Mpumalanga Tourism Withdraws From Indaba
Nkambule adds that the MTPA will continue to engage government to assist in resolving the current financial situation faced by the agency. “We trust that it will be resolved in due course and we will be able to implement our marketing programmes as planned.”
Mpumalanga tourism industry players doubt that the MTPA’s absence from Indaba will affect tourism to the region but they say it will reflect poorly on the MTPA and the provincial government. Lisa Sheard, Chairperson of Kruger Lowveld Tourism, says the MTPA has not been playing an active role in marketing the province for many years now. She adds that the slow and steady decay of the MTPA has resulted in the private sector taking over responsibility of marketing the province over the years.
Sheard says: “The MTPA has had financial problems virtually since its inception in 2006. There has been little real understanding within the agency of how to fulfil its legislative (and priority) mandate to market the province and there has been a persistent lack of political will and financial support over the years. Instead, the MTPA has been preoccupied with power struggles and political jockeying and has been micromanaged by politicians with no tourism or conservation agenda – all this resulting in a complete lack of focus on its core responsibilities. Its absence from Indaba 2013 is simply a manifestation of what has been happening for a long, long time.”
Sourced from Tourism Update and written by Dorine Reinstein