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Become a Mzansi Tourism Champion!

Written by Dale Hes

A new online initiative is giving members of the tourism industry the chance to come together to support one another during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. 

Mzansi Tourism Champions was set up with the main purpose of meeting the needs of tourism employees who have been left without an income during this time. 

Heinie Bosman who is one of the founders of the website said in 2019, South Africa welcomed 16.6 million visitors to our country. Many of these used tour companies to experience the people and nature; hostels to get into the country’s local vibe; hotels and BnBs to relax and sleep over; and were met with friendly faces, hugs and smiles. Mzansi Tourism Champions was set up to help tourism employees who have been left without an income during the pandemic. Picture credit: Wikimedia Commons

“Now, all of these people are without work. Because of the international lockdown measures, companies cannot pay their staff and hostels and hotels cannot keep their
employees on,” says Bosman. The website aims to match people in need with people who can help them.

“Through an honest online platform, we aim to unify efforts and bring various parties together, thus facilitating the distribution of donations and any form of help offered to people in tourism who cannot directly benefit from the South African funds and schemes,” explains Bosman. 

In order to get assistance, affected tourism employees can sign up on the website and join the ‘Needs for Assistance’ group. Here, these employees can list their needs and donors can assist them. 

Bosman says the needs can include anything from needing data to do work, to requesting food parcels for employees who have been unable to earn an income for their families. 

The website also includes a ‘Think Tank’ page, where members of the tourism industry can get involved in discussions on how to improve the industry and collaborate to solve the challenges facing tourism. 

Members who sign up can also create their own profiles to share more information about themselves, while there is also a messaging service available to chat with other members.

How to Join Mzansi Tourism Champions

  • Go to the website at tourismchamps.co.za.
  • Fill out your details and get registered at tourismchamps.co.za/register/. 
  • Once you are registered, your profile will be created and can be seen by other users of the website. 
  • If you are looking for assistance, go to the ‘List a Need’ section of the website. This will connect you to people who may be able to help.