South Africa: Incentive Travel After COVID-19


What will your incentive trip look like in the next few months? Charlotte Smith, Head of MICE at Giletedge DMC and GDA preferred partners shares some insight.

We have all been consumed of late by the “C” word – the Coronavirus – that has dominated our life in the past months. It’s forever changed our futures. But what about the other “C” words, which we’re now aware of more than ever: consumerism, consciousness, care, community, culture and conservation.

We’d like your clients to feel they’re actively contributing during their visit to South Africa; and leaving behind a sustainable destination and future for generations to come.

Let’s start with accommodations. We would like you to support hotels and lodges who we know have sustainability and conservation at the heart of their brand.

It may be located in the bustling, vibrant city centre of Cape Town, but The Mount Nelson is a calm oasis with a team committed to giving back to both the community and environment.

Some of their projects include:

  • a worm farm on the hotel property to manage the disposal of much of the hotel’s organic waste
  • 100% biodegradable and compostable BioStraws made from plant starch
  • cooking all is all sent to a recycling facility
  • three beehives not only to harvest honey for guests but also to support the survival of the Cape Honeybee
  • organic vegetables are sourced from township community farmers at Abalimi Bezekhaya
  • the creation of a Cape Indigenous Wild Food Garden at the Ikhaya Garden, Isikholelo School, Khayelitsha in 2016
  • excess room amenities – like toiletries and bed linen – are donated to charities and NGOs
  • excess food is donated to Cape Town Multi Services Centre – feeding school children and the elderly

Travelling to the Cape Winelands (just 45 minutes from Cape Town) lies the perfect escape from the city. Boschendal Wine Estate is a prime example of sustainability. Their farm to table ethos is all about using the best available local, seasonal and ethically sourced ingredients.

Groups can stay in an historic luxury cottage, in the heart of the orchards, with vast views of the surrounding countryside and mountains. You can explore the farm on foot, join a harvest and garden tour, visit the food garden and harvest your own fresh produce straight from the soil. On a farm tour, you can learn about their history, regenerative farming practices and sustainable food growing.

Enjoy a group barbecue dinner under the stars with Boschendal’s own pasture reared Black Angus Beef. Or perhaps a picnic lunch on their expansive lawns with freshly baked goods from their bakery and superb local wines.

Giving back to local communities, means really immersing yourself in local culture and connecting with real South Africans. This is a highlight of many of our incentive trips and often the most treasured memory.

This is made possible with Side by Side Experiences, visiting local townships in Cape Town. The half-day visit immersive visit is interactive and includes a stroll around the local Langa neighbourhood with a reformed gangster now turned entrepreneur, Sihle Tshabalala. Listen to his inspiring story of change and hope how he has risen above a life of crime and poverty. He now teaches computer coding with his company Quirky 30 to young adults. He promises Langa will be the next Silicone Valley of Africa!

Work up a sweat and stretch those muscles during a fun and laughter-inducing Zumba dance class with local teacher, Sonwabo ‘Sofire’ Bomvana. He is making a difference in young children’s lives through dance and exercise.

End your morning with an African fusion lunch and meet local business owner Jordan who will join you at your table. With his dogged determination, exceptional customer service and business acumen, he has created Jordan Ways of Cooking Restaurant – now a popular meeting and eating spot for locals and visitors.

These are just 3 small examples of ways in which your groups can make a difference during their visit to South Africa. If COVID-19 has taught us anything, it is to value the planet and all those who inhabit it. We look forward to welcoming you soon and sharing these exceptional experiences with you.

Originally published on Giltedge DMC blog.

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