It is time to approach tourism differently in KwaZulu Natal, to begin a new chapter that will not only foster development but see the province’s many diverse cultures speaking with one voice, says newly appointed Acting CEO of Tourism KwaZulu-Natal, Sibusiso Gumbi.
Gumbi said he was confident that all plans were in place for a smooth transition to the busy summer festive season.
He sees his role as a strategic one that will unite everyone from the province’s unemployed youth, to its leaders and even captains of industry. “I strongly believe that tourism is at the centre of the economy, of infrastructure development, improving our beaches and our heritage sites. If we can concentrate on these, we will be able to turn things around. KZN has massive tourism potential, yet we seem to be dealing with a lot of negativity. It is time for a new narrative and for us all to join together to be ambassadors for tourism.”
After 28 years in the public sector, Gumbi is confident that the province has the right ideas when it comes to infrastructure, economic development and growth. But the time for interpretation of ideas has passed and the time for implementation has arrived, he believes.
He says the bigger picture is seeing how tourism can play an important role in job creation, economic recovery and transformation.
“I’m very open minded about the critical role that tourism has to play in the socio-economic sphere. As a community, KZN needs to understand itself first. Without that, how do you move on and attract others from other provinces and sell the province abroad as well? Let everyone understand the importance of KZN from a cultural perspective, as a province that is the seat of the Zulu monarchy, as one which has both the beaches and the mountains and is home to the Big Five.”
New GM at Marataba Luxury Lodges
MORE Family Collection, which owns and manages a collection of luxury safari lodges, boutique hotels, and exclusive-use residences in South Africa and Zimbabwe, has recently appointed Nadia Pent as GM of Marataba Luxury Lodges in Marakele National Park.
“Nadia started her journey at our Lion Sands River Lodge as Camp Manager in 2019. Her passion for people and hospitality soon meant she was promoted to Lodge Manager, and we are very excited to now have her lead the team at Marataba. We feel sure that Nadia will continually look for ways to enhance our guest experiences, and enrich lives in line with our ethos,” says Robert More, Custodian and CEO, MORE Family Collection.