Mpumalanga airport targets business travellers

Monday, October 26, 2009

Mbombela - An information centre aimed at international and local business tourists will be officially opened at the Kruger Mpumalanga International Airport next Monday.

The Mpumalanga Economic Growth Agency (Mega) plans to use the centre to inform business owners about investment opportunities available to them in the province.

"The purpose of this centre is to collect, consolidate and disseminate business-related information to local and international businesses that come in and out of the province through the airport," said Mega spokesperson Linah Ledwaba on Monday.

Ledwaba said an estimated 25 000 people passed through the main airport terminal each month, which amounted to 300 000 every year. She said 50 percent of these travellers were foreigners.

Ledwaba said the centre would market Mpumalanga as an investment destination of choice and an international trade hub and it would link domestic suppliers, investors and buyers with their international counterparts.

The centre is also expected to maximise potential stemming from the 2010 FIFA World Cup, especially because some games will be hosted at the R1 billion Mbombela Stadium in Mataffin outside Mbombela (formerly Nelspruit).

Provincial Chief Executive Officer of the National Federated Chamber of Commerce (Nafcoc), Twice Gweu welcomed the opening of the centre.

"We as Nafcoc in the province applaud the opening of this centre and give it 100 percent support. We believe it was long overdue and should have been done three or fours years ago," said Gweu.

He said any initiative aimed at promoting business activity and the generation of income for aspiring business owners deserved support, and Nacfof would attend the opening event.

Gweu said Nafcoc would also discuss with the economic growth agency the opening of similar centres in local municipalities to support small businesses in the province.

"Nafcoc has 15 branches across the province. Small business owners are free to use our offices and we are ready to work with Mega to turn those into similar information centres."