Remarks and presentation of Key Note Speaker by MEC for LEDET, Mr. Thabo Mokone, at the Limpopo Tourism Lekgotla

Date : 26 August 2021 Venue : Tiveka Game Lodge Theme “Advancing Tourism Growth through Investment and Partnerships.’’ Ladies and gentlemen, let me at the outset indicate that the 2021 episode of Limpopo Tourism Lekgotla takes place at a time when many small businesses are in dire need of an economic injection due the outbreak COVID-19, whose negative effects have largely been felt by the tourism industry. Given the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, these goals may need to be revised as the numbers of international travelers have been reduced drastically, whilst the domestic trips may have taken a knock in the first half of 2020 when COVID-19 broke out. I must say that our Province did so well for the past three years in respect of 5 in 5 (five million tourists in five years) as prescribed by the SA Tourism. This was corroborated by the fact that Limpopo continued to be the second most visited by international tourists after Gauteng for over four years in a row to date. The quality of speakers we invited to this gathering and the topics to be covered during demonstrate our commitment as Government to bring tourism back on its feet again. Ladies and gentlemen, you will recall that since the outbreak of COVID-19 and the start of lockdown last year, we never relented, but became innovative by developing measures to aid the industry to get back on its feet again. We continue to implement the recovery plan that we developed and adopted last year, but we also continue to look for other ways to support the tourism sector in our province. We ensured that this Lekgotla covers our six divergent tourism clusters which constitute the main product offering for destination Limpopo. The promotion of the tourism clusters is driven through the LTA Tourism Marketing Strategy and the COVID-19 Tourism Recovery Plan, I alluded to. These tourism clusters are as follows: (i) Family and Recreation; (ii) Special Interest; (iii) Sport and Wildlife; (iv) Culture and Heritage; (v) Safari and Hunting; and (vi) Business and Events. Ladies and gentlemen, mine is a very simple task to perform here. Please allow me to present to you a veteran and leader of our Government, the Honorable Premier of the Province, Mr. Chupu Stanley Mathabatha.