Revamped hotels and virtual campaigns: Here's how KZN hopes to woo tourists post Covid-19
KwaZulu-Natal tourism players have adopted an optimistic “when life gives you lemons, make lemonade” stance during the Covid-19 pandemic.
And, it seems the tourism industry is enjoying the benefits. Tourism KwaZulu-Natal revealed that KZN hotels, holiday resorts, casinos and restaurants have embraced a can-do attitude in the face of the adversity wreaked by the coronavirus pandemic.
The tourism organisation revealed insight into its 360-degree Tourism Recovery Marketing Strategy, an initiative aimed to attract lost prospects in time for the approaching summer season.
While people can't travel due to South African travel restrictions, the organisation hopes to keep people interested in the province.
The campaign kicked off with an inspirational visual message of hope on social media to remind prospective travellers that while “it’s been tough to distance yourself from the warmth of KZN’s shores, exploring the mountain tops of the Ukhahlamba Drakensberg, and dancing to the beat of Zulu warriors, KZN will see you soon”.
The inspiring video compilation reassures travellers that their favourite places are still there and ready to welcome them back soon. It also created the MY KZN Facebook page that gets travellers to share their experiences and visuals of attractions in the province.
One of the attractions that are staying ahead of the pandemic is Tsogo Sun. IOL Travel reported that Tsogo Sun will take over Durban’s historic Edward Hotel with big plans to restore it to its former glory.
Famed Durban hotel, the Oyster Box, claimed the top spot in the ‘Top Resort Hotels in Africa’ category in the 25th anniversary Travel & Leisure World’s Best Awards, something the organisation hopes will attract many travellers to its shores post-Covid-19.
Tourism KwaZulu-Natal revealed in a statement: "There will be financial relief in the form of cheques from the Department of Health for operators of several Durban hotels who have displayed a spirit of humanity in allowing their establishments to be used as official quarantine sites.
"Among these are Umhlanga Sands, Cabana Beach Umhlanga, The Palace All-Suite, The Royal Hotel, Coastlands West Street, Mackaya Bella Guesthouse, Durban ONOMO Hotel and Wentworth Hotel."
Of course, with the casino operating, travellers can explore Suncoast and Sibaya while following the social distancing rules.
Meanwhile, holiday resorts are bracing for a rush of tourists when restrictions are eased. Many have told TKZN that early bookings were beginning to come through. KZN resort owners said they expect to see a rise in summer staycations this year, as cautious holidaymakers turn their backs on foreign trips and look closer to home for post-lockdown retreats.A manager of a block of holiday apartment said that prices will be substantially reduced by accommodation establishments and holiday resorts to woo tourists back post Covid-19.
“There is also the understanding that the public has also been economically affected by the lockdown. Hence, there will be post-lockdown bargains galore,” the manager said.