Visitor experience boost tourism and economy
Bloemfontein is a beehive of activities for the duration of the ten day Mangaung African Cultural Festival (Macufe). More than 200 000 revellers are expected to decent on the City of Roses to participate in the annual signature event.
This is a confirmation that events are the natural driver of tourism across the world. It is for this reason that government has introduced the Visitation Economy of similar events throughout the country in order to ascertain business activities during such events. This should include how many SMME’s benefited, how many jobs were created and how much was spent. The emphasis is on restaurants, hotels, B&Bs, filling stations and entertainment places.
To this end the Minister of the Department of Tourism accompanied by MEC for Department of Economic, Small Business Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs and MEC for Department of Sports, Arts and Culture will interact with visitors in Bloemfontein during their stay to establish their experiences, preferences, places and activities they enjoyed the most and what improvements they could want to see.
One of the activities included for the benefit of visitors in Bloemfontein is 360ᵒ open bus tours at scheduled intervals around Mangaung Metro providing a Hop-On Hop-Off. Some of the sightseeing will be at the Planetarium, Nelson Mandela statue, on Naval Hill Maphikela House, and Waaihoek museum church and many tourist attractions around town.
Whilst the full Economic Impact Assessment study is yet to be conducted, socio-economic impact assessment conducted by the Centre for Development Support of the University of the Free State in 2017 revealed that MACUFE attracts an estimated 140 000 revellers who inject an estimated R91 million in visitor expenditure in Bloemfontein. If expenditure by locals is included, a total of R150 million is spent by the patrons of MACUFE. It is estimated that this year, the Festival will attract nearly 200 visitors from outside Mangaung.11
The media is invited to join the 360ᵒ open bus tour on Friday 11th October 2019 at 17:00.