South Africa’s tourism and investment sector is well poised to take advantage of the improved global appetite for tourism, to optimise its contribution to the country’s economic objectives.
As part of this heightened optimism, a new flagship event will be added to the annual calendar. The inaugural Tourism Investment Forum Africa (TIFA) will make its debut in the Northern Cape from 7-9 June 2023.
The Forum will be held under the theme “Forging Global Partnerships for Inclusive Local Economic Development Through Sustainable Investment”, at the African Vineyard Hotel on Kanoneiland, Upington, South Africa.
TIFA was conceptualised as a vehicle to promote trade, investment and finance solutions and opportunities between South Africa and the continent. As “a global platform for local action”, the Forum also aims to afford the host destination the opportunity to promote investment into priority sectors of its economy and in particular the tourism sector, thereby contributing to inclusive and sustainable local economic growth and development, particularly job creation.
In addition to promoting investment projects and opportunities in the travel and tourism industry across the SADC and other regions, the TIFA will promote transversal projects and investment opportunities in critical sectors such as infrastructure, transport, real estate, and the green economy, which are key to the development and growth of tourism through their stimulation of development in related sectors.
A key pillar of the platform is the facilitation of meaningful business-to-business (B2B) and business-to-government (B2G) exchanges to facilitate investment, networking, sharing of knowledge and market insights as well as other trade development opportunities.
Why the Northern Cape?
The choice of hosting the Forum in Upington is strategic and aims to expose international and domestic delegates to what the Northern Cape has to offer investors, with a view to increasing the opportunities for investment, job creation and economic growth within the province.
This is aligned with the priority focus of South African Tourism (SAT) which aims to showcase all of what the country has to offer and diversify the supply side of South Africa’s tourism economy.
The Northern Cape is also considered the home of the San people who are also found in parts of Botswana, Namibia and southern Angola. The San are one of 14 known remaining “ancestral population clusters” (to whom all known modern humans genetically relate). The southern group living in the Kalahari are the Khomani San and is the last remnant of the extensive indigenous San of South Africa.
The choice of Kanoneiland is also significant because it is the biggest river settlement in the country. In 1928, a group of 52 private settlers began to clear the land for cultivation. The irrigation scheme that has been set up now supports the thriving vineyards that contribute significantly to the economic objectives of the province.
Agriculture in the Northern Cape
Kanoneiland, with its thriving vineyards highlights a different side of the Northern Cape which is generally most well-known for its Kalahari Desert and ǀAi-ǀAis/Richtersveld Transfrontier Park.
In fact, agricultural development takes place along defined corridors within the province. In the Orange River Valley, especially at Kakamas, Keimoes, and Upington, grapes and fruit are cultivated intensively. High-value horticultural products such as table grapes, sultanas and wine grapes, dates, nuts, cotton, fodder and cereal crops are grown along the Orange River. Wheat, fruit, groundnuts, maize and cotton are grown in the Vaalharts Irrigation Scheme in the vicinity of Hartswater.
Register to participate here