Tourism Indaba - Unlimited Africa
This past week I attended the tourism Indaba to connect with partners and stakeholders in transport & tourism as we continue to do the work to build up the regional airports in Kwa-Zulu-Natal. I manage Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi Airport also known as Ulundi (ULD) Airport. Each day brings new challenges and insights.
In 2017, I decided I would do a Tedx talk on my favourite subject, travelling. As a child I was known to chase after my mother’s car, along the red, dusty farm road if she decided that she would venture out without me. I wanted to explore and meet people, this desire to connect with people continues to be my driving force and the reason why I love “challenging tasks”.
This Tourism Indaba with the theme being “Unlimited Africa” was all about connecting and creating new possibilities, each day was jam-packed with connections and discussions to create and shape the future of the airport. EDTEA a department that has a whole unit dedicated to supporting regional airports, a team that works tirelessly together with airports who have a clear intention in what they would like to achieve enabling them to unlock doors and funding opportunities. It’s a bit like having a fairy-god-mother if you believe in magic.
Transport connectivity enables tourism through its ease of access, therefore the better air connectivity we have, the faster we get to a place to enjoy the experience we have been eagerly awaiting. As long as this does not exist the longer it takes for us to grow tourism in regional areas regardless of the amazing tourism products the area has.
Within the Ulundi/Zululand Region we are 30kms away by road from Hluhluwe-Mfolozi Game reserve. This game reserve has the capacity to have the same tourism success as Skukuza, in Kruger National Park, South Africa. As more luxury safari lodges open within this the Zululand region attracting guests from far and wide. One of the interesting things about Covid, is not everything died, in fact in Zululand new tourism product were born during Covid such as Biyela Lodge and Babanago Game Reserves collection of lodges. For this region these products speak to new possibilities and a new source of employment and upskilling for the people in the area.
I challenge you reading this article to come and visit us in Ulundi, It’s a fascinating part of the world. We need you to increase the tourism numbers into this region as this is what encourages airlines to invest in area.
From Ulundi with Love
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Michelle shares stories of the journey " Those who travel meet Themselves" has taken. This book has travelled to more countries than Michelle has.