Changing the way holidaymakers meet local people

As part of the TUI Cares programme, the TUI Care Foundation has partnered with South African organization Africa!Ignite, a non-profit, rural development agency based in the east coast province of KwaZulu-Natal, home to the famous Drakensberg mountain range and Port of Durban.

The project is helping up to 240 people, mostly women, to benefit from the promotion of local products and services through the WOWZULU programme. 16 young people from rural communities will also earn shares and become owners of eight marketplace businesses located in popular tourist sites across KwaZulu-Natal

The partnership supports teams of young entrepreneurs to set up and part-own marketplaces in tourist locations and run them as sustainable businesses. Eight marketplaces have been established, helping around 240 people to offer their handcrafted souvenirs and products to tourists. Local women who traditionally specialise in handicrafts will especially benefit and their extensive local knowledge also provides the perfect opportunity to offer excursions to surrounding communities. Located near tourist sites, the marketplaces, handicrafts and excursions will act as a starting point to explore the rural culture. From cycling through a village to hiking, canoe trips, cooking local cuisine or learning a new skill such as basket weaving, the experiences are locally owned and offer an ideal opportunity to holidaymakers who want to experience the authenticity of the country and help local communities benefit directly from tourism.

Teams of two will manage the marketplaces and receive regular training and support in marketing and sales, financial and administrative management, customer care and stakeholder management. The products and excursions will also focus on leaving a light ecological footprint with improved recycling, waste management, water consumption and sourcing of organic food products also contributing to sustainable experiences for visitors.

PROJECT PARTNER

Africa!Ignite supports women and young people in rural areas to improve their lives and earn a better living. They work to develop inclusive tourism destinations with WOWZULU, KwaZulu-Natal’s leading responsible tour operator, who offer memorable, off-the-beaten-track tourist experiences to tourists and promote community-based tourism offers in areas where communities and tourism live side by side

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