Tourism and Heritage Development
In the context of the local economic development Ntinga OR Tambo Development Agency is mandated to also implement tourism within the OR Tambo District Municipality. Tourism is seen to have a development potential second to agriculture in the region.
Understanding the tourism potential: Like the rest in South Africa, tourism potential in the region is uderstood in relation to a number of pointers including wildlife; varied and impressive scenery; diverse community cultures and heritage; conducive mild to hot climatic conditions; diverse kinds of tourism plant including accommodation; excellent conferecne and exhibition centers; well developed trasport infracstructre; as well as growing recognition of eco-tourism.
Competitive advantage of the OR Tambo District Municipality: In comperion with the other economic regions the district municipality define s its competitive advantage in tourism developmen in relation to various opportunities.
Overall it is of great advantage to the district that some of the great leaders of our times, OR Tambo and Nelson Mandela were born in this region.
Secondly it is also of greate advathae that the region holds 120 kilometers of the Wild Coast defined elsewhere as “the pearl in the crown of the Eastern Cape” – the brand name “Wild Coast” is nationally and internationally recognised as representing ecological virginity and natural beauty to an ever-growing eco-tourism market.
Put in summary the entire distrcit municipality has five specific characteristics that constitute uniqueness to the area’s competitive advantage:
- Pristine eco-systems
- Cultural transitional and historical heritage
- Scenic beaches rivers and topography
- Existing tourism plant
- In addition to these there are a growing interest amongst investors in the area
The objectives of tourism development
- Tourism sector development plan and implementation strategy formulation
- Linking provincial and national tourism development initiatives
- Facilitate establishment of the tourism enterprises
- Facilitate developmne tof regional entrepreneurs into the industry
- Participate in the establishment of regional and local tourism organization
Local Municpalities covered
The policy of the district municipality is to promote both coastal and inland tourism. as an entity manadated to promote LED in the seven local municipalities, Port St. Johns, Mhlontlo, Nyadeni, Qaukeni, Mbizana, Kng Sabata Dalinyebo, Ntabankulu, Ntinga OR Tambo development Agency is ecpected to facilitate and provide strategic support in all these municipalities. However, this support is not impose, but an out of sound inter – government relations between the District Municipality and its constituent local municipalities, Against this background in the past three years Ntinga OR Tambo Development Agency provided forms of support to local municipalities as follows:
- Tourism Strategy Development:The agency pariticipated actively in the development of tourism strategies in relation to Mzamba, EU Support to the Wild Coast SDI Task Team, DEAET initiated investment promotion in relation t Mkambali, Silaka, Hluleka Game Reserves.; creation of the EU Community Fund; as well as in relation to various initiatives of the District Municipality including the development of the Tourism Framework; City of Cape Town – OR Tambo District Municipality Partnership; and the establishment of the Regional and Local Tourism Organizations in all municipalities.
- Investment promotion:The agency has participated actively in the facilitation of investment in Mkambati, Silaki, as well as in relation to a number of EU Supported Community based projects in kwaMadiba, Coffee Bay and in the region between Mbizana and Quakeni. Investors that have shown and intereset in partnerring with the communities include Wilderness Safaris, Mantis Collection, Drifters and Elan Group. Combined private sector investment projected to injection in these communities exceeds R 60 Million.
- Resource mobilisation: Thirdly the agency participated actively in facilitating communication between the District Municipality and the Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism.
Employment creation record
In relation to all the various interventions of the agency job opportunities have been created, Available information is based on the actional informatuion and projections as some of these projects are still in planning phases. The information reflects as follows:
Over-arching tourism development strategy
Ntinga OR Tambo Development Agency undertakes to promote sustainable exploitation of the identified tourism potential and opportunities within the OR Tambo District Municipality through an over-arching Tourism development strategy consisting of the following strategic objectives:
- Promoting public sector investment in infrastructure development in nodes earmarked for tourism within the district municipality e.g. in Coffee Bay, Mkambati and Mthatha Dam.
- Promoting private sector investment in relation to the Tourism development within the region particularly in the nodes earmaked for tourism development
- Developm tourism development consultative forums to ensure buy-in from electeed councillors traditional authorities and communities.
- Promote joint ventures as well as economic models that will benefit communities in tourism development – e.g. models proposed between Kwa-Tshezi Community and investors under the EU programme
- Research and development of economic models to empower rural communities
- Promote entrepreneurs venturing into tourism development
- Influence strategies designed to build tourism market for the region -involvement in the development of the RTO.