Monday, 18 July 2011

Eastern Cape eco-tourism counters unemployment rate

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The province accounts for a growing number of domestic tourists in 2008, coming second only to KZN, while the Wild Coast along both provinces was labelled as the next successful tourism region by Tourism Minister Marthinus van Schalkwyk at a recent tourism launch in Port Elizabeth.

Recent eco-tourism success in the province has been recognised by the National Development Agency (NDA) in the form of the Mehloding Community Tourism Trust, which represents more than 25 rural villages in the northern area of the Alfred Nzo District Municipality.

The NDA provided funding of over R 2million to Fair Trade in Tourism South Africa (FTTSA) to implement its programme ‘Strengthening Community Tourism for Sustainable Local Economic Development’. FTTSA has a longstanding relationship with the Mehloding Community Tourism Trust, and through this project the Trust has received support to help improve their service standards through a number of capacity and skills building activities.

The Trust owns and runs a traditional guesthouse and a nearby adventure trail that includes five chalets built and staffed by the surrounding communities. The infrastructure for the trail and guesthouse was built using national poverty relief funds, which provided short-term job creation and skills development through labour intensive activities. To date, more than 20 local people are employed by the Trust through their guesthouse and trail.

Contacts:

1.Makgodu Tsehloane, Marketing & Communications Manager: National Development Agency (NDA)
Tel. +27 11 018 5500
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Web: www.nda.org.za/

2. Jennifer Seif: Executive Director: Fair Trade in Tourism South Africa (FTTSA) Tel. +27 12 342 2945

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. www.fairtourismsa.org.za

3. Thakane Moorosi, Operations Officer: Mehloding Community Tourism Trust
Tel. +27 39 727 3289 Fax: +27 39 727 3289
Email:This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. www.mehloding.co.za/

Read more http://www.mediaweb.co.za/journalist/mnews_j_.asp?id=3745