Africa: Ms Tourist, Siphelele Luthuli, champions Eco-tourism

Luthuli

Very few can boast of the pedigree that Siphelele Luthuli has, a seasoned Marketing graduate who boasts more than 20 years of experience in Marketing, Strategic Brand Management and Advertising. Ms Tourist, as she is affectionately known, champions and ‘ speaks eco-tourism fluently.

She wants to share her experiences as she travels and explores Africa as well as to showcase the beautiful gems that many may not know about. Her love and passion for travelling the world is evident and well depicted on her social media platform. With more than 65, 000 followers, her content remains captive as she narrates her stories and experiences about traveling and of course showcasing different destinations in Africa.

“I want to highlight what Africa has to offer and to also deal with perceptions that some may have about the different attractions.”

Siphelele aka Dimples is the CEO & Founder of Beyond Borders, a creative Advertising, Marketing, PR and a Brand management company that helps builds brand through creative content creation as well as helping with the overall brand and marketing strategy.

Sadly for her, Siphelele was quarantined at home to ensure safety. “My day was all about being indoors, taking walks and researching.

I would only go out to get the essentials and indeed I missed my routine of travelling the country.”

COVID-19 has affected Siphelele financially as her source of income was based on travel and tourism. From March there has been no income at all as her travel plans were halted with immediate effect.

She thinks that the industry will have to adapt in terms of adhering to all hygiene protocol and ensuring the tourists are safe.

“The pricing strategy will also have to be revisited as the market for international incoming tourist may take time to enjoy the growth it has previously. For years the locals have been sidelined due to the fact that luxury travel only favoured the dollar market which deemed it unaffordable.”

The fact is, digital has become a great platform to engage, as a result, there is an expected massive growth in digital nomads as most people are now online. Siphelele believes the good thing about it as well is the instant results as most become conversions, people are likely to believe the word of mouth, even though it’s informal it still remains credible as opposed to adverts which are one way.

“With Nomads there is constant interaction and trust that is established.”

Sadly South Africa in the past years has become a target for poachers making them become vulnerable as a country.

“Year on year we are losing our white Rhino due to illegal poaching that takes place in our Parks nationally. The syndicate is quite aggressive and this has left us in a state of fear and that one day we will have only have the Big 4 instead of the Big 5. I must also state that as challenging as it has been, our South African government has managed to tighten our security and impose heavy sentences to all those found guilty. The country has also ensured that our Rhinos and Elephants are protected by implementing strategies that mitigate poaching and that the animals do not go towards extinction.”

Ms Tourist comes from an Eco-tourism background where she learned about the importance of conservation and learning that we can co-exist.

“The other important fact is that without nature there is no eco-tourism.”

Advice to others would be to be authentic and engage with everyone who interacts with you. “Every tweet is important!”

So far Siphelele has been to London, Rome, Berlin,Madrid, Dubai , Lagos, Limpopo and of course my home , The Zulu Kingdom which boasts 2 World Heritage sites, the majestic Ukhahlamba- Drakensberg mountains as well as as Isimangaliso Wetland Park, which is ranked no 1 in Africa in terms of diving and no 3 in the world.“

“In South Africa I would recommend The Zulu Kingdom & Limpopo for their authentic experiences, diverse culture, rich history and heritage as well as adventure and in West Africa I fell in love with Lagos. Their gastronomy is mind blowing, not forgetting their signature Chapman drink, Suya, puff puffs, spicy Jollof rice and the 5-star 7 day nightlife experience .”

Source: phanganist.com

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