A view of the Mpumalanga exhibition stand
The MEC for Finance, Economic Development and Tourism, Mr Sikhumbuzo Kholwane today addressed the media attending the annual Tourism Indaba in Durban on the co-operation agreement signed between Mpumalanga Province and the Ural Association of Tourism in the Sverdlovsk region of Russia.
The media briefing was attended by the media, tour operators from the Russian Federation as well as those from Mozambique and Swaziland. The co-operation agreement seeks to strengthen relations between the two provinces and further promote tourism attraction in each other’s region.
“The Mpumalanga Provincial Government has decided to prioritise tourism development and promotion by exploring opportunities for collaboration and partnerships. We are therefore excited to have partnered with the Ural Association of Tourism in the Sverdlovsk Region with the aim of exploring opportunities that will assist in positioning Mpumalanga as a preferred tourism destination. The co-operation seeks to leverage on growing the number of tourists coming into South Africa”, said Mr Sikhumbuzo Kholwane.
The MEC doing a walkabout at the Mpumalanga stand
The scope of the agreement will focus on:
- Interaction between tourism and tour operators, tour related organisation and associations as well as the youth operating in the tourism sector;
- Exchange of tourism delegations to promote each other’s regions;
- Exchange of tourism research and statistics on product development; and
- Study visits of researchers and experts in the tourism and hospitality sector.
This agreement will further focus on exchange programmes, joint marketing initiatives, investment and environmental issues.
“As part of showcasing some of the tourism offerings and the Triland route, the Mpumalanga Tourism and Parks Agency (MTPA) will be hosting the tour operators from the Russian Federation on a 9 days familiarization tour of Mpumalanga, Swaziland and Mozambique. This will afford them an opportunity to learn more about the diverse tourism offerings”, said Mr Thulani Nzima, Chairperson of the MTPA Board.
Thulani Nzima MTPA Chairperson and Mikhail Maltsev Executive Director Ural Association of Tourism initialising the co-operation agreement at Indaba
The agreement will be in force for a period of five (5) years with an option for renewal by both parties. A joint commission with be established to discuss issues that might arise from the implementation of the agreement.
“We are delighted that we are already implementing some of the areas highlighted in the co-operation agreement through participation at this year’s Tourism Indaba. Indaba is one of the essential marketing platforms we use in promoting and positioning destination Mpumalanga” concluded Nzima.