THE start of 2022 has been accompanied by more in-person business interactions with meetings, conference and event organisers prioritising open-air, well-ventilated venues that take employees out of the city and into nature.
It’s a trend the Ugu South Coast Tourism (USCT) is hoping to capitalise on with the launch of its Meeting Planner Guide at the Meetings Africa exhibition, hosted in Johannesburg from 28 February to 2 March.
“The KZN South Coast is looking forward to hosting more ‘bleisure’ tourism this year and we’ve attempted to make this as easy as possible for organisers,” said Phelisa Mangcu, CEO of USCT.
“We enjoy a year-round subtropical climate which makes outdoor events possible, and our tourism establishments provide world-class facilities and services. USCT also shares all updated Covid-19 regulations with local establishments across our various communication platforms to encourage stringent safety measures are followed.”
Mangcu said the KZN South Coast was an emerging meetings, incentives, conferences, and exhibitions (MICE) destination, whether for teambuilding events, small-scale engagements, conferences and bleisure tourism.
She listed several reasons the region is a good choice:
- Business hub: Port Shepstone is the region’s business hub, having grown from a seaside holiday destination to become the administrative, commercial, distribution and transport centre of the KZN South Coast. The abundance of available services and facilities is positioning the region as a drawcard for business events, as well as platform from which visitors can enjoy the surrounding tourism options.
- Accessibility: There are domestic and international flights into King Shaka International Airport (KSIA) – just an hour-and-a-half’s drive from Port Shepstone – with car hire facilities and scheduled shuttles to the KZN South Coast. There are also several private airstrips. From Durban it’s a 45-minute drive and less than seven hours from Johannesburg along the national highway.
- Venues: The South Coast boasts a number of accommodation and conference venues suited to varying tastes, requirements and budget, with capacity for up to 300 delegates.
- Golf Coast: Stretching from Umkomaas to the Wild Coast and inland to Harding, there are 11 quality golf courses found on the ‘Golf Coast’, many boasting sea views while winding through nature reserves. Among them are Selborne Park Golf Estate, one of country’s premium residential golf estates; Southbroom Golf Club, one of the area’s most popular courses; and the Wild Coast Sun Country Club which is one of the top 10 courses in the country.
- Teambuilding: Unique teambuilding experiences include horse riding, shark cage diving, ziplining, gorge swinging, cave hikes, and authentic cultural tours. The area is home to unique natural locations, among them Blue Flag beaches, Lake Eland Game Reserve, Oribi Gorge, KwaXolo Caves, Aliwal Shoal, and Protea Banks, with no shortage of locally based tour guides and event organisers.
The new Meeting Planner Guide has been compiled as a one-stop directory for all business conference, meetings, teambuilding and accommodation requirements. It consists of a detailed list of existing MICE venues, teambuilding activities on offer, and relevant contact information.
It’s available online at visitkznsouthcoast.co.za.