Tourism’s new CEO starts
UGU South Coast Tourism’s new CEO, Phelisa Mangcu, has taken up her position at the agency’s head office in Port Shepstone last Monday with big plans to put the KZN South Coast firmly on the domestic and international tourism map — on par with the Garden Route as a recognisable and sought-after destination.
Mangcu comes to the KZN South Coast with vast tourism experience in core-market Johannesburg as well as abroad, having worked at Trump International Hotel & Tower in New York. Her experience encompasses all areas of the agency’s mandate as a destination management organisation, from destination management to marketing, development and visitor information service.
In particular, she is proud of having received awards recognising her hard work and dedication. Addressing staff, this was also the message she gave as to what she requires from them to take the agency to new heights.
Having been in the tourism industry for more than 20 years, Mangcu emphasised the importance of the destination in securing visitor numbers, providing a service experience, as well as ensuring that they not only focus on creating a demand, but also on developing supply.
She also reiterated that tourism is government-led, private sector-driven and that one of the primary roles of the agency is to provide an enabling environment for tourism to flourish as well as to facilitate engagement and problem solving between parties.
“When faced with challenges, my approach is one of partnerships and understanding. Our role is to support businesses out there and as a government entity our private sector stakeholders need to be happy,” said Mangcu.
With a strong tourism development background, Mangcu is passionate about taking the benefits of tourism, directly or indirectly, to all areas in the district.
Part of her vision is visible transformation of the tourism industry and to integrate SMMEs into tourism.
Ugu South Coast Tourism already provides training to SMMEs, crafters and tour guides, and she would like to see this taken to new levels in order to grow these entrepreneurs.
She said she would like to see tourism practitioners entering new areas such as event and conference organising, which would support future growth in the MICE (meetings, incentives, conferences, events) market.
Mangcu says that even though the KZN South Coast is not traditionally known as a business tourism destination, it can certainly attract smaller conferences and events, as it has successfully done with weddings and sports events, which would pave the way for bigger, more lucrative events, at the same time drawing investment to further develop the sector.
Joy Crutchfield, the chairperson of the Ugu South Coast Tourism Board, said the board believes that Mangcu will live up to the excellent references received and that her broad hands-on tourism experience and leadership will do them all proud.