Limpopo government is in talks to repurpose the Hoedspruit airport to attract even broader tourism business into the province. Premier Stanley Chupu Mathabatha made the announcement during his State of the Nation Address (SONA) in Polokwane on Thursday.
The airport significantly contributes to Limpopo tourism’s momentum regain post Covid-19 recovery plan through its marketing efforts. It was recently reported to be the busiest airports and a major competitor among its peers in the country, with over 78 000 passengers that land here each year.
It also consists of a second lengthy runway in the country at 5400 metres after Upington and a concrete apron.
The airport’s base is able to park 17 jets at a time and its altitude which is 500 above sea level, making it one of the cheapest airports to land compared to OR Tambo.
61,000 of the airport passengers are European tourists. The airport’s ability to fly internationally allows many international travellers to have easy access the regional routes such as Vilanculo in Mozambique, Maun in Okavango delta Botswana and the Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe.
“We are delighted at the performance of Hoedspruit airport and it is in this context, that I have assigned the MEC for Transport and Community Safety, to work with ACSA, and coordinate a team to ensure development of a workable strategy for repurposing of this airport.” said the Premier.
In domestic performance, Limpopo had the greatest number of trips originating from the province with 1,53 million trips in 2022, compared to just over 57,000 in 2021. In the same vein, the province on the third Quarter of 2022 recorded over 1,5 million visitors compared to the 0,6 million in 2021.
Premier Mathabatha said the figure difference put the province back to the top three performing provinces in domestic trips.
“This figure has by far surpassed the 2021 international annual performance and puts Limpopo back to the top with regards to international tourist arrivals.” Premier Mthabatha said.