/ 3 May 2023

Plans to expand Triland tourism route to additional SADC countries

Mpumalanga Triland 1

The Mpumalanga Tourism and Parks Agency (MTPA) is considering an expansion of the Triland route — which currently includes South African neighbours Mozambique and Eswatini — to include other Southern African Development Community (SADC) countries.

The route is a joint initiative of the MTPA, Eswatini Tourism Authority and the Mozambique Tourism Board and is aimed at promoting the region as a tourist, trade and investment destination.

“The Triland route is really growing and we are seeing an increase in demand for packages that combine Mpumalanga’s safari experiences with attractions in the Kingdom of Eswatini and the Republic of Mozambique,” MTPA chief executive Mduduzi Vilakazi said.

The three countries have promoted the Triland route since the signing of a memorandum of understanding at Africa’s Travel Indaba in May last year, he added.

“We have identified other SADC countries — such as Zimbabwe, Zambia, Tanzania, Lesotho and Botswana — for possible collaboration in marketing our destinations through participating in their tourism events and hosting their tour operators on familiarisation trips to help us market the Triland route,” Vilakazi said.

The Triland partners work with the departments responsible for immigration control in the member states to ease travellers’ access to their destinations and accelerate the regional integration of the tourism industry.

“We remain vigilant and take cognisance of certain barriers that come with access to the province,” Vilakazi said.

“Through collaborations with various stakeholders, we conduct a number of tourism safety initiatives on a regular basis to ensure that we encourage our patrons to be vigilant when travelling and also to provide them with a safe environment as well as a memorable experience when visiting any of the countries on the Triland route.” 

Vilakazi said Mpumalanga was readying itself for this year’s Africa’s Travel Indaba, which will be held from 9 to 11 May. The leisure trade show is hosted in Durban by South African Tourism, with the specific objective of creating market access to a vast array of African leisure tourism products.

“Mpumalanga will be showcasing a number of tourism offerings and will be taking 15 SMMEs [small, micro and medium enterprises], including tour operators, accommodation facilities and nature reserves. We will further be engaging with Indian tour operators to improve our relationship and future engagements,” said Vilakazi.

Mpumalanga will also participate in this year’s MTN Bushfire Festival in Eswatini. Durban Tourism will also take part in the music and arts festival, which will be staged from 26 to 28 May, said Sboniso Duma, the KwaZulu-Natal MEC for economic development, tourism and environmental affairs.

One of the key attractions of the festival is the “atmosphere of tolerance and inclusivity, which is part of the Swazi culture and way of life”, its director Jiggs Thorne said, adding: “The festival always impresses our South African visitors.”