EC joins forces to boost tourism

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ECPTA CEO Vuyani Dayimani said the partnership formed part of the agency’s mission to form strategic partnerships.

The Eastern Cape and Northern Cape provinces have formed a partnership that will see the two provinces’ tourism bodies combining travel packages tailored for clients.

“As a province we pride ourselves for the nine tourism routes we offer, but we cannot take away from the fact that while we segregate ourselves by regions and municipalities, tourists see no boundaries and just see destinations which is why we have joined with the Northern Cape and integrated with municipalities to sell tourism.

“The Karoo route starts in the Eastern Cape and travels into the Karoo (Northern Cape) – so that is why we have bridged the gap and decided to rather sell a complete package to our tourists that can benefit the Eastern Cape and the Northern Cape collectively.

“This brings mutual gain to both provinces even on a cultural level, because the people of the Northern Cape can’t tell their history without mentioning our province – there is a strong linkage which we are embracing and this can only be a fruitful partnership for both parties,” said Dayimani.

Dayimani said they had also collaborated on other products to sell the province “collectively” at the Tourism Indaba which allowed for more product owners to come on board.

“It proves less costly and promotes more integration among the products so it is easier to learn and grow from each other’s strengths, because we are not in competition, and we share the same goals,” he said.

Dayimani added that the agency was also selling new packages to attract new clients and to maintain the original market.

“South African tourism has identified a double digit growth in Asian markets viewing our products, which is why we have invited them to come and explore the Eastern Cape as part of the pre-Indaba tour.

“We want to capitalise on the emerging markets without losing focus on the existing market from the USA,” he said.

Environmental affairs, finance and tourism MEC Sakhumzi Somyo applauded the integration initiated by the agency.

“Northern Cape has different attributes which can attract different markets, and we can easily share information. They are already forging relations with Namibia, which will also benefit us as much as them from us.

“It’s great to see ECPTA has taken other products and municipalities under its wing and not just selling itself; it is doing a great job representing the province.

Somyo, a former mayor of the Amathole district municipality, also expressed his disappointment at the absence of the municipality at the Tourism Indaba.

“During my time as a mayor we were always active in tourism and present at indabas, pushing our products and selling the municipality, because tourism enhances the economy and creates jobs for the unemployed.” — mbalit@dispatch.co.za

Source: Dispatch Live

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