Promoting tourism in the south coast region of KwaZulu-Natal through tour operators
Dimaza, Goitsemang Rosemary
MetadataShow full item record
This study is an attempt to shed light on how tour operators can help to promote tourism in the south coast region of KZN. Even though tourism claims to bring economic development to the tourist destinations, in some cases, the development of tourism has created important social transformation in the other sectors of the tourism destinations, where the relationship between other sectors of the tourism industry and tour operators was weak or even negative. For some people, this situation is no longer considered a sustainable way to travel and do business. Therefore, the tour operator’s business does not end at picking up and dropping off tourists at their booked accommodation. The aim is to explore the role of tour operators in promoting tourism in the south coast region of KZN. The objectives of the study are: to identify and examine the nature of the tour operators’ business; to identify and explore the role of tour operators in the tourism industry in sustaining their businesses; to identify the changes needed to improve the promotion and sustainability of both tourism in the south coast region of KZN and that of the tour operator; and to explore the challenges encountered by tour operators which hinder effective contribution to the economy of South Africa. This research explored and investigated the perceptions of the tour operators in the south coast region in KZN in terms of their business growth, their role as tour operators and the problems they may encounter in growing their small businesses. A quantitative research methodology was utilised to collect the primary data for this study. Data was collected through the use of a structured questionnaire. The sample size for the study was 50 tour operators. The results from the literature and primary study revealed some interesting findings from the objectives and each set of questions. The highlighted finding in the study revealed the need for tour operators to provide the best possible service as the tourists are important for the destination’s economy (TOI, 2008:108). The study revealed that tour operators have direct contact with clients when they take them on tours; hence, a personal one-on-one safe relationship is established with clients (Moutinho, 2011:161). The conclusions drawn from this study point to the lack of access to information that would enable the majority of tour operators to understand the tourism sector holistically. Furthermore, information available to tour operators owing to technological advancements has increased exponentially (e.g. internet access).