August 20 2022 at 09:45

Dozens of tourists are expected to visit Mpumalanga’s tourist destinations next year as part of the World Gold Panning games. This as the province was given the rights to host the annual panning games, from 6 until 12 August 2023 in Pilgrims’ Rest, near Sabie, in the Thaba Chweu Local Municipality.

Preparations are already underway for the games by the Department of Culture, Sport and Recreation (DCSR) in collaboration with the South African Gold Panning Association (SAGPA). The DCSR presented the state of readiness to host the games during a closing ceremony in Zlotoryja, Poland, as part of the preparations. The presentation was enhanced by the integrated cultural diversity and tourism approach which the Department adopted, for participants and tourists to experience the province’s hospitality.

An ensemble of a cultural group from Mpumalanga, which performed for guests during the ceremony, was part of the Department’s delegation to Poland. South Africa received the WGP flag from Poland to mark the start of preparations in earnest.

The games are vital for the Mpumalanga’s Economic Revitalization Plan (MERP). They are viewed as key to re-ignite the tourism sector which was impacted negatively by the COVID-19 pandemic.