State Province FOCUS
Growing the tourism sector
Dr Mbulelo Nokwequ, Head of Department at DESTEA, outlines some of the Free State’s unique selling propositions.
The Tourism Unit of DESTEA is providing market access for local operators.
ree State Province is situated in the heart of South Africa and ESTEA’swith Tourism Unit’s is to shares borders Lesotho andobjective six other provinces. It provides grow to thethe tourism easy access main sector’s ports ofcontribution Durban, East London and to the Free State economy. In achieving Port Elizabeth. this, isvarious activities and functions are The Free State an attractive business and investment destination. Theperformed, province iswhich at the include: centre of South Africa and the dominant sectors Creating a mining, conducive environmentand forthe tourism to sectors, making are•agriculture, manufacturing tertiary thrive it ideal for transport logistics and agro-processing. • Formulating and implementing a Provincial Companies locating to Free State not only enjoy the opportunity to Tourism Sector Strategy to guide tourism activities source inputs at competitive prices, but also to benefit from domestic, in the province regional and international markets for their products and services. • Providing market access opportunities both Because South Africa has been engaging with our economically large locally and internationally to provincial tourism • Promotion of tourism safety through among others, trading partners, access to international markets is facilitated through enterprises programmes such as the Provincial Joint various preferences and free-trade agreements. Operational and Intelligence Structure (Provjoints), • Rolltrade out programmes to enhance visitor services As farexperience as long-term investment is concerned, there are industrial with law enforcement agencies, and also through and parks and a Special Economictourism Zone (SEZ) that areand supported by the the Tourism Monitors Programme. implementing • Facilitate and promote education Department of Trade,forIndustry and sector Competition. Industrial parks capacity-building the tourism are• Psituated Botshabelo and Thaba Nchu. • anExcellence idyllic climate Journey to Service romote in theMaluti-A-Phofung, culture of tourism and service Maluti-A-Phofung SEZ is situated in Tshiame. • recreational and lifestyle The J2SE will focus on nominating a small town excellence Free State’s strengths of forthe inward investment are boosted by: tourism facilities. in the rural nodes and assisting the •The Promote transformation tourism sector for • openness business, trade and foreign investment town to develop a service excellence-orientated inclusive to tourism economy, as well as providing • abundance natural Select investment opportunities culture in their organisations and different support to of youth andresources women in tourism • •low factory rentals strong media attention and focus Facilitating events tourism to reduce seasonality structures with include: • Africa’s leadinggeographic telecommunications • Agriculture during the activation. A townand willagrobe identified and enhance spread network • •incentive developed for Special Zones and the principlesprocessing of Service Excellence will be Facilitatepackages fundinguniquely for initiatives that seek toEconomic communicated •to all organisations. A criterion has develop and grow tourism in the province • incentives associated with the revitalised industrial parks Tourism and property beenfor developed for the nomination which • Free State Development Corporation (FDC) support services development has been shared and discussed with relevant priority sectors such as agro-processing and manufacturing • Medical and pharmaceutical stakeholders. production A number of will be • a large labour pool andactivities distribution implemented in anticipation of the big media • diverse cultures • Manufacturing event to launch J2SE Town.and clean energy • competitive land and building cost • Renewable At its core, the J2SE aims to bring together • world-class transport and telecommunications infrastructure • Medical tourism. the entire town including restaurants, accommodation facilities, tourist attractions, police, banks and petrol attendants, among FREEtrained STATE and BUSINESS 2020 7 others, to be informed, exposed to the four components of the SANS 1197:2012. A secondary objective of this programme is to establish a local Tourism Service Excellence structure or to link with existing structures to build a sustainable service culture. ■ FREE STATE BUSINESS 2021