The Mpumalanga Tourism and Parks Agency (MTPA) will today celebrate the Tourism Awareness Day in partnership with Gert Sibande District Municipality and Lekwa Local Municipality at Standerton. The awareness day is part of the tourism month activities aimed at educating local communities about responsible tourism and further encouraging them to preserve their heritage and culture. 

“We are pleased to be partnering with the district and local municipalities in these initiatives which add value to our communities. Our aim is to create awareness on the impact of tourism in our daily lives. This year’s theme Tourism and the Digital Transformation selected by the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) presents an opportunity to create awareness on the potential contribution of digital technologies to sustainable tourism development, while providing a platform for investment, partnerships and collaboration towards a more responsible and inclusive tourism sector” said Mr Johannes Nobunga, CEO of MTPA. 

The intention of tourism month is to encourage people to travel and visit the less visited areas hence the decision to host this year’s Tourism Awareness Day at Standerton. 

Standerton is a small town that provides a lot of water based activities which are popular with tourists visiting the area. The Vaal River is one of South Africa’s largest rivers which flows through Standerton and provides a lot of water based activities. Many of the guest farms in the area provide horse riding, guided forest walks and many other enjoyable activities that brings one closer to nature. 

“Today’s celebration will afford both government and private sector an opportunity to interact with the local communities and further educate the community about the importance of tourism and its social, cultural, political and economic value. The event also seeks to address global challenges outlined in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and to highlight the contribution tourism can make in people’s lives”, explained Nobunga. 

It is important for government and private sector to work together to create a sustainable, inclusive tourism sector that embraces smart technology to grow the sector further. Through partnerships we should improve digital literacy of historically disadvantaged product owners to create opportunities for e-learning, marketing and enhancement of their businesses. 

Although digital technology creates numerous opportunities for the tourism sector, measures should be explored to ensure the security of tourism information and trade. 

This year’s World Tourism Day celebrations in the Eastern Cape on 27 September hold great significance due to the Nelson Mandela and Albertina Sisulu Centenary Celebrations. 

To view the Mpumalanga’s jam packed tourism month programme and exciting affordable tourism packages, visit www.mpumalanga.com and follow us on various social media platforms like facebook, twitter and Instagram. 

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