcing some establishments to close. The lack of feet into such establishments forced owners to cut jobs or close them entirely," said Ms Sonto Ndlovu, CEO of LTA.
Ndlovu went further to say: "We are very excited about this announcement as this will give us an opportunity to put our recovery plans into action. We shall use all marketing platforms at our disposal to ensure that they positively impact on the brand and its presence in the minds of people as a leading leisure and adventure destination in the country and the SADC Region. This will also help increase the tourist volumes, spend and length of stay in our province. This announcement means inter provincial travel can resume in earnest."
The outbreak of COVID-19 and its effects have caused serious disruptions in all facets of life and tourism has been the most affected with most of the workers being forced to stay home thus having no income. The announcement is most welcome as it will be a relief to most workers in the sector.
Tourism was among the first industries to be closed in March 2020 when the initial assessment had shown the threat that COVID-19 posed was higher and the country was moved to the narional lockdown.
LTA has now intensified interaction with stakeholders, especially the Tourism industry to find ways to help the industry back on its feet again.
Taking into consideration the safety protocols that the tourism industry has to follow, the message that LTA will be pushing is for domestic travel to take precedence and that intra-province travel in Limpopo should become a habit to all.
LTA says that with the eye on the Tourism Month in September they will also be promoting more on rural development and tourism in those areas.
LTA and the whole tourism industry value chain had been brought to a total halt for way too long and the announcement brings optimism to all of us in the sector. This is after some major events and activities, from which most of our stakeholders traditionally benefit from, were cancelled due to COVID-19. We commit to work with all stakeholders by encouraging all industry players to adhere to all the safety protocols to avoid resurgence of the pandemic," concluded Ndlovu”.
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