Tourism Sport and heritage tourism are new strategic sectors.
Pecanwood Golf & Country Club. Image: North West Tourism
he impact of Covid-19 will be felt for many months to come, and the tourism sector of the North West Province will be affected by the travel restrictions put in place in 2020. A saving grace for the province is the extremely wide range of activities that are offered to a high standard. This makes it more likely that one or more of these subsectors will be in a position to lead a recovery. In almost any sector one can think of, North West has outstanding representatives. For example, Sun City (golf, conferencing and hotels) and several game lodges within both the Pilanesberg and Madikwe game reserves are internationally renowned. Birding, fishing, hunting and hot-air ballooning are among other popular pursuits and Potchefstroom has outstanding sporting facilities for a range of sports. Australia and Spain won the cricket and soccer world cups from their base in Potchefstroom and international athletes often visit the city for training camps. The North West Parks and Tourism Board (NWPTB) is investing in the province’s 12 smaller parks with the intention of creating jobs. In partnership with the National Department of Tourism, work has begun on the Manyane Game Lodge in Mahikeng, with a budget allocation of R43-million. Another project envisages a mega-park in the northwestern sector of the province, the Heritage Park. The Mahika-Mahikeng Cultural Festival continues to grow in popularity. Arts and culture development centres (Mmabana Centres) are found in three of the province’s districts. Twelve public museums have been identified together with 400 heritage sites as part of a census on the province’s cultural assets. The NWPTB is unique in South Africa in that it is the only provincial government entity that runs a hotel school. The Institute of Hotel NORTH WEST BUSINESS 2020/21
Sector Insight The North West Parks and Tourism Board is investing in its 12 smaller parks. and Tourism Management (IHTM) has two campuses, one in Mahikeng and one at GaRankuwa outside Pretoria. The courses offered are approved by the Council for Higher Education and accredited with the relevant sector authority, THETA. In addition to the provincial tourism authority, there are regional tourism organisations which market special attractions: • Harties Tourism Association. • Matlosana Tourism Association. • Mooinooi: Buffelspoort Valley. • N12 Treasure Route Association. • Potch Tourism Association. • V redefor t Dome Tourism Association. Taung is the site of the first discovered fossil of Australopithecus africanus.