USCT announces closure of Visitor Information Centres (VICs) as tourism goes digital

USCT announces closure of Visitor Information Centres (VICs) as tourism goes digital

The Covid-19 pandemic has accelerated the inevitable move to digital for the tourism sector. In line with this transformation, Ugu South Coast Tourism (USCT) has announced the closure of all Visitor Information Centres (VICs) on the KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) South Coast. However, visitors will be able to access all necessary tourism-related information via a number of USCT’s digital platforms, including the website and app.

“The global trend has seen the provision of tourist information go online, and USCT has been working with dedicated industry professionals to ensure we are fully-prepared to keep visitors informed,” explained CEO of Ugu South Coast Tourism, Phelisa Mangcu. “The arrival of Covid-19 has precipitated a ‘low-touch economy’ which is likely to remain in place for some time, so as to ensure staff and visitor safety.”

She said that the role of VICs had changed over the years, with more visitors likely to turn to their mobile phones or other electronic devices, to research the information they need for a visit to the KZN South Coast.

“Businesses across all industries have had to adapt to a digital reality in order to survive, and tourism is no different,” continued Mangcu. “Even before the pandemic, USCT has been developing its digital footprint. This allows us to reach a much wider tourism audience with targeted, up-to-date information on our ever-growing tourism sites and activities. Further to this, the move from printed material will allow for cost savings, as well as decreasing our carbon footprint.”

Some of the easy-access, one-stop online visitor information channels offered by USCT include:

  • An updated website: www.tourismsouthcoast.co.za with a dedicated Covid-19 communication portal
  • The free app available on Google Play and Apple stores: ‘Explore KZN South Coast’
  • Twitter and Instagram accounts: @infosouthcoast
  • Facebook and YouTube accounts: ‘South Coast Tourism’
  • For those wanting a printed document: The Southern Explorer route guide

Tourism businesses are encouraged to direct visitors to these various USCT digital platforms to access tourism information, and keep informed on upcoming events and specials. Businesses can also submit any relevant tourism information to USCT directly,  to be included across the platforms.

About Ugu South Coast Tourism

Ugu South Coast Tourism (USCT) is the official destination management organisation of the Ugu District Municipality in KwaZulu-Natal (KZN), South Africa. The Ugu District comprises four local municipalities that include Umdoni, Umzumbe, Umuziwabantu and Ray Nkonyeni. USCT’s mandate is to grow tourism within the KZN South Coast. This involves implementing marketing and development initiatives that are aimed at showcasing the diverse offerings and experiences of the South Coast as tourist destination. A board of directors oversees USCT, headed by CEO, Phelisa Mangcu. For more information visit www.tourismsouthcoast.co.za

About KZN South Coast

Known as the ‘Paradise of the Zulu Kingdom’, the KZN South Coast stretches 120 kilometres from Scottburgh to Port Edward and inland to Harding. Here, the spirit of adventure can be discovered among the many cultural experiences, as well as the 35 nature trails and 58 beaches, ideal for activities like river rafting, abseiling, suspension bridges, paintball, surfing, SUP, canoeing, beach horse rides, shark cage diving and free diving. Nicknamed ‘The Golf Coast’, there are 11 golf courses on the KZN South Coast ranging in difficulty, with endless hiking, mountain biking and 4×4 trails for more rugged excursions. Promoting sustainability, the KZN South Coast has a growing agri-tourism sector that offers world-class produce and hosts tours and excursions. The region boasts a number of permanently managed Blue Flag beaches, and is home to some of the world’s top diving sites, Aliwal Shoal and Protea Banks. The originality continues with the annual Sardine Run, coined the #GreatestShoalonEarth, which is the largest biomass migration on earth and a marvel to witness. The region’s many nature reserves are inhabited by indigenous bird and wildlife, and it holds the title for ‘smallest desert on earth’, The Red Desert in Port Edward. The KZN South Coast is a fast-emerging MICE destination which also plays host to a number of high-profile events including the The Bike Fest, Uvukile Gospel Festival, Ugu Jazz, Ugu Film Festival and the South Coast Fever MTB & Trail Run Series.

Issued on behalf of: 

Ugu South Coast Tourism (USCT)

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