17 November 2018


THE OFFICIAL BOKONE BOPHIRIMA GOVERNMENT NEWSPAPER

Tourism stakeholders agree to a solution-driven approach 

by: Lemogang Foke     date: 03 August 2018

Continued collaboration and coordination among tourism stakeholders in Bokone Bophirima province has begun yielding positive outcomes. The venture has been praised for bringing practical solutions to challenges within the tourism sector. 
 
These sentiments were echoed during the recent Provincial Tourism Technical Committee meeting (PTTC) in Potchefstroom. The PTTC is a platform created by government to allow engagement with various key Tourism stakeholders. 
 
Stakeholders within the tourism industry who attended the PTTC meeting unanimously agreed to work with government to encourage the Public-Private Partnership programme.
  
Chief Director of Tourism Planning, Ishmael Kgokong, said the milestone could be attributed to ongoing consultation structures that aim to create a more unified strategy to enhance the implementation of tourism policies. 
 
“We have always pushed for more collaboration and partnerships. It is important to have everyone on board when we do the checks and balances with respect to the progress we are making as a province, which is why we need stakeholders with the necessary technical expertise to share ideas. Basically PTTC informs the agenda for the planning of each financial year,” Kgokong said. 
 
Director for Tourism Investment Coordination at the national Department of Tourism, Kenny Hlela, recommended that the province look into creating an integrated Tourism model with other sectors.  
 
“Historically the way we have been selling Tourism has been independent of other sectors, when it should be seen as central to economic development.  Tourism should also be able to stimulate consumption and create demand for other sectors,” he said. 
 
Hlela also added that Bokone Bophirima province is better positioned to focus on high growth areas that would be significant in creating linkages with under- developed areas with the potential to grow.  
 
“Our focus is anchor projects which will unlock the potential of destinations so we do not focus on projects without multipliers,” he said.
 
Founder of Nare Tours, Tshepo Nare, who has been active in the sector for over 13 years, also expressed satisfaction of the outcome of the meeting.  
 
“It is better to have things in progress than not to have anything happening. But the most important thing is to have time frames that will monitor our implementation, which should be followed by reviews to say that we will work along the lines of progress,” he said. 
 
Nare also spoke about the importance of creating a unique selling point by preserving the heritage and culture of the province. 
 
“The introduction of VTSD [Villages, Townships and Small Dorpies] is a good concept but it is upon us to promote our culture and heritage as an attraction to draw people into the province. We need to protect our story tellers and produce more Tourist Guides who will be able to carry the legacy of narrating those stories,” Nare concluded.