New tour guides for South Coast

2016-01-28 06:00
PHOTO: supplied Maxwell Mhlongo (second from right) with tourist guides (from left) Thanduxolo Gambushe, Robert Shabane, Sihlangu Gumede, Melusi Nxasane, Raymond Mpisane and Khumbulani Khumalo.

PHOTO: supplied Maxwell Mhlongo (second from right) with tourist guides (from left) Thanduxolo Gambushe, Robert Shabane, Sihlangu Gumede, Melusi Nxasane, Raymond Mpisane and Khumbulani Khumalo.

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UGU South Coast Tourism has announced that a group of 25 unemployed people, sourced from rural areas, have been trained and registered as tourist guides, specialising in nature and culture.

Nineteen of these guides started operating last year and the other six have just been formally registered.

“These guides are passionate about the South Coast and appreciate the value of tourism. We are thrilled that the process is now complete and we would like to encourage industry and the public to utilise their skills,” said Maxwell Mhlongo development co-ordinator, Ugu South Coast Tourism.

“There is so much more to learn about this place, so who better to educate you than a resident, who is well versed in history, geography, tourism [and safety] protocol? It is important for tourists to experience both coastal and hinterland experiences when visiting our destination and to reap the full value from the offerings,” he added.

Mhlongo said part of the guides’ mandate is to strengthen the link between rural and urban tourism and to showcase previously unknown, or inaccessible, facilities to tourists, highlighting cultural experiences and to encourage tourists to support local products.

“This way, the value chain of tourism can be realised by communities,” said Mhlongo.

Tourists can now visit a number of places in the hinterland such as Isivivane SikaShaka, Ntelezi Msane Heritage Centre in uMzumbe, Nyandezulu Waterfall, Ntantana Mountains in Nyandezulu, KwaXolo Caves, KwaFodo Cultural Village and many more.

They can also buy products from crafters, visit traditional healers and communities to experience the culture and hospitality­.

The tourist guides are listed in the Southern Explorer route guide and Ugu South Coast Tourism website www.tour - Supplied.

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