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TKZN collaborates with local SMMEs to take KZN tourism to global heights

The nine SMMEs that have partnered with TKZN for this year's Africa Travel Indaba. From left: Makhosi Msimango, owner of Ndzenga Tours & Safaris; Nkosikhona Ndlovu, owner of Amangonyama Tours; Smangele Memela, owner of Kwambali Tours; Portia Mkhize, owner of Samport Travel; Mpho Mbuli, General Manager of Marketing at Tourism KZN; Siyabonga Kheswa, owner of Thokoza Adventures and Zandile Ngcobo, Tourism Development Assistant at Tourism KZN. Pic: Robyn Toni Fynn/Brandstories.

The nine SMMEs that have partnered with TKZN for this year's Africa Travel Indaba. From left: Makhosi Msimango, owner of Ndzenga Tours & Safaris; Nkosikhona Ndlovu, owner of Amangonyama Tours; Smangele Memela, owner of Kwambali Tours; Portia Mkhize, owner of Samport Travel; Mpho Mbuli, General Manager of Marketing at Tourism KZN; Siyabonga Kheswa, owner of Thokoza Adventures and Zandile Ngcobo, Tourism Development Assistant at Tourism KZN. Pic: Robyn Toni Fynn/Brandstories.

Published May 4, 2022

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AFRICA’s Travel Indaba is one of the largest and exciting tourism marketing events on the African calendar, where stakeholders meet, engage and share with the world inspiring stories of resilience and innovation in tourism.

As part of the Tourism KZN Business Development programme, nine small, medium and micro enterprises (SMMEs) are showcasing the splendour of the province’s tourism sector at this year's indaba. Each SMME will strive to catch the eye of international buyers and media from across the world, and will be able to access global markets that they would not have considered prior to the indaba.

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Some of the SMME’s products and services that buyers can survey include the likes of Newcastle Pleasure Guest House, Mt View Lodge, Olungawelwa Tours & Excursions, Amangonyama Tour Operator, Uvukolwethu Corporate Travel, Thokoza Adventures, Cynthias Hive Estate, Impilo Travel & Tours and Thembela Tours.

Amangonyama Tour Operator showcases all that the KZN Midlands has to offer with its breathtaking scenery, rich history, historical buildings and landmarks, while not forgetting unique cultural experiences for tourists.

“It’s our first time exhibiting at Africa’s Travel Indaba and I am expecting to grow my tour company by introducing more clients to our offerings. We offer an authentic cultural and historical experience that is central to the midlands, and highlights important landmarks such as the Nelson Mandela Capture Site and Howick Falls precinct,” said Nkosikhona Ndlovu, founder and managing director of Amangonyama Tour Operator.

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This year, KZN is hosting 4 000 delegates with the theme being “Africa’s stories, your success” and will showcase KZN as a premium destination for leisure and investment – bridging the global tourism gap and taking KZN into global heights.

Tourism KwaZulu-Natal hosted Africa’s Travel Indaba delegates from the United States at the Oyster Box in Umhlanga. There were 379 694 US visitors to KZN in 2019 and 71 959 in 2020. In 2021, there were 4 465 US visitors to KZN during January and September, with an average spend per trip of R26 000, giving an economic impact of R116m for that year.

Acting CEO of Tourism KwaZulu-Natal said while the province is on the road to recovery, the organisation needs to go back to their source markets.

“The priority for the organisation is to reignite those source markets into KZN and work very closely with key hub heads to make the province a top tourism destination.

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“Tourism KZN has a full 360 marketing and promotion plan for the province, which includes several interventions both in the domestic markets and at various international platforms.

“The organisation is focusing on the international market as it’s critical for tourism business owners to create networks, showcase their tourism products and clinch business deals that will begin to stimulate more travel back to KZN.”

Makwakwa added that even during the lockdowns, Tourism KZN did a lot to keep the destination top-of-mind around the world.

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“Tourism KZN is confident that with the programmes that are in place to revive the global markets, the organisation will begin to see an increase in tourists’ arrivals from all over the world coming back to the Zulu Kingdom,” she added.

Moreover, TKZN has given 20 unemployed students a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to be tourism ambassadors during the duration of Africa’s Travel Indaba. The students, including some of the interns who recently completed their internship at Tourism KZN last month, will be assisting delegates with directions and information services as to what places of interests they can explore during their visit, and so much more.

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