Local communities encouraged to travel

Tourism Awareness Day was this year celebrated by the Mpumalanga Tourism and Parks Agency (MTPA) in partnership with the Nkangala District Municipality.

The function was held at the Ukhamba Events Centre.

The MEC for Finance, Economic Development and Tourism, Mr Vusimuzi Mkhatshwa also attended the celebrations.

Mr Johannes Nobunga (CEO of MTPA) said that they are pleased to be partnering with the district and local municipalities in these initiatives which add value to the communities.

Precios Jiyane and Christina Twala at their Khanyisani Bomma Trading stall.

“Our aim is to create awareness on the impact of tourism in our daily lives. This year’s theme ‘Tourism for Inclusive Growth‘ is aimed at celebrating tourism’s ability to drive inclusive development and the role it plays in promoting respect while generating opportunities for many millions across the globe. The primary motive behind the celebration of Tourism Month is to nurture the awareness on the importance of tourism and demonstrate its cultural, social, economic and political values across the world,” he said.

The intention of tourism month is to encourage people to travel and visit the less visited areas hence the decision to host this awareness day next to Mhluzi and reach out to the locals and nearby secondary schools that offer tourism as a subject.

Emmanuel Malinda and Selina Sindane (Mamazala Design and Solutions).

According to Mr Nobunga this type of celebration allows the MTPA and the local government an opportunity to interact with various stakeholders and educate the community at large.

“Small positive actions by tourists can go a long way in improving the lives of local communities. Tourism provides much-needed jobs and wealth. In our awareness campaigns, we continuously encourage the youth that is currently studying or completed their studies to explore numerous opportunities available in the tourism sector,” commended Mr Nobunga.

Linda Ntuli and Mkhulu Ndlovu (from the NPO: ‘I Mean to Shine’).

The celebration of Tourism Month every year in September presents an opportunity to highlight the economic impact of tourists that partake in those million experiences. “This is an opportunity for our communities to take a short left and discover those million new experiences.”

Katrina Mnguni (Regional Tourism Organiser, from Kgarebana Guest House), Godfrey Mtsweni (a Praise Poet from Tokologo), Martha Rankwe (Zikariseni Ndbele Crafts) and Thandi Mhlangu (Magobholi Traditional Attire).

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