The MEC, Mr Sikhumbuzo Eric Kholwane says the Province is deeply concerned about the increasing numbers of tourist incidents that contribute negatively towards the growth of the sector in Mpumalanga. He said this whilst addressing the Tourism Products owners during the Mpumalanga Tourism Stakeholders Forum Meeting at Sabie River Sun on 10 November 2018, in Hazyview.
The meeting was used as a platform for the tourism sector stakeholders to discuss pertinent factors hampering tourism in the Province. Issues such as safety and security, quality of roads and service delivery protests were discussed.
MEC Kholwane said, “Mpumalanga is one of the country’s top tourism destination, therefore it is very important for government, private sector and community leaders to join hands and address service delivery protests which continue to threaten tourism activities around the Panorama route.
“The number of reported cases where tourists are coaxed to pay bribes to traffic officers, for offences they did not even commit is very concerning. We call upon our tourists to work with government to uproot this criminal element. We are also committed to improve the quality of our roads leading to our tourist destinations”, said MEC Kholwane.
The MEC’s sentiments were echoed by the Minister of Tourism, Mr Derrick Henekom who urged role players in the tourism sector to bother government on issues affecting the growth of the tourism sector, and announced that the National Department of Tourism will deploy an additional 250 tourism safety monitors in the Province, to ensure the safety of tourists while visiting the Province.
MEC Kholwane concluded by appealing to all role players in the tourism sector, to continue to work together with government, to address challenges affecting the growth of the sector.