Executive Mayor of Polokwane Municipality Cllr. Thembi Nkadimeng;
All councilors present, All representatives of the Tourism industry present; SATSA representatives present; Members of the Media present; Ladies and gentlemen;
Critical points I would like to highlight on our strategic plans to position the province (and Limpopo ) on the global space
1. Brand alignment
We have recently repositioning the tourism brand for Limpopo under the “baobab” logo and a tag line “More to enjoy”.
This was done after much research that revealed that we are more than our animals and that travellers want to engage other experiences in Limpopo.
But what does this mean for each and every one of the products and tourism stakeholders. This means we need to align and rally around the brand and rally behind ‘brand Limpopo’. We need to play together. We have a lot work to do in this regard.
2. Strategic partnerships
It has been said that “Tourism is government led and private sector driven and community owned”. We need bring life to this statement by embarking on strategic partnerships that build and grow our businesses. I call this “profitable relationships.
From LTA we will be approaching many of you for potential partnerships because we acknowledge we cannot do this on own. We will be sharing with you at various platforms what plans we have so that you can also look for opportunities to partner. Gone are the days where “government must pay for it”.
But we will also be looking partnerships that allow us to have global presence in a cost effective manner. The recently hosted Tour De Limpopo” Cycle tour is one such partnership that afforded us international exposure at minimal cost. Industry must be alert to these opportunities and must jump on board to leverage on such. For example, you can start now to package your products and develop specials not only for Tour de Limpopo next year, but also Marula Festival and other similar events.
We are patterning with SA Tourism in the markets as well as in domestic and SADC market. The SHOTLEFT campaign, is critical for us to ensure we can address the issues of enticing our VFR market into becoming real tourists. But the big question, are you?
3. Smart tourism
This is for me taking full advantage of the digital revolution and ensuring that as product or service, you are attuned to the digital trend. But also that you put systems in place to ensure you are ready to take full advantage. Polokwane as a city can play a huge role in ensuring their city development plans include provision of wifi and creating wifi hotspots for at tourist attractions. This is huge. It’s all about sharing and engaging the destination, and gone are the days you went on holiday and only reviewed the pictures weeks after the holiday. It’s all instant.
My challenge to you members especially from Polokwane is what are you doing to take advantage of this? At the very basic level, are on all the popular booking engines? Have you updated your website? Has it got the rich content to entice the potential travellers?
4. Sustainable tourism
We are a renowned eco-tourism destination, as such sustainability is critical. Also, travelers are sensitive to this tend and they want to contribute to the environment. How do you then balance both?
5. We Do tourism…. sustainably
Tourism is everybody’s business, and we need to ensure we don’t only focus on our products and services, that we help educate those around us that are not involved in tourism, that they have a role to play.
We need to become tourism ambassadors, but more importantly we need to be Limpopo destination ambassadors. After all, charity begins at home, we must inspire those around us to travel…and that way we stimulate domestic travel
Let us be reminded everyday …
“Be the change that you wish to see in the world.”
― Mahatma Gandhi(link is external)
The truth is there is no magical wand that we will pull out of our hat, suddenly have booming tourism. It’s hard work, especially in this tough economic time. It will take all of us.
Programme Director; in conclusion I call upon the private sector to do what it has to do, ‘drive tourism.’ Government and private sector should cooperate for the growth of tourism in our Province. it is important to realise that, “One is too small a number to make a difference”. Surely, “together we can do more”.
"Until the lion learns how to write, every story will glorify the hunter." – African Proverb