by SIBUSISO SHONGWE in Mbombela, Mpumalanga
MBOMBELA – BOUYED by the United Kingdom’s decision to take South Africa off its red list, Mpumalanga has expressed readiness to welcome local and international tourists once again.
The Province of the Rising Sun is also upbeat following the launch of a provincial Jab4Tourism campaign – similar to the national COVID-19 Programme –to encourage all of the province’s tourism staff to get vaccinated so as to get the industry back on its feet.
“We want to remind travel partners that Mpumalanga is travel-ready,” said Johannes Nobunga, Chief Executive Officer of the Mpumalanga Tourism and Parks Agency (MTPA).
The executive was speaking during the just-ended Mpumalanga Provincial Showcase at the Expo 2020 Dubai.
“We want to assure travellers that we will be enforcing the COVID-19 health and safety protocols at all of our nature reserves and tourist attractions,” Nobunga assured.
He explained the Jab4Toruism campaign remains one of the agency’s priority programmes for this festive season.
“This will place confidence in all of our visitors and convince people to choose Mpumalanga as preferred destination of choice,” Nobunga said.
The province has welcomed the lifting of travel restrictions imposed on South Africa by the UK.
Sma Dlamini, the Acting MTPA Chief Marketing Officer, said South Africa’s omission from the UK red list will help it regain tourism traction.
“We are ready to welcome visitors and we are working very hard to come up with new products to entice visitors,” Dlamini assured.
The Kruger National Park is the main attraction in this eastern province bordering Mozambique and sharing borders the local Free State, Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal and Limpopo provinces.
The South African National Parks reports the Kruger attracted 1,5-million domestic and international visitors annually before COVID-19 erupted.
It is showing those glimpses.
“The Kruger (national park) is open and people are already streaming into this 2-million hectare gem,” Dlamini stated.
Other places worthy visiting are Dullstroom, popular for its restaurants and its fly-fishing heritage.
The Sudwala Caves is synonymous with crystals and butterflies.
Graskop, formerly a gold mining camp, with its famous gorge and the God’s Window, is a must-visit destination.
A glass skywalk under installation at God’s Window is hailed as the province’s most exciting development.
Set for completion in 2023, it is to offer visitors a view of the lush indigenous forested ravine 900 metres below.
Mpumalanga’s Ndebele’s villages boast vivid geometric designs and striking traditional clothing that are among Africa’s most eye-catching.
– CAJ News