Eastern Cape govt embarks on tourism economic recovery activities

14th September 2021 By: Yvonne Silaule - Contributor

The six-day hiking trail from Coffee Bay to Port St Johns, in the Eastern Cape, that is under construction forms part of the economic recovery efforts of the province’s tourism sector.

Finance, Economic Development, Environmental Affairs and Tourism MEC Mlungisi Mvoko made the announcement during the launch of Tourism Month at the Cradock Four garden of remembrance last week.

“The Eastern Cape government is embarking on a number of initiatives to ensure the province does not lose its status as one of the great tourist destinations in the country.

"We are expecting positive yields from the East London beachfront development project and the Water-World construction project that we are undertaking with the Buffalo City metro municipality in East London,” said the MEC.

Mvoko pointed out that the provincial department had partnered with the national departments of Tourism and Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment, which resulted in significant investment in tourism and conservation products on reserves and tourism products outside of reserves.

“Covid-19 has changed the face of the sector but it has also taught us to break down silos, to strengthen partnerships and to gain a new appreciation for the collective responsibility of what we are working towards, leveraging our tremendous natural resources to drive growth and development of the province we call home.

“I want to urge all tourism and hospitality product owners to join us on this journey. We have already shown, through the many successful public-private partnerships and collaborations forged during lockdown, that our collective abilities far exceed our individual efforts,” the MEC said.

The Eastern Cape provincial government has also injected an amount of R42.9-million into the tourism value chain in this financial year, through the Provincial Economic Stimulus Fund, to improve reserves infrastructure.

“Some of the money that we have allocated to the [provincial] Department of Transport in this financial year will be spent on improving roads infrastructure that connects our tourism amenities, including the Hluleka Nature Reserve and the Dwesa Nature Reserve in Willowvale,” Mvoko said.