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TOURISM Life-changing

TOURISM Life-changing memories are created in the Northern Cape Visitors are drawn to the stark beauty of the Northern Cape landscape but the province’s reputation as an events destination is on the rise, as the MEC for Economic Development, Finance and Tourism, Abraham Vosloo, explains. Abraham Vosloo, Member of the Executive Council for Economic Development, Finance and Tourism Abraham Vosloo was born in Askham and completed his schooling in Upington. With both a teacher’s and a higher diploma in education, he taught from 1990 to 2000 when he became the Director Corporate Services at //Khara Hais Municipality. In 2012 he became Municipal Manager of Kai! Garib Municipality. After a stint as the fulltime Regional Secretary of the African National Congress in the ZF Mgcawu District Municipality he took on the roles of Speaker and Executive Mayor. In 2019 he was appointed as the MEC for the Department of Roads and Public Works and has since been appointed as the MEC to the Department of Finance, Economic Development and Tourism. How do you promote the Northern Cape? Our marketing and promotional approach is through campaigns. Our recovery campaign is endeavouring to keep Brand Northern Cape top of mind. Through the optimal use of technology, multiple marketing platforms, digital partnerships with South African Tourism and other partners we continue to inspire, promote and encourage travel to the Northern Cape. Trends are indicating that demand now and into the future will be about authentic and experiential travel. Tourists are avoiding busy city centres and heading to more remote locations to experience the truly unique and authentic experiences, the culture, the lifestyle. To have life-changing experiences. What are some of the province’s special charms? Steeped in stark, semi-desert beauty, the Northern Cape province is the largest of all the South African provinces, but it is that special Northern Cape hospitality that keeps visitors coming back. Our visitors are drawn to our deep roots in history and the peace and charm offered by off-the-beaten-track towns and villages. The Northern Cape is unquestionably South Africa’s most beautiful and natural province, with five diverse tourist regions and six national parks, including the world’s only mountain-desert transfrontier park, the ai/Ais Richtersveld Transfrontier Park, which features the world's richest desert flora. The world-famed Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park is home to vast herds of antelope, the iconic Kalahari Black-maned lion, and night skies ablaze with a million stars can be seen at the !Ae!Hai Kalahari World Heritage Site, an international Dark Sky Sanctuary, one of only 10 such in the world. What progress has been made in reviving events in the NC tourism calendar? The Northern Cape has steadily grown, not only as a captivating leisure destination but as a competitive business events and incentive destination as well as a leading sportstourism destination. Since the Northern Cape province was named the leading sports tourism destination in Africa by the prestigious Business Destinations Travel Awards, sports and adventure tourism have grown exponentially in the province. International and national events such as the Kalahari Rally, the Bloodhound Land Speed Record project, Orange River Descent Canoe Marathon, the Namakwa Surf Challenge, Trans Karoo Mountain Bike Challenge, Richtersveld Wild Run, European and African Barefoot Water Ski Championships were all mega events that have been pivotal in the marketing of the province. Kimberley has transformed into the hub for South African skateboarding with the development of a world-class skate park that has hosted big events. These high-octane events were instrumental in bringing economic benefits to rural communities and contributing to economic growth. What are your goals for the sector? Our strategic objective is on growing business events from our domestic markets as well as African markets. The focus is on industry associations in the key industries within the Northern Cape namely, agriculture, mining, technology and alternative energy. We intend to attract related sector conferences and meetings. Through our partnership with SANCB we will continue the bidding process for international association meetings for 2023-2025. Are there investment opportunities in the province? The Northern Cape has tremendous investment opportunities! It borders on four other provinces, the Atlantic Ocean to the west and the countries of Namibia and Botswana to the north, making it an ideal gateway to other international markets. The province offers profitable investment opportunities in mineral and metal processing, agricultural production and processing, fishing, mariculture, energy, tourism, renewable energy and the knowledge economy. Billions of rands have recently been invested in the solar power and radio astronomy fields and we invite other potential investors to investigate what we have to offer. 42 | www.opportunityonline.co.za

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