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‘Tourism is the new frontier’

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The signing of the MOU was the culmination of months of discussions and planning.

UNDERSTANDING: Northern Cape Tourism CEO Sharon Lewis and Free State Tourism CEO Kenny Dichabe signed a memorandum of understanding. Picture: Danie van der Lith

IN THE hopes of attracting more tourists to central South Africa, a memorandum of understanding (MOU) between the Northern Cape Tourism Authority (NCTA) and the Free State Gambling, Liquor and Tourism Authority (FSGLTA) was signed at the McGregor Museum in Kimberley on Wednesday evening.

This follows the extension of the NCTA’s agreement with the Eastern Cape Tourism and Parks Agency during the annual Indaba Travel Show held in Durban in May, with the provinces aiming to effectively promote their tourism industries through collaborations.

“In the past, we positioned ourselves as the Province of extremes, aligning our strategy to the three brand pillars of nature, culture and adventure,” explained the chairperson of the NCTA board, Colin Fortune.

“We are happy to start working with our neighbouring partners in making sure we build a strong, sellable brand of the two provinces and increase seasonal visitors numbers to both provinces.”

Free State Tourism CEO Kenny Dichabe gave the FSTA’s commitment to the partnership, adding that Wednesday’s signing of the MOU was the culmination of months of discussions and planning.

“We are hoping to change the tourism landscape by breaking boundaries,” he said. “Tourism is the new frontier, making it more important for collaborations between our provinces.

“The signing of the MOU sees the provinces combine their resources in order to diversify product offerings and to reach more markets.”

Dichabe’s counterpart from the Northern Cape, NCTA CEO Sharon Lewis, agreed with these sentiments as she described the agreement as long overdue, especially considering the close proximity of the two provincial capital cities.

“The closer we work together, the more we can share resources and experiences,” she said. “Collaborations form part of the fourth industrial revolution and we welcome the signing of this MOU.”