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Hidden Gems of Tourism at Africa Travel Indaba

In this year’s Travel Indaba, there was The Hidden Gems pavilion – a dedicated platform for small tourism enterprises to showcase their tourism products and services to buyers attending Africa’s Travel Indaba – giving them access to markets. One of those gems is Beyond Infinity Travel & Tours based in Bloemfontein in Free State province.

Lifestyle and Tech sat with founder and manager Ncebi Mkabane for an interview.

Tell us a bit about your business.

Beyond Infinity Travel was founded in 2016.  The business has two units – the travel agency side where we offer flight bookings, car rental and shuttle service; the other unit is a tour operator of safaris and township tours.  We are based in Bloemfontein, Free State – the centre of South Africa.

Seven years in operation – what has helped survive especially during COVID?

We believe that our reason being in business is to help our customers create memories.  When things shut down during COVID we decided to change customer’s perceptions that they can create memories within the city and province.  That’s when we introduced a service where organise kid’s parties at Masselsproot Resort and/or at local parks.   We also introduced a Gin-Route – a day tour that takes place at Franklin Game Reserve to the top of Naval Hill.  This day tour has become our most popular product – growing month to month.  We also started doing tours that are syllabus-based for scholars.

These products have helped increase our turnover back to ‘normal’ [referring to pre-covid].  We are working hard to improve.

On Being part of Africa Travel Indaba

We applied to the Hidden Program via the Department of Tourism – submitted all documents required and motivated why we should be chosen as one of the 123 ‘hidden gems’ of South Africa in Tourism.  The process was online and straightforward.

Being at here [at Indaba] has been an amazing experience – connecting with industry players that we easily have access to.  Since being here, we’ve been able to open accounts with accommodation establishments which helps with managing cashflow.   We’ve even gotten new customers through some of the meetings scheduled for us. The highlight has been being introduced to sports tourism which I wasn’t exposed to before.  We’ve reached an agreement with a direct tour operator from overseas country I prefer not to mention at this point – for us to be one of their ground handlers in SA.

During the opening of the Indaba Ms Patricia De Lille emphasised the importance of supporting small enterprises within the sector to sustain its growth.  Mkabane’s business, Beyond Infinity Travel & Tours employs three full time employees.

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Ndumi Hadebe is the author of Handle Black Tax Like – Setting Boundaries, Improving Relationships and Achieving freedom. 

With more than a decade of corporate experience and another as an entrepreneur, she lives her passion through her coaching business, Kwande Consulting – where she and a team of specialist- coaches support corporate teams and executives with coaching programs that are geared towards bridging efficiency and productivity gaps. 

She’s also a facilitator and speaker on topics such as Boundaries = Self-Love, Boundaries for Productivity, Boundaries for Goals and Handling Black Tax Like a Pro.