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Women in Tourism Limpopo Chapter on a growth trajectory

Limpopo; Modjadjiskloof: Limpopo Tourism Agency (LTA) partnered supported Limpopo Women in Tourism Limpopo Chapter during its 3rd annual general meeting held on the 19 th September 2022 at Shidila Lodge in Kgapane Township outside Modjadjiskloof. The AGM their attire for the day. The AGM was grace by the attendance of Limpopo Tourism Agency Board Chairperson, Mr. Andrew Dipela and the Speaker of Greater Letaba Municipality, Cllr Rosina Ramalatswa. Small Economic Development Agency (SEDA), Ms. Maria Rafferty. In his message of Support, the Chairperson of LTA Board said, “House keepers are at the centre of tourism as they kept the light burning during difficult times of COVID-19. This month of tourism and heritage calls upon all of us to join hands, firstly to celebrate our heritage because we are our own heritage, and our heritage is us. But is it through heritage that we are able to showcase the centrepiece of our own existence that we are able to bring together our cultures and traditions which build our and legacy for our children to determine where we come from and where we go. This year’s Tourism Month them is “Rethinking Tourism” and we have to bring it home and emphasise digitisation of the sector. Part of that digital enhancement means LTA should be able to assist you with that. The other critical aspect is grading. We wish to urge all to grade their facilities and start a campaign to have facilities graded”. The Chairperson of LimWit, Ms. Grace Sibara emphasised the important role played by the housekeepers and she said. “The employees who in the tourism sector felt the pinch of COVID-19, were the housekeepers as they were forced to know the protocols in terms of what we needed to do when guests came and we were always on their case and kept them on their toes to ensure that our facilities were clean. This is the reason why we chose to honour them as they made sure that our businesses were kept intact and clean during difficult time of COVID-19”. Sibara also emphasised grading as critical to all tourism facilities as reiterated by LTA Board Chairperson. “The good thing about grading today, is that it is free, and most establishment owners are not aware of that. It is our responsibility as LimWit to spread the message by creating awareness about this grand opportunity. Without grading, our establishments will not get the number of visitors or guests we yearn to get as grading is the right thing to do in the tourism industry. We will not relent to encourage our members to have their facilities graded. It is nothing to be scared of because assessors under Tourism Grading Council of South Africa (TGCSA) are there to guide us through the process. We also encourage new entrants into the industry to have their facilities graded”, concluded Sibara. The glittering gala dinner was to announce the new patron of Limpopo Women in Tourism Limpopo Chapter. The new patron comes in the place of the former, Ms. Nomasonto Ndlovu, the former CEO of Limpopo Tourism Agency, now the Chief Operations Officer (COO) of the South African Tourism was announced the patron on 13 November 2019. The Chairperson of LimWit, Ms. Grace Sibara, announced Ms. Keleabetswe Tlouane as the new patron of LimWit. She received a thunderous applause from the audience as a sign of support for this announcement. Tlouane is the currently the Deputy Director General of LEDET responsible for Tourism and Environment. In here acceptance speech Tlouane said, “The Theme of World Tourism Day 2022, “Rethinking Tourism” demands of us to start thinking creatively and do things differently. Social media platforms are there for us to use for purposes of improving the industry. the former patron, Ms. Nomasonto Ndlovu was a giant in the social and digital space and she has left a legacy in the province. Limpopo Tourism Agency is where it is because of her efforts. Our work ahead is still massive. We should all strive to make Limpopo a leading destination of note.” Those who delivered messages of support to the AGM and congratulated Ms. Tlouane included Limpopo Chairperson of Black Business Association of South Africa (BBUASA) Ms. Khumi Motshekga and LTA Chief Marketing Officer, Ms. Modjadji Makoela. Limpopo women in Tourism continues to grow in bounds compared to a few years ago when it was rated number last from all the other provinces in the country. According to Ms. Kate Mogale, Deputy Director Tourism Transformation and Empowerment at LEDET, Limpopo has made enormous progress in respect of growth in this space compared to when it began in 2017 and later in 2018 at the national conference where the province was named number last. “We are so excited to have been announced number one as Limpopo chapter of Women in Tourism during the 2022 at Africa’s Travel Indaba in Durban. Even more exciting is the fact that our province will also be the host of the next national conference that will be held in March 2023 at a venue yet to be announced. We are content with the growth trajectory of the structure, and we will not relent to recruit more members into our fold to grow this movement”, said Mogale.

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