‘Proud Motswana’ makes heritage part of its tourist offer | Fin24

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“I started researching tourism and what it really means to be a traveler,” Koji says.

  • Percy Koji started his tour operator and travel agency company Travel With Confidence (TWC) in 2005.
  • His love of travel started when he took the train from his village to Johannesburg during school holidays.
  • He has seen tourists travel to gain experiences and “understand” the way South Africa does things by learning about its history.
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A proud Motswana, its culture and heritage are an important part of Percy Koji’s tour operator and travel agency business, Travel With Confidence (TWC), which was founded in 2005.

“Tourists travel to learn, experience and ‘understand’ the way South Africa does things by learning about our history. Telling the stories of our heritage helps to communicate and connect with tourists on based on the ‘reality’ of our culture – who we are and what we do,” Koji said.

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“Our tours offer [the experience of] stories about our heritage, the Batswana people, migration and our unique South African history. It is important to know where someone is coming from and going to. Culture is what shapes society and helps to inform our thinking and behavior in society.”

He has seen how important it is for travelers to have a cultural element as part of a tourist offer. It relates to the fundamental purpose why people travel, which is to create memories and experiences and to teach and be educated.

He cites examples of historical tourist attractions in SA: visits to the Apartheid Museum, Robben Island, Soweto’s Vilakazi Street, Mandela House, Maropeng (the cradle of humanity), even the Voortrekker Monument in Pretoria.

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“All of the above have a rich history. They all tell how far we have come as South Africa and where we are going. They are also popular because they are unique,” said Koji.

He recently undertook a trip to South Korea to forge more cultural tourism ties.

“Koreans like to play golf when they visit South Africa and go on safari. My main focus is to increase tourism between South Korea and South Africa.

“This will help create more local jobs. We want to lobby the SA government to have at least one direct flight to South Korea. This will increase the number of tourists coming to South Africa and trading between the two countries.” increase,” said Koji.

Personal journey

He hails from Taung Village in the northwest.

“My father worked for the then Spoornet [today Transnet] and that gave us the opportunity to travel by train from Taung to Johannesburg during school holidays.

“That was fascinating and I enjoyed meeting people on the train along the way. It developed a curious mind about travel. I imagined traveling South Africa and beyond,” Koji recalled.

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“I started researching tourism and what it really means to be a traveler. The first highlight was traveling alone to Botswana for the first time. I also enjoyed making friends who I still visit to this day. This was over 16 years ago.”

Lesedi Cultural Village.

Detail on display at the Lesedi Cultural Village.

Travel delivered with confidence

After completing high school, he obtained a three-year tertiary qualification in business tourism from Birnam Business College in Johannesburg and eventually started his own tourism company.

“Being an entrepreneur in South Africa is very difficult, but I’m still going beyond Covid-19,” Koji said.

“The company has also set up a foundation that helps children go to school.

“South Africa faces serious challenges with high unemployment. The government cannot do everything alone. We all need to work together, create more jobs and build a strong South Africa.”

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