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TKZN offers Intensive skills development training

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TKZN offers Intensive skills development training to benefit local SMME owners TKZN TKZN offers Intensive skills development training to benefit local SMME owners

Emerging SMMEs to benefit from SATSA workshops

July 10, 2018

Staff Reporter

Durban, South Africa:Thirty small, medium and micro tour operators hand-picked by Tourism KwaZulu-Natal (TKZN) are undergoing an intensive skills development and training by the South African Tourism Services Association (SATSA).

The first of two intensive week-long workshops, run by facilitators with over 40 years of experience and first-hand knowledge of the industry started on July 3, 2018, with the second one planned for this week, starting from July 9.

The participants are incubatees of TKZN’s SMME Enterprise development and incubation program.

The programme is a hybrid business incubator model, comprises both physical and virtual incubation support. As part of the programme’s Market Access initiative, incubatees are given the opportunity and support to participate in trade shows and exhibitions that has been guiding and shaping dozens of emerging tour operators and tourism-related business to success through invaluable and practical support.

Phindile Makwakwa, Acting Chief Executive Officer of Tourism KwaZulu-Natal (TKZN) said: “If we want to grow tourism in our province and our country, we must focus on small and developing businesses. They are the true champions of our hidden gems and they can bring a new flavour and flare to the tourism sector and ensure that our products are a true reflection of the diverse culture that we have in the province. Furthermore, tourism empowers people, provides job opportunities and instils pride in our beautiful country.”

The training program will focus on financial management, marketing, legal company requirements, how to cost a tour, what to include and what to disregard, the different types of accommodation and a broader understanding of the tourism industry. This is to ensure that the they have an in-depth understating of the sector and can stand head and shoulder with big business in selling and packaging KZN

To qualify for the incubator programme you have to have been running your business for two years, be a South African citizen and fulfil all the legal requirements. Tour operators must have itineraries that sell KZN.

The incubation programme continues to focus on leisure tourism SMMEs that operate as tour operators, travel agents and accommodation establishments, and its enhanced strategy is aimed directly at helping these emerging businesses survive during the start-up phase, the stage at which they are most vulnerable.

“Once selected and trained they are exposed to markets such as trade shows – like the Africa’s Travel Indaba, or the KZN Travel and Trade show. They are also given the opportunity to move onto more broader and bigger shows at an international level,” said Makwakwa.

Even, after they have completed their three years, TKZN continues to offer support and create business to business linkages.

“If we are going to accelerate transformation we must work as a team where everyone benefits and becomes a winner, “said Makwakwa.

The recent Tourism KwaZulu-Natal Africa Travel Indaba 2018 saw a 50% increase of small business owners and a total 135 small South African businesses exhibiting.

The Incubator programme makes sure that more emerging tourism entrepreneurs are assisted, but more importantly that their businesses experience sustainable development and growth.

Some of the SMMEs that have benefited from the Incubator programme include a guest house in Umzinkhulu called Lala Khona Lodge, Durban behind the scenes tour company Street Scene, Bed and Breakfast establishment Dukudu and exclusive boutique hotel called “The View Boutique Hotel”