Around 80 small, medium and micro enterprises (SMMEs) from KwaZulu Natal attended the Travel with Purpose workshop – organised by the Department of Tourism in partnership with South African Tourism and Tourism KwaZulu-Natal (TKZN) – last week to rebuild and grow their businesses in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
It is one of nine workshops being held over nine to support SMME businesses around the country.
“The SMMEs thoroughly enjoyed the workshop as it was an opportunity for them to gain insights into the latest trends and opportunities and look to the future with confidence,” said Phindile Makwakwa, Acting Chief Executive Officer of TKZN.
“Workshops are also an excellent place for SMMEs to network and build relationships with other people in the industry. This can lead to trade linkages and further business for the various partners.”
The programme encouraged delegates to discuss smart strategies, develop their skills, while understanding the importance of doing and growing their businesses in the digital age.
Nokuthula Bond, owner of Liapolis Accommodation said workshops of this kind were critical to business success.
“We need to be guided about travelling under COVID regulations. We do not have resources to do our own research. We rely on tourism entities such as TKZN to guide us so we can implement changes in our business operations,” she said.
Tour operator for SBRM Tours, Baja Bhengu, said: “These workshops also create a platform for us SMMEs to learn more about incorporating digital and innovative ways in our businesses such as the use of social media and other online interventions to have conferences, meetings, and so forth.”
“I found the sales masterclass from entrepreneur, Andile Khumalo, particularly helpful and informative in light of the challenges we face,” added Bhengu.
Each workshop delegate also received a voucher to spend at the sustainability village specially set up for the workshop. The village boosts local economic empowerment and is part of the #BuyLocal campaign, supported by the Presidency. All products at the village were sourced from local black-owned businesses.
“With this being the seventh workshop in the campaign, it was encouraging to see the interest and enthusiasm displayed by the SMMEs to further knowledge,” commented Altaaf Kazi, General Manager of Global PR and Communications at South African Tourism.
“We look forward to hosting workshops in the remaining two provinces – Eastern Cape and Mpumalanga, and building on the success of these workshops in the future,” he said.