The Tourism Conservation Fund launched the third funding window of its Inclusive Business Linkage Fund (IBLF) on Wednesday, March 3. It is dedicated to supporting partnerships around community homestay and related cultural experiences.
21st century travellers are increasingly seeking more than the traditional sightings of game and nature that lie at the heart of the wildlife experience. They want to meet local people and experience their ways of life. Innovative lodge and tour operators are developing a variety of products to meet this need. The Tourism Conservation Fund invites potential partners to look at opportunities that might previously not have been considered feasible due to the uncertainties and costs associated with them.
“Activities and partnerships of this kind bring together formal and informal sector parties who have little prior experience of working together. Potentially widely varying expectations need to be aligned, facilities developed, and skills established. Good intentions are notoriously hard to translate into sustainable working relationships across cultures. That’s why the Tourism Conservation Fund is offering its support to help grow this high potential market in South Africa,” says Paul Zille, CEO of the Tourism Conservation Fund.
The fund only supports initiatives that it believes will succeed commercially after its support ceases. “This is why we require applications to be led by established commercial players, who have the experience and resources to invest in and sustain good ideas. We do not support charities or start-ups. But we actively seek partnerships between commercial players, community enterprises and Non-Governmental Organisations,” adds Zille.
All applications must be led by established businesses that have a vested interest in the commercial success of the partnerships they wish to establish. The fund, therefore, requires co-investment in the entities it finances.
Source: Tourism Update