Beulah Mosupye has two decades of experience in major and small companies as well as running her own business, and began working at HBS last year.
She joined the Tourism Empowerment Council in 2008 and is passionate about the need to develop a strong domestic travel sector. This, she says, is key to showcasing the country in a positive light and attracting more international guests.
Mosupye has worked with many young South Africans, who she says primarily view travel as an expensive experience. She prefers to look at the attractions that people want to visit first and then consider the costs involved. For example, she often tells people to their utter disbelief that for under R100, they can go to God’s Window, the Blyde River Canyon and Bourke’s Luck Potholes, which make up the “Panorama Route” in Mpumalanga.
Naturally, accommodation and food will be required along the picturesque and historic route, but Mosupye points out that there are a number of affordable options, including self-catering chalets for a family of four, for R700 a night.
She’s confident that Mpumalanga can be experienced for less than R5 000 for a week’s stay. She is also working to change the perception of camping as “roughing it”, especially for black people; there are many comfortable and luxury options available. As most camping grounds are public facilities, a family can camp for as little as R200 a night.
Mosupye is also passionate about the interaction between technology and tourism. She is working on using virtual and augmented reality to improve travel experiences. This will, for example, allow people sampling a bottle of wine in Stellenbosch to scan the code and immediately see other attractions and routes related to wine in the area.
Mosupye admits that raising capital and investment in the domestic tourism market can be a challenge, as much of the funding in the sector is focused on inbound guests. She is working with several provinces to attract more South African visitors and showcase affordable options for local travellers.