Free State ready to welcome holidaymakers

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The Free State tourism industry says it is ready to host holidaymakers this festive season. The festive season holiday campaign was officially launched at Gariep Dam.

The dam is situated close to the border of the Northern Cape and Eastern Cape provinces. The campaign is a joint venture between the government and the Free State Gambling, Liquor and Tourism Authority.

The Free State is situated in the centre of South Africa. It borders the Northern Cape, Eastern Cape, North West, Mpumalanga, KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng provinces as well as Lesotho.

One of its offerings when it comes to tourism is the Gariep Dam with its picturesque landscape and a variety of outdoor activities. Its quiet and relaxed atmosphere is perfect for families or groups or for that solitude getaway.

The dam was completed in 1972 and it is the biggest man-made feature in the southern hemisphere. Tourism business owners say the province has more to offer than just a drive-through.

Ncebakazi Mkabane of Beyond Infinity Travel and Tours says the holiday campaign has helped to create a collaborative effort between stakeholders to improve the province’s economy through tourism.

“We offer different packages of travelling, and this gathering assisted us and gave us ideas of how we can collaborate with other stakeholders.”

Another tourism business owner, Fusi Motloung, from Villiers, says there’s more than what meets the eye in that part of the province.

“Villiers has more to offer, and people are not aware. There is also beautiful accommodation for large groups and has a rich history about Mandela.”

Free State Gambling, Liquor and Tourism Authority, CEO Kenny Dichabe says the campaign aims to change the perception that Free State is a drive-through.

Dichabe says their campaign aims to boost the province’s economy and give opportunities to local businesses to promote their businesses which would ultimately create job opportunities for locals.

“We just want to send the message out there that also Free State is one of the destinations that can be visited by South Africans. So, we are saying let’s change the narrative.”

The Free State tourism industry says everyone is welcome to bring friends and family to enjoy the Gariep Dam.