Limpopo Tourism Agency (LTA), established in respect of Limpopo Tourism Act No. 2 of 2009, has witnessed a lot of metamorphosis since its inception fourteen (14) years ago. Limpopo Tourism and Parks (LTP) at the time, was also responsible for conservation including management of provincial nature reserves, but in 2007, the Limpopo Executive Council resolved to transfer the conservation function to Limpopo Economic Development, Environment and Tourism (LEDET). It was against this background that the legislation for the establishment of the LTP Board, Limpopo Tourism and Parks Board Act No. 8 of 2001 CEO had to be repealed to give way to the new one. From then the entity remained with the management of state owned resorts, that is, Limpopo Wildlife Resorts, in the respective provincial nature reserves.
Upon its appointment, the new LTA Board had a clear mandate on what the organization should look like in respect of its new focus. In August 2015, the Board underwent a strategic workshop to internalize the new piece of legislation governing it, Limpopo Tourism Act No. 2 of 2009. The entity was commissioned to review its marketing strategy in line with the new Act. The Executive Council also issued Resolution No. 7 of 2015/16, which further directs that Limpopo Wildlife Resorts be transferred to LEDET. This thus leaves LTA with only one focus or mandate of marketing Limpopo Province as a preferred tourist destination. Limpopo Wildlife Resorts (LWR) will be promoted like all other tourism products in the province.
The new marketing strategy will focus on the six (6) key strategic thrusts, namely, Destination Awareness, Partnerships and Collaborations (Domestic and International), Optimal Destination Development, Facilitate Industry Transformation, Brand Management and Research Information Management. It was imperative to develop this strategy as it will help to build destination Limpopo into the leading must–visit leisure, business and events destination for both international and domestic tourists. The strategy will also build a single-minded and differentiated brand positioning for Destination Limpopo which allows it to stand out both nationally and internationally.
LTA realizes that Southern African Development Community (SADC) is a very key market on the tourism front. Research has revealed that 70% of South African Tourism’s (SAT) arrivals come from our 6 neighbouring countries, and mainly visit Gauteng and their key attractions include Shopping, Nightlife, Social, Business. It is worth noting that destination Limpopo only captures 5% of these visitors mainly from Zimbabwe (97%), Botswana, and Swaziland. The study indicates that they come to destination Limpopo for holiday (76%), Visiting Friends and Relatives (9%) and Business (9%). The key attractions in this regard are shopping, night life, social and business. We will focus our attention to joint marketing with South Africa Tourism especially in (Zimbabwe, Botswana, and Mozambique), doing more route promotions with bordering countries and increasing awareness on shopping, nightlife and social products/attractions/events. LTA will optimize on its competitive advantage of sharing borders with three countries in SADC.
We will vigorously market our tourism potential focusing on the six strategic clusters namely, Mega Conservation, Golf & Game, Special Interest, Family and Recreation, Hunting & Safari and Business.
INDABA is one of the largest tourism marketing events on the African calendar and one of the top three ‘must visit’ events of its kind on the global calendar. It showcases the widest variety of Southern Africa’s best tourism products and attracts international buyers and media from across the world. INDABA is owned by South African Tourism and organized by Pure Grit Project and Exhibitions Management (Pty) Ltd. INDABA has won the award for Africa’s best travel and tourism show. This award was presented by the Association of World Travel Awards. The trade show will be hosted from 7th – 9th May 2016 at Inkosi Albert Luthuli Convention (Durban ICC) and the Durban Exhibition Centre.
Over the past years the LTA, in its marketing efforts at Indaba has constantly promoted the tourism clusters as part of positioning the province’s tourism offering. Every year LTA builds its concept around a particular cluster. LTA has already positioned the destination around mega conservation, golf and safari, and special interest. LTA has also sought to position clusters in consistence with responsible tourism principles. Equally, our partners have consistently embraced the LTA’s approach at Indaba. The approach this year is to highlight family and recreation cluster as the main market positioning supported by the rest of the clusters.
As highlighted, our concept for Indaba 2016 is centered on family and recreation cluster incorporating elements of the other tourism clusters. The central thrust is to deliberately expose various tourism offerings that address the needs of families. The idea is to emphasize the things to do for families. Things to do for families includes caravan and camping, adventure experiences, water sports, archery, fishing, quad biking, horseback riding, hiking, spa treatments, game drives, cultural tours and more.
This constitutes the concept and the mechanism of executing our marketing plans utilizing the Tourism Indaba platform. It’s imperative that LTA in the implementation of the concept works with both the industry and its partners to realize the objectives. The family and recreation cluster will definitely be a strong marketing positioning product given its broad appeal to various segments. The cluster is a must have package for trade given its convention in terms of both trips and spend.
TELKOM SUPERSPORT SHOOTOUT
The prestigious Supersport Shootout is now firmly established as South African’s premier celebrity golf event after twelve successful years. It is a totally unique event designed for amateur golfers, yet replacing all elements of international professional event. The concept has been extended to include a Ladies Supersport Shootout which features the leading ladies of society. The events include live television coverage, highlight packages, extensive branding and incredibly high standard of professional activation.
These events are unique as they comprise invitational fields of top government officials, high profile professionals, corporate executives and legendary South African sportsmen and women competing alongside one another. Importantly, the makeup of the filed reflects the various cultures of our country. Finance Minister Trevor Manuel was the Parton of the inaugural 2004 event, former Public Enterprise Minister, Mr. Alec Erwin in 2005 and Advocate Moraka, who sits on the boards Multichoice and Standard Bank, was the Patron of the Ladies event in 2013.
The events are designed to establish South Africa’s top celebrity amateur golfers whilst at the same time raise significant funds to address pressing issues facing our country, namely education, poverty and development.
This is a strictly invitation event and will be hosted in our Province from the 4th – 8th May 2016 at Legend Golf and Safari Lodge, a signature golf course in our Province which has an extreme 19th hole with the longest par 3 in the world and only accessible by a helicopter. In 2012 the Province launched Limpopo Tourism Golf Extravaganza a phenomenal flagship event that we identify as a major milestone in the history of the Province.
As a province, we optimize on the competitive advantage of having this niche product, which now boasts several premier and highly sought after golf courses in the province. The Limpopo Tourism Golf Extravaganza continues to grow in leaps and bounds as LTA saw the need to promote Golf and Safari in the province. We remain confident that this will contribute immensely to tourism and economic growth in our province.
As part of further entrenching our presence within the golf market, we have introduced the golf passport which encourages golfers to visit more than one golf resort for various experiences at a fairly reasonable price. We challenge our guests to acquaint themselves with our passport which may be accessed through www.golimpopo.com website.
INTERFACE WITH LOCAL GOVERNMENT
Part of what LTA will do this year going into the future will be working very closely with municipalities through partnerships and collaborations during their respective activities and events. LTA notes the important role that municipalities can play in our endeavor to grow tourism and economy in the province. We recognize Local Government as a key stakeholder in the tourism sector because tourism takes place at a local level but most importantly all the tourism products we promote are based in municipalities. The objectives for our partnership and collaboration with Local Government are as follows:
- To enhance and build a strong tourism value chain in municipalities;
- To build capacity in municipalities;
- To create a united front in defending and growing the market share domestically and internationally.
Our collaboration with municipalities will benefit both parties as tourism growth will result in economic growth that will create more job opportunities that will alleviate poverty and inequality.