Page 26

Destination Limpopo Biodiversity holds great potential for growth in the tourism industry

T

ransforming the wildlife sector and creating opportunities for communities and small businesses in tourism sector are priorities for national and provincial authorities. Supporting local businessmen and women to enter the formal tourism market is part of the Industrial Development Corporation’s brief. The IDC backed local entrepreneur Mofasi Lekota in his hotel venture in the provincial capital, Park Inn by Radisson Polokwane. The development finance institution is also getting behind projects in Magoebaskloof and Thohoyandou. Almost 70% of South Africa’s number one tourist attraction, the Kruger National Park, falls in Limpopo, and yet relatively few local communities benefit materially from the park, beyond wage earning. In 2018 the celebration of the International Day of Tourist Guides was hosted by the Limpopo Department of Economic Development and Tourism (LEDET) at the Mopani rest camp in the Kruger National Park. At this gathering, the National Department of Tourism announced a new approach to supporting small, micro and medium enterprises LIMPOPO BUSINESS 2019/20

(SMMEs). Incentives and market support are to be offered in order to compete in the global market. Tour guiding is seen as an area with strong growth potential. The National Registrar of Tourist Guides works within the department. Wildlife farming and hunting generates enormous amounts of money but South Africans who were previously excluded by law still have very little access to this sector. According to calculations done by a Professor in Tourism at the University of the North West, Peet van der Merwe, trophy and biltong hunters contributed a combined R13.6-billion to the South African economy in the 2016/17 season. The number of direct jobs created in this period in Limpopo was 17 806 (The Conversation). In 2018, the formal wildlife auction turnover for the whole of South Africa was R750-million, as reported by Yolande Groenewald in the Mail & Guardian. A buffalo bull was sold in 2016 for R178-million. LEDET aims to create wider opportunities within these sectors via its Wildlife Transformation Policy. When President Ramaphosa visited Limpopo in 2017, it was to launch the National Biodiversity Economy Programme. Planners believe that the

24

Profile for Global Africa Network

Limpopo Business 2019/20 edition  

The 2019/20 edition of Limpopo Business is the 11th issue of this highly successful publication that, since its launch in 2007, has establis...

Limpopo Business 2019/20 edition  

The 2019/20 edition of Limpopo Business is the 11th issue of this highly successful publication that, since its launch in 2007, has establis...