Bay tavern gets tourism pros talking

Vuvu Vena

A POPULAR Port Elizabeth entertainment venue is creating a buzz with its products at the Tourism Indaba in Durban. 

Jeya’s Jazz Corner Tavern in New Brighton is among 11 small, medium and micro enterprises (SMMEs) from the Eastern Cape which have been exhibiting their wares – from tour guides, to taverns, to community-owned products – at the Durban International Convention Centre since Saturday.

The indaba attracts tourism enthusiasts from all over the globe. Africa’s biggest tourism and travel show opened on Saturday and will run until tomorrow.

Noxolo Sume, who runs Jeya’s, had already made a deal on the first day of the indaba.

“I met a tour operator from Gauteng and he’s interested in coming to Jeya’s, and he’s bringing tourists from the UK.

“So I tried to market the entire province and did a package and convinced him to stay three days when he comes,” she said. “He’s already booked the tour.”

Earlier that day, Sume was presented with her “Hidden Treasure” badge, which the Tourism Enterprise Partnership awards SMMEs who are showing potential in the various provinces.

Jeya’s operates as a sports bar for all sporting events, and also showcases Bay choirs, DJs and live bands, along with facilities for events, conferences and meetings.

The business is owned by the Sume family. Jeya, Sume’s husband, represented both the Eastern Cape and the country on the soccer field. Noxolo Sume has a passion for marketing, which was evident in how she spoke about her product.

“My aim now is to market my province, because Jeya’s cannot be an island and some SMMEs do not have this opportunity,” she said.

Through her sale, she also gave business to other SMMEs operating in accommodation, township tours and entertainment.

She said she would also try to market herself for the African Cup of Nations next year.

Sume took the opportunity to create a beaded necklace with a silver whistle to replace the vuvuzela of 2010 soccer World Cup fame.

“No more vuvuzelas at Jeya’s. We are using whistles now. We were lucky, our city is hosting the Afcon,” she said.

Port Elizabeth will also be hosting the English rugby team, who have already booked Jeya’s for an after-party during their five-match tour of South Africa next month.

The indaba is an opportunity for SMMEs to network with each other as well as international buyers.

SMMEs who attended the indaba from the province were supported by the Eastern Cape Parks and Tourism Agency (ECPTA).

Nomfundo Zondwa, a product development specialist who is also in charge of SMME support at ECPTA, said: “We assist them in terms of getting market access to industry and growing their market share.

“Before they come to the indaba, they must supply us with a programme of who they will be meeting with and while they are here they must honour those appointments, sign contracts and make follow-ups.

“They have been getting business through the indaba,” Zondwa said.

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