Inclusive tourism in the spotlight as stakeholders meet on KZN South Coast for Imbizo

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Growing tourism’s economic footprint in the hinterland region remains a priority for national, provincial, and regional tourism bodies. In an effort to find meaningful ways to create a more inclusive tourism economy, the Department of Tourism hosted an Imbizo at Port Shepstone’s Ugu Sports & Leisure Centre on Thursday, 2 March.

Themed Leave No-One Behind, this post-SoNA (State of the Nation Address) engagement brought stakeholders and communities together to encourage active citizen participation in government-led programmes. The highly successful Imbizo sought innovative ways to advance rural and community-centric tourism in the sector.

The Imbizo was attended by the Department of Tourism’s Deputy Minister of Tourism Fish Mahlalela; Ray Nkonyeni Municipality Chief Whip TT Hlophe; Ugu Deputy Mayor, VM Chiya; Chief Director of Tourism Development from EDTEA, Nhlakanipho Mkontwana; alongside representatives from South Coast Tourism & Investment Enterprise (SCTIE) and several other public officials, businesses, media, and community members.

“This was a very productive Imbizo where challenges within the industry were laid out and solutions suggested through a collaborative engagement,” explained Phelisa Mangcu, CEO of SCTIE. “One of our primary objectives as SCTIE is finding ways, and developing products, that bring our rural communities into the tourism economy. We’ve managed to achieve this through business support and guidance, as well as the establishment of our Great Drives Out, the Umzumbe River Trail, and Weza Trail – among many others – and we look forward to expanding this reach even further.”

The Imbizo was a great opportunity to introduce delegates to the KZN South Coast and its many tourism offerings while continuing to position the area as a top MICE (meetings, incentives, conferences, and events) destination. The top conferencing facilities and teambuilding activities are a welcome change for businesses looking to inspire productivity among employees. With the KZN South Coast home to Blue Flag Beaches, quality golf courses, extensive nature trails, and world-class facilities, it’s ideal for attracting bleisure tourism.

SCTIE launched the Meeting Planner Guide as a resource to assist corporates and conference organisers in accessing information for business conferences, meetings, teambuilding events, and accommodation requirements. To access the KZN South Coast Meeting Planner Guide, visit www.visitkznsouthcoast.co.za. To find out more about the KZN South Coast’s tourism offerings, download the free ‘Explore KZN South Coast’ app from Google Play and Apple stores