Ten tourism entrepreneurs score top-notch masterclass from renowned tourism expert

Ten KwaZulu-Natal owners of small tourism companies are to each receive a free masterclass from an international tourism guru on how to remodel their businesses in response to COVID-19.

Barry Clemens who has extensive experience in the global hospitality, travel and tourism trade, and as a speaker at various International conferences on sustainable tourism, made the offer when he was a panellist at the last “How to recover and restore” workshop arranged by Tourism KwaZulu-Natal.

Clemens, who has been at the helm of several multinational hospitality companies and has been a judge for five consecutive years at the Lilizela Tourism Awards events which honour excellence in South Africa’s tourism and hospitality industry, said he could not sit back while KZN’s tourism industry was under siege because of the devastating pandemic.

“The least I could do was offer my services to 10 SMMEs to help them re-engineer their businesses within the dynamics of COVID-19,” said Clemens who has a proven track record in successfully developing financially distressed business’ into profitable units, whilst improving service delivery.

During his presentation at the last workshop, Clemen’s urged tourism SMMEs to get creative with new cost-saving technology; renegotiate contracts; evaluate their pricing strategy and take care of their most-prized asset – their employees.

“Do not panic – this too will pass. KZN will still be an amazing destination to sell and package after this is over,” he said.

Tourism KZN has embarked on a major campaign to get tourism in KZN back on track by ensuring the province regains its footing as a “must visit” destination, not only domestically, but internationally.

Those who are interested in taking up Clemen’s offer can contact him on email barry@hospitalityeq.com or telephone 071 624 6742.

Meanwhile there is growing interest from owners of tourism SMMEs in the series of business advice workshops. Since the start of the Tourism KZN Online Advisory Business Workshops, well over 100 business owners have participated at each episode.

The fourth (and last) online workshop which will be hosted on Wednesday 24 June from 10am to 12 noon will discuss Application of Tourism Industry Protocols and the Technological Solutions towards Business Operations in the ‘New Normal’.

The following are the subject experts who will share advice:

Dr Emmanuel Ngcobo – Workshop host and chairperson of the Chartered Institute of Government Finance, Audit & Risk Officers; president of the Noble Leaders International; Board Member of the Durban University of technology.

Panellist: Terence Delomoney – he is the General Manager of King Shaka International Airport (Airports Company South Africa). He is a Charted Accountant by profession and obtained his Post-Graduate Degree in Accounting from the University of Kwa-Zulu Natal. He has been with Airports Company South Africa since January 2000 and headed up several strategic portfolios i.e. Finance and Commercial, Support Services: Commercial, Projects, Engineering and IT and Airport Operations.

Panellist: Graeme Watson – he is the Key Account Sales Manager at Thompsons Africa for customers based in the USA, UK and Ireland. Thompsons Africa is part of Cullinan Holdings, which is a brand of the Travel Corporation. He sits on the Board of Directors of Southern Africa Tourism Services Association and is Chairperson of the KZN Chapter of SATSA.

Panellist: John Aritho – he is general manager of the Beverly Hills Hotel in Umhlanga, He has been with the Tsogo Sun Hotel Group for the last 24 years, having opened and operated hotels in the United Arab Emirates (Dubai and Abu Dhabi), Kenya, Tanzania, Mozambique, Seychelles, India, Cape Town, Johannesburg, Durban and Dubai. He is the Chairman of the Durban Chamber of Commerce Tourism Forum and the Deputy Chairman for FEDHASA – KZN Region

The invitations for the online workshops will be sent out to all SMME tourism businesses registered with Tourism KZN and will be published on the Authority’s Facebook Page @KZNTourism. All interested tourism businesses are encouraged to register by 19h00 on Tuesday 23 June 2020. For any enquiries regarding the tourism webinars, email samora@zulu.org.za

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