by Tia

Twenty-four influential inbound tour operators from South Africa and the Southern African Development Community (SADC) will discover why KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) should be on their itineraries, when they attend Tourism KwaZulu-Natal’s (TKZN) Travel Academy in Durban from Thursday 14 March to Monday 18 March 2024.

The 2024 Travel Academy, held in partnership with Durban Tourism and Avis Rental, will be the third edition of the successful initiative after a four-year hiatus brought on by the Covid-19 pandemic shutdown.

The Academy, which was first launched in 2018, comprises a two-day workshop in which KZN tourism business owners present their products to the tour operators. This will be followed by  familiarisation tours of exceptional experiences of the province from adventure on the South Coast, to water and land safaris on the Elephant Coast, scenic beauty in the Drakensberg as well as culture and heritage sites of the Battlefields.

Attending this year are three Durban-based travel operators, nine Cape Town-based travel operators, three major travel operators from Johannesburg and eight travel companies from SADC.

These travel companies are major inbound tour operators which package and sell travel arrangements through international tour operators, who already sell Southern Africa destinations to international tourists.

“To effectively market and promote KwaZulu-Natal internationally, TKZN must influence all levels of the travel value chain. Whether we are at international travel exhibitions or hosting major travel companies and agents in KZN, we are building meaningful relationships to ensure that the province is featured in travel packages, and that agents have the knowledge to sell KZN to their clients,” said TKZN Acting CEO Mr. Sibusiso Gumbi.

This past week TKZN attended ITB Berlin in Germany and exhibited alongside South African Tourism (SAT), Durban Tourism,  Enterprise Ilembe and other tourism trade partners as it worked to attract more tourists from the German market, which is the third biggest international traveller source market for South Africa and the second biggest international market for KZN after the UK.

Again last week, TKZN hosted Australian product managers from international Adventure World Travel and a journalist who will cover their KZN experience for Australian print and radio. This hosting is a partnership with South African Tourism: Australia and SA Tour Operator Springbok Atlas.

Currently Adventure World Travel is finalising a KZN itinerary for their South Africa packages, and this hosting enabled product managers to trial and handpick extraordinary adventures and authentic accommodation to ensure that their tourists have a truly memorable experience when they visit KZN. This also comes at a time when South African Airways prepares to resume its direct flight between Johannesburg’s O.R. Tambo International Airport and Perth in Western Australia, in April 2024.

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