Emerging tourism entrepreneurs get platform to showcase their businesses
July 10, 2018
Durban; South Africa: 15 Small, Medium, Micro Enterprises (SMMEs) tour operators and accommodation establishments which are part of the Tourism KwaZulu-Natal (TKZN) Enterprise and Development Incubation Programme exhibited at the KZN Travel and Adventure Show which ran from July 5 until July 8, 2018, at the Durban Exhibition Centre.
TKZN, partnering with the KZN Travel and Adventure Show, exhibited alongside the ECR House and Garden show, while supporting the 15 local SMMEs who are part of the incubation programme.
The show saw the SMMEs showcase their businesses to almost 90 000 consumers.
Over the past few days of the show, tourists with a flair for lifestyle tourism had the opportunity to mingle with tour operators, travel agents and to be inspired to plan their next holiday/get-away or wedding in the Zulu Kingdom.
Phindile Makwakwa, acting Chief Executive Officer for Tourism KZN said the show was a platform for the province to exhibit its unique tourism experiences to the people of KZN.
Makwakwa pointed out that this year’s KwaZulu-Natal Travel and Adventure show would see 15 SMME’s, under the Tourism KwaZulu-Natal (TKZN) Enterprise Development and Incubation Programme exhibit their accommodation establishments at the four-day exhibition.
TKZN also did a virtual reality “Do KZN” activation that ran the full duration of the House & Garden Show and gave visitors a feel of KZN’s experiences with the focus on adventure activities.
Daily promotions and activities at the Show and guest appearances by the Sharks rugby team as well as Wild Adventures Jungle Playground for children plus dancers and a poet forming part of the KZN Department of Arts and Culture stand.
Makwakwa said the Incubation Programme has guided dozens of emerging business to success over the years and generated immense interest amongst up and coming tourism entrepreneurs.
“The programme aims to bring the emerging previously disadvantaged operators into mainstream tourism and offers entrepreneurs invaluable and practical support.”
She said up-and-coming B&B and guest house owners, tour operators and travel agents and owners of tourism attractions were being skilled and developed.
“Our focus includes market support enabling owners to take part in trade and consumer shows like the Africa’s Travel Indaba and The Travel and Adventure Show here they can interact directly with consumers ready to buy their next holiday package,” said Makwakwa.
One of the TKZN SMME Development and Incubation Programme participants is Nomonde Buthelezi (37), the CEO of Romaflo Travel established in 2016.
Buthelezi said she wanted to give customers the best travel experiences and value for their money.
“I wanted to give customers the satisfaction they are looking for in my business and it is because I love interacting with people.”
Buthelezi has been part of the incubation programme since May 2018 and said she got her “big break” at Africa’s Travel INDABA this year.
The INDABA is staged annually in Durban and Africa’s biggest tourism exhibition, but is only open to the tourism trade industry.
“It (the INDABA) created opportunities to market my business on a large platform and interact with international and local byers,” said Buthelezi.
The public will be able to interact with more than eighty tourism destinations, resorts, operators and airlines, offering significant discounts and show specials for novel travel and adventure activities – all under one roof.
“This is an iconic flagship consumer show to promote travel within the province and for the people of KZN to explore and discover new tourism products including hidden gems ranging from the magnificent Drakensberg to the adventure-filled South Coast and historical sites like the Mandela Capture Site and Inanda Heritage Routes,” said Makwakwa.
She added that there was a great demand for a show like these because people would be able to shop around and come face to face with the tour operators, etc, whom they would deal with.