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August 31, 2018

Tourism and the Digital Transformation

Limpopo, Louis Trichardt: The Chairperson of the LTA Board, Mr. Andrew Dipela, on behalf of the MEC for Economic Development, Environment and Tourism (LEDET), Mr. Seaparto Sekoati, launched the programme of activities for this year’s Tourism Month activities on 31 August 2018 at Kone Boutique Lodge (Kone Village) in Louis Trichardt, Makhado Municipality.  
Limpopo Tourism Agency (LTA) and LEDET in partnership with both National Department of Tourism (NDT) and South African Tourism (SAT) are collaborating to drive tourism month 2018 through various activities and campaigns that create awareness to the public about the importance of tourism in the country. 

The United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) has declared 2018 the international year of “Tourism and the digital transformation”, which is also the global theme for this year’s Tourism Month. Ever since its inception, World Tourism Day is celebrated on 27 September to foster awareness among the international community about the importance of tourism and its social, cultural, political and economic value. As the official day set aside in the United Nations Calendar, the celebration seeks to highlight tourisms potential to contribute to the realization of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), thus addressing some of the most pressing challenges society is faced with today. 

The CEO of LTA, Ms. Nomasonto Ndlovu, said, “Similar to other sectors, tourism is experiencing a significant transformation due to the technological advances in both the demand and supply side, creating many new opportunities as well challenges for all actors in the sector. To this end, tourism is an integral part of the fourth industrial revolution in the sense that technology is central to the advancement of the sector. Smart destinations are at the heart of sustainable development and contribute not only to advances in the tourism sector but to society as a whole”. 

While the use of technology strengthens effectively evidence-based decision making, prioritization of measures and anticipation of future scenarios at the destination level, allows the sector to better support and meet regional, national and international goals and visions such as the 2030 Development Agenda. The national theme for 2018 is, “Inclusive and quality growth of the tourism economy through digital transformation”. 

The theme seeks to raise awareness about the impact and influence of digital transformation in tourism. It is critical that the tourism sector should embrace the contribution of digital transformation on sustainable tourism and development. The World Tourism Organisation (WTO) through #IY2018 will promote the role of tourism in the following areas through tourism and digital transformation:

Inclusive and sustainable economic growth;
Social inclusiveness, employment and poverty reduction; and
Resource efficiency, environmental protection and climate change.

The Board Chairperson also unveiled a calendar of activities and events which will be prominently displayed on the LTA website but will also be distributed in all regional offices, municipalities, airports and departments. LTA will expose media to some of the attractions in the province at least a day before the programme launch. 
Activities for this year’s Tourism Month will among others include National Parks Week/Mahala week, DStv irock, Spring Day Celebration, Polokwane Gospel Escapede, Magoebaskloof Spring Festival, Two Countries Marathon, The Royal festival, Spring Market, Kyknet Expo, Sekhukhune Gospel Festival and many more. 
Limpopo Province will be part of the World Tourism Day celebrations scheduled to take place on the 25th September 2018 in Umtata, Eastern Cape Province. 

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