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World Tourism Day provides opportunities to youth

TKZN, Amajuba District with Department of Education, Department of Economic Development Tourism and Environmental Affairs (EDTEA) together with Project Enza certainly pulled out all the stops, this World Tourism Day.

World Tourism Day, and the United Nations General Assembly announced the adoption of 2017 as the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development, that of economic, social and environmental. This sector particularly improves the quality of people’s lives as well as bolsters environmental protection, champion’s diverse cultural heritage, and strengthens peace in the world.

Project Enza, established by Thandekile Jessica Nhleko, was born out of her love and passion for the hospitality and tourism industry and for her desire to help improve the unemployment rate. She felt the need for people to create opportunities for learners to realise their future potential in the industry.

This year’s KZN Tourism Awareness programme was aimed at the youth. It launched on Friday, September 22 in Newcastle where over 70 local high school learners from schools in Amajuba District as well as TVET (Technical and Vocational Education and Training) colleges were invited to participate in a tourism awareness workshop. The full day workshop included informative and educational discussions that were intended to drive tourism awareness, explain tourism destination marketing and the role of the communities, the importance of nature conservation and highlight the importance of saving our rhino as well as responsible citizenry.

The second leg of this programme took place on World Tourism Day, Wednesday September 27. Students who had participated in the initial leg of programme in Newcastle then left the Amajuba District for an educational tour of Durban where they experienced, firsthand, a tour of King Shaka Airport, the Inanda Heritage route and JL Dube House. They also enjoyed a fun filled afternoon at uShaka Marine World where they were treated to a dolphin show and a tour of the aquarium.

This perfectly matched the decision by the United Nations General Assembly  to set aside 2017 as the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for economic, social and environmental development. This was decided because this sector is known to substantially improve people’s quality of quality of life as well as bolster environmental protection, champion diverse cultural heritage, and promote peace in the world.

Project Enza was established by entrepreneur Thandekile Jessica Nhleko and was born out of her love and passion for the hospitality and tourism industries. She is passionate about creating opportunities for learners to realise their future potential in the industry.

Spokesperson of Tourism KZN for the schools awareness program, Mr Samora Nqweniso, said:

“We believe strongly in raising awareness and exposing learners to the tourism industry, particularly those in the disadvantaged groups. They could become an integral part of this particular sector. Our objective is to ensure the future of tourism and to see these young people think of themselves as entrepreneurs and job creators that play an active role in this vital economic sector”.

Project Enza’s Nhleko added:

“I am grateful to all the partners of this particular project without which my vision would not have become a reality.”

Apart from the learners gaining invaluable knowledge, they got to experience being a tourist and visiting destinations, first hand. This is probably something they would never have had an opportunity to do.  They also got to meet those working in the tourism industry who shared some of their knowledge and experience and encouraged them to look at being tourism ambassadors for their local destinations.

All the students departed with a positive attitude, and expressed gratitude to having enjoyed such a unique opportunity.

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