FS tourism board keen to cash in on location

The Free State province has been utilising flagship events, such as Macufe, the Cherry Festival, Fauresmith endurance horse racing to get its tourism value back on track.
The Free State province has been utilising flagship events, such as Macufe, the Cherry Festival, Fauresmith endurance horse racing to get its tourism value back on track.
Image: Tiso Blackstar Group

The CEO of the Free State Gambling, Liquor and Tourism Authority, Kenny Dichabe, says the province has not taken full advantage of its centrality to extract full tourism value and spin-offs.

Dichabe said Free State used five tourism routes as strategy to sell its variety in terms of attractions in the province's five regions. This is intended to give a sense of where to travel and what to do when they are in the province.

The routes, named after animals and birds of particular importance to the province, are namely: the Cheetah Route (in central Free State), Springbok (southern) Eagle (eastern), Flamingo (western) and Lion (northen).

Dichabe said domestic tourism in Free State has declined due to the current unfavourable economic climate. He said the province was fighting back with compelling packages.

"The entity has been punting this value proposition to ensure that the province attracts tourists by providing compelling reasons to visit its five tourism regions," Dichabe said.

"The province has been utilising flagship events, such as Macufe, the Cherry Festival, Fauresmith endurance horse racing, Nampo, Free State Madeira Flower Festival and Clarens Beer Festival, to name but a few, as key events to drive domestic tourism."

He said the plan was now to build strategic partnerships with policy makers, as well as the public and private sector.

"As a destination of choice with a particular focus on business tourism, the province's centrality makes it an ideal location for our new frontier market of conferencing."

Dichabe said the aim was to attract, promote and host major national and international cultural and sporting events in the province.

"The Phakisa Raceway, in the Flamingo Route, will undergo renovations that seek to return the track to world-class standards, and attract more motorsports events," he said.

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