Varsity-owned hotel boost to Mpumalanga tourism

The newly opened University of Mpumalanga (UMP) Hotel will help to boost the struggling tourism industry in the province, according to UMP Hotel and Catering Services director Tenson Nkosana.

Speaking during the official opening of the Tfokomala Hotel on Thursday, Nkosana said the hotel forms part of the gateway to the famous Kruger National Park, the Sudwala Caves, the Panorama Route and many other local attractions and places of interest in the Lowveld.

“It is truly an oasis of tranquility, luxury and comfort – a great place to stay for business and leisure travellers from across the globe. We are working with the tour operators who will assist us to take our visitors to attraction sites around the province.

“Most of our employees are highly qualified and some previously worked overseas,” said Nkosana.

Tourism in the country has been negatively affected by the lockdown measures that were announced by President Cyril Ramaphosa in March 2020 in a bid to fight the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.

UMP School of Hospitality and Tourism Management Professor July Sibanyoni said their establishment would also assist in job creation as visitors will help grow the local economy.

Sibanyoni said the hotel will also benefit hospitality students as they will be afforded an opportunity to gain experience by working at the hotel.

“Remember the hotel, which is 100%-owned by the university, has a conference centre that will also be used by different clients, which will also be a good thing when it comes to growing the local economy,” said Sibanyoni.

The four-star boutique hotel features world-class luxury accommodation, fine dining and wellness programmes.

This includes 25 luxurious, modern furnished rooms and an upmarket conference facility that can accommodate a maximum of 150 delegates.

The facility also has a tourism and hospitality building comprising, among other facilities, an auditorium, four lecture rooms, a training kitchen with 60 work stations, a pastry kitchen with eight work station, a demo kitchen with 68 seats, a wine cellar and a computer lab with 38 computers.


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