Sapphire Coast Tourism host networking session

2016-01-20 06:00
PHOTO: Thando Nxumalo Sapphire Coast Tourism chairperson, Kim McCarthy addresses delegates at the networking   session.

PHOTO: Thando Nxumalo Sapphire Coast Tourism chairperson, Kim McCarthy addresses delegates at the networking session.

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THE South Durban Tourism Community organisations (CTO) of Umlazi, Sodurba (Bluff) and Sapphire Coast recently met for a networking session at the Amanzimtoti Country Club.

Durban Tourism’s Toti office manager Sibongile Ntetha described the success of the South Durban Community Tourism Organisations networking session to that of her wedding day: “Absolutely elated with the outcome” and so was Sapphire Coast Tourism as the host CTO.
The Toti Golf Club boma was transformed to seat 150 tourism delegates.

Tourism’s services manager Sbu Mngoma said that 2016 is the year for the city’s CTOs to cross-pollinate, combining their strengths to create package deals for residents and tourists to come away with memorable experiences.

An example was for the Umlazi Township Tours to team up with the abundant accommodation facilities along the Sapphire Coast, ending an interesting and informative tour at a shisa­-inyama.

Another example is to create an a la carte-type menu of tourist attractions to facilitate tailor-made packages, combining a dive at Aliwal shoal with day trips through Toti to Sodurba (Bluff) enjoying tourism products, nature reserves, factory tours and Coedmore Castle. These are just two ideas that have the potential to come to fruition­.

Perry Moodley, acting as HOD in Philip­ Sithole’s absence, presented an interesting overview of how Durban Tourism has internationally marketed the eThekwini Municipality on National Geographic and through all the international Tourism trade shows, not only presenting the city’s assets, but also giving potential clients a taste of local cuisine at the stands.

Challenges facing the CTOs were brought to the table by delegates as a starting point for the city to take heed of. Some pointers mentioned was the difficult bureaucratic process in getting holiday-letting apartment blocks business licensed, as is the difficulty in obtaining shuttle permits from the provincial traffic authority.

Challenges are also experienced in the rural areas with regulations, protocol and traditions marring the potential for locals to benefit and the disconnection between municipal departments to close loop holes.

The day closed on a strong note, with the CTOs engaging positively, setting the tone for an interesting year ahead. Sibongile thanked members for their donations of prizes and to stakeholders for their input.
- Supplied.

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