Eastern Cape Economic Development, Environmental Affairs and Tourism’s (DEDEAT) Member of Executive Council (MEC), Mlungisi Mvoko, kicked off the provincial summer tourism season in Mzamba, Wild Coast Sun yesterday.
Declaring the activations open, MEC Mvoko says the launch officially marks the beginning of several tourism initiatives to take place throughout the province during the summer month. This is aimed at creating awareness about domestic tourism activities planned over this summer season.
MEC Mvoko praised the Eastern Cape for the incredible growth witnessed in domestic tourism in 2021 and called for more efforts to ensure that the Province continues on the upward trajectory.
According to MEC Mvoko, the Province took the largest share of domestic trips at 82.7% and the destination of domestic travellers at 150.09%.
“This means that between January and December of 2021 over 5 million trips were made to the Province, contributing R8.8bn to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
Also, for 2022, the half-year figures show that EC has reached the 2 million domestic trips mark, and this contributed to more than R4.3bn to the GDP” adds Mvoko.
This performance can be attributed to among others aggressive smart marketing approaches deployed by the Eastern Cape Parks and Tourism Agency (ECPTA) that spread to audiences far and wide, using digital outputs for both domestic and international tourism promotion.
ECPTA’s Chief Executive Officer, Vuyani Dayimani confirmed that the province fully embraced the technological advances of the 4th Industrial Revolution and positioned itself favourably by developing a digital strategy that has been serving as a very effective foundation and springboard for our tourism recovery.
DEDEAT provided funding for this programme at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Moreover, the government is spearheading various programmes to unlock tourism potential and ensure diverse and competitive tourism offering in the province.
In this regard, the government has undertaken numerous infrastructure developments to improve parks, reserves and heritage sites. As such and through ECPTA, DEDEAT is conducting maintenance in eight reserve infrastructure projects which are on schedule for completion.
Hluleka, Mkambathi, Silaka and Dwesa nature reserves are the main projects prioritised by the Department.
Meanwhile, the R41.9m Cape Morgan accommodation and office upgrades funded by the Department of Forestry, Fisheries and Environment (DFFE) are on schedule. Whilst the hiking trail and beach infrastructure project funded by the National Department of Tourism (NDT) has received R21m. The beaches funded fall under the local municipalities of Mbizana, Port St Johns, Nyandeni and Ndlambe.
Similarly, hiker’s huts at Hluleka, Mpande and Mngazana and Designs for Mngcibe Lodge are currently under construction.
Declaring the Eastern Cape summer activations ready, MEC Mvoko said the entire provincial tourism sector in the province is ready to receive the tourists. #Mholosummer