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The SATSA Youth Chapter has launched a new online platform to help those in the tourism industry coping with difficulties as a result of COVID-19.
Mzansi Tourism Champions connects those in need with people who can offer help. SATSA’s Garden Route Youth Chapter Chair, and Co-Founder of the platform, Heinie Bosman, said he hoped it would provide relief for immediate problems.
The platform was a collaborative effort between Bosman, the Vice-Chair of the SATSA Youth Chapter, Tim Louw, and SATSA Youth Chapter National Co-ordinator, Shanaaz Taliep.
“We hope that by building a network of people who can offer skills, advice and monetary donations we’ll all be able to somehow weather the storm,” he said. Though monetary donations are an aspect of the platform, there is also a focus on providing a range of services such as free legal advice or design and copywriting skills.
Anyone in the tourism industry can register, including agents, operators, freelance guides and business owners. Users can also raise the profile of their businesses through writing blog posts and sharing photographs.
Bosman describes the platform as a safe space where the industry can network as a community. “Any collaboration is welcome, and we’re hoping that the website and social media channels will grow significantly over the next few weeks. While the need is great, so are the number of people with the skills, energy and will to help.”
The platform had sparked quite a lot of interest in the industry, Taliep told Tourism Update. “I think it will be successful too, because it’s not just something that is necessary now but something that will be necessary into the future.”