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NNew major tourism projects set to transform South African tourism has been revealed during the World Travel Market (WTM) In London this week.
During an intimate breakfast on 6 November, attended by global tourism leaders including UNWTO SG: Dr Rifai, Princess Dana of Jordan, and other widely accredited leaders, Thebe Tourism Group CEO Jerry Mabena, announced key tourism projects being undertaken by the company in South Africa – unique projects set in iconic locations which visitors to the country can look forward to.
Thebe Tourism Group is making huge strides for the South African international and domestic tourism sectors, through sustainable tourism and innovative development. The projects Mabena introduced, which will form part of TTG’s expanding portfolio includes:
The Mandela Presidential Centre (Johannesburg): The Mandela Presidential Boutique Hotel is housed in a former residence of South Africa’s first black president, and global icon, Nelson Mandela.
This nine-bedroomed upmarket property will provide a holistically five-star experience, with conferencing facilities and a fine dining restaurant, that will be a retreat haven for high-end business travellers, the diplomatic corps and leisure travellers from around the world.
The development showcases the economic potential and sustainability of refurbishing the Nelson Mandela property in Johannesburg.
The Nelson Mandela Foundation is a key stakeholder in this development, as the property owners, and the hotel will provide an experience inspired by Madiba’s life and times while he resided and worked at the property. This project is expected to be ready for business in 2019.
The Kruger Shalati Development (Skukuza, Kruger National Park): This new development aims to redefine travel and hospitality, offering a “truly unique and extravagant experience”. Located in the heart of the Kruger National Park where the railway line ends at Skukuza, the Kruger Shalati luxury accommodation will be housed in a restored train – the first mode of transport for guests in the park.
The train will be permanently located on top of the iconic Selati bridge, giving visitors unparalleled views of the park and the Sabie River, and will provide guests with an old-world rail travel experience. There will be a lounge carriage and deck with the most sought-after vantage point over the river for added luxury.
The name Shalati has its origins in the history of chief warrior Shalati, and as such, the development will pay homage to its African history, both in design and ethos. The surrounding community will have equity in the project, and locals will be empowered through world-class training, to help deliver a unique and luxurious African travel experience.
The Blyde Community Project: Mpumalanga’s Panorama Route is set to see new iconic tourism opportunities in the region of the Blyde River Canyon Nature Reserve through the newly signed MOU between Thebe Tourism Group and the Land Claimant Communities of The Blyde River Canyon Nature Reserve.
The idea is to keep visitors in the area for longer by providing two crucial missing aspects: exciting and iconic attractions that everyone wants to experience, and accommodation for groups close to activities on offer.
The hope is to build a sky-walk at God’s Window, a cable car at the Three Rondavels, to upgrade and manage the facilities at Bourke’s luck Potholes, and build a hotel to service the area.
Other Mpumalanga Developments: A hive of developments within the province, within proximity to Kruger National Park, includes a proposed 36-room boutique riverside hotel, a 200-bed family-focussed hotel, wildlife-based activities, dining, retail space and a hub of hospitality services including a staff housing project which is in great demand in this area.
The proposed developments will contribute to the upliftment of the community in this area by ways of revenue income shared with partnered communities. Furthermore, a development of this nature will not only create job opportunities where they are so desperately needed, but also create opportunities for people from the surrounding communities to receive training and further their careers beyond the products in this immediate precinct.
These projects will not only impact the international tourism community, but assist in boosting the domestic tourism sector – a key focus area for Thebe Tourism Group.
Mabena said the combined projects within and around the Kruger National Park will add great value to South Africa’s tourism economy, as well as to the people living in the park.
“We are extremely excited at tackling truly unique projects in iconic destinations in South Africa. We believe the country’s tourism potential has only just been tickled, and by creating products which enhance the scenic beauty and global political importance, more people will be enticed to explore tourism offerings in SA,” he says.
Thebe Tourism Group invests in the development of iconic tourism attractions or destinations that benefit people, and transform the sector – benefitting both sustainable tourism as well as the communities where the projects are based. All projects use locally-sourced resources and community partnerships. WTM London 2017 takes place from 6 to 8 November at the ExCeL Exhibition Centre, where it has taken place annually since 2002.
About Thebe Tourism Group:
Thebe Tourism Group is a 100%-owned subsidiary of Thebe Investment Corporation. The group was Formed in 2001 and is recognized as the oldest black-empowered South African tourism group with a significant portfolio in tourism and related industries ranging from attractions, inbound and outbound tourism, and with a keen interest on developing the domestic tourism sector.
Thebe Tourism Group aims to offer innovative, integrated, market-driven products; the group of companies are focused on making tourism accessible to all and ensuring responsible tourism is practiced throughout all businesses.
For queries, please contact:
Judiet Barnes - Marketing Manager
Thebe Tourism Group
+27 (0)21 551 0288