New tourism association aims to boost tourism in the Cradle

Gilbert Hickman COH LTA
Gilbert Hickman, chairperson of the Cradle of Humankind Local Tourism Association board, at the association's launch (Image: Cradle of Humankind )

A new tourism association was launched recently to boost tourism in the Cradle of Humankind.

About 200 tourism players in the area attended the launch of the Cradle of Humankind Local Tourism Association (COH LTA) at EnGedi, an events and conference venue in Kromdraai.

Maximising the Cradle's tourism potential and the importance of protecting and preserving the area were discussed at the event.

COH LTA members will enjoy several advantages, mostly from a marketing perspective. These include:

Only tourism products that have met the association's quality criteria will be allowed to become members. An assessor will assist businesses that don't qualify initially in addressing shortcomings, after which they can reapply for membership.

Cradle LTA launch
Representatives from many tourism establishments in the Cradle attended the event (Image: Cradle of Humankind )

At the launch, Matthew Sathekge, chief director for the Cradle of Humankind World Heritage Site in the Gauteng government, said: "We need to create and reposition Gauteng as a preferred destination for business and holiday."

Sathekge emphasised the importance of the tourism industry in creating jobs in the province and growing the economy.

He told attendees about an initiative of the provincial government that organises familiarisation trips where tourism product owners from townships are taken to tourism establishments in the suburbs to see what tourists are looking for.

Gilbert Hickman, chairperson of the COH LTA board, described the Cradle area as a haven for tourists, cyclists, fishermen and horse riders. He believes that collectively the tourism establishments in the Cradle can show the rest of Gauteng and the country what the area has to offer.

"We're going to embrace our brothers and sisters in the townships, we're going to develop our product, and we're going to become the No 1 sought-after destination in Gauteng and, hopefully, in time, South Africa," he said.

Cradle crafts
These items are available at HANDS that rock the Cradle, at Maropeng (Image: Cradle of Humankind )

For more information or to join the COH LTA, email membership@cradleofhumankind.co.za or phone +27 (0)14 577 9000, +27 (0)82 564 0250 or +27 (0)84 321 3024.