Twenty-four tour operators from SADC hosted by Tourism KZN

Three men discuss tourism.

Keith Matthews, TKZN’s region manager: Europe (left) chats to Markus Kohli and Christophe Huckele (black jacket) from Swiss tour operating company Knecht Reisen. Picture supplied by TKZN

Published Mar 18, 2024


Twenty-four influential inbound tour operators from South Africa and the Southern African Development Community (SADC) were hosted by Tourism KwaZulu-Natal’s (TKZN) Travel Academy in Durban.

TKZN acting CEO Sibusiso Gumbi said that the 2024 Travel Academy, held in partnership with Durban Tourism and Avis Rental, will be the third edition of the successful initiative after a four-year hiatus brought on by the Covid- 19 pandemic shutdown.

“This will be followed by familiarisation tours of exceptional experiences of the province from adventure on the South Coast, to water and land safaris on the Elephant Coast, scenic beauty in the Drakensberg as well as culture and heritage sites of the Battlefields.”

Gumbi added that this year there were three Durban-based travel operators, nine Cape Town-based travel operators, three major travel operators from Johannesburg and eight travel companies from the SADC. “These travel companies are major inbound tour operators which package and sell travel arrangements through international tour operators, who already sell southern Africa destinations to international tourists.”

Gumbi said that to effectively market and promote KwaZulu-Natal internationally, TKZN must influence all levels of the travel value chain. “Whether we are at international travel exhibitions or hosting major travel companies and agents in KZN, we are building meaningful relationships to ensure that the province is featured in travel packages, and that agents have the knowledge to sell KZN to their clients.”

Gumbi added that TKZN attended ITB Berlin in Germany and exhibited alongside South African Tourism (SAT), Durban Tourism, Enterprise Ilembe and other tourism trade partners as it worked to attract more tourists from the German market.

“This is the third-biggest international traveller source market for South Africa and the second-biggest international market for KZN after the UK. Again last week, TKZN hosted Australian product managers from international Adventure World Travel and a journalist who will cover their KZN experience for Australian print and radio. This hosting is a partnership with South African Tourism: Australia and SA Tour Operator Springbok Atlas.”

Gumbi said that Adventure World Travel is finalising a KZN itinerary for their South Africa packages.

“This hosting enabled product managers to trial and hand-pick extraordinary adventures and authentic accommodation to ensure that their tourists have a truly memorable experience when they visit KZN.

“This also comes at a time when South African Airways prepares to resume its direct flight between Johannesburg’s OR Tambo International Airport and Perth in Western Australia, in April 2024.”

The Mercury

Related Topics: