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The tourism summit ended with industry stakeholders agreeing to continue thinking of ways to make the province the destination tourists think of first when planning a trip.
TOURISM industry stakeholders resolved to support Gauteng’s new tourism strategy and to continue pushing the sector in the province, as they wrapped up the last day of a two-day provincial tourism summit.


GautengImportant for Gauteng to re-strategise, says Premier Nomvula MokonyaneThe summit took place on 21 and 22 July at Sci-Bono Discovery Centre in Newtown, and was aimed at getting all stakeholders to share ideas on how to enhance tourism in the province, given that it is a critical economic sector worldwide, with the potential to provide sustainable economic growth and development.

“The outcome of the summit is a true representation on how we want to take the sector forward and we want to make sure that the value proposition we put forward stands us in good stead; tourists must think first, ‘If I don’t go to Gauteng, what would I be missing?’” said Qedani Mahlangu, the MEC of economic development and tourism.

All suggestions and ideas mooted during the summit had “been taken to heart”, she added. “Rest assured that I am your ambassador and you can count on my support fully in promoting the tourism industry in Gauteng.”

Dawn Robertson, the chief executive of the Gauteng Tourism Authority, said the summit had encouraged the provincial government to consider creativity and innovation in tourism. “The dialogue has encouraged us to ask how we get tourists to our province and at the same time we’ve had to ask ourselves ‘Is Gauteng a brand?’ The conversations that we have started will carry on.”

Robertson urged people to continue the dialogue. “People in Gauteng sell the province. It starts with us,” she said.

Mahlangu conceded that tourism in Gauteng was still grappling with issues of crime, safety and security, and admitted that the biggest challenge for tourism in Gauteng was product packaging.

“Let us promote the South Africa we want to see,” she said. “Let us promote the Gauteng we want to see. Let’s stop encouraging tourists to visit Sandton only – that is not Gauteng. We must all be ambassadors in promoting our province.”

Gauteng is looking to reinvent its tourism plan to attract tourists to the province. Watch video.
Gauteng’s tourism strategy envisages creating about 22  000 sustainable jobs in the sector by 2015 and positioning it as the prime tourist destination in Africa by 2020. To achieve its strategy, the province said it would improve its use of technology and be innovative in the creative design of event formats.

On the first day of the summit, Gauteng Premier Nomvula Mokonyane said tourism was a critical economic sector worldwide, with the potential to provide sustainable economic growth and development. However, she noted that because Gauteng was in increasing competition with coastal cities, it was important for the province to re-strategise.

“We need again to lead by example and use innovative formats and technologies to ensure that we create optimal value for the industry both in terms of content and substance but also in terms of innovative meeting architecture, which is a discipline that focuses on the content side of meetings,” she said.

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