“I started researching tourism and what it really means to be a traveler,” says Koji.
- Percy Koji started his Travel With Confidence (TWC) travel agent business in 2005.
- His love of travel started when he took the train from his village to Johannesburg during the school holidays.
- He has seen that tourists travel to have experiences and “understand” the South African way of doing things by learning about its history.
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As a proud Motswana, his culture and heritage are an important part of Percy Koji’s travel agent and travel agency, Travel With Confidence (TWC), founded in 2005.
“Tourists travel to learn, experience and ‘get’ the South African way of doing things by learning about our history. Telling our heritage stories helps us interact and connect with tourists based on ” reality” of our culture – who we are and what we do,” Koji said.
“The tours provide us [the experience of] stories around our heritage, the Batswana people, migration and our uniquely South African history. It is important to know where it comes from and where it goes. Culture is what shapes society and helps inform our thinking and behavior in society.”
He has seen how important it is for travelers to have an element of culture as part of a tourism offer. It relates to the main purpose of why people travel, which is to create memories, experiences and to educate and be educated.
He cites examples of heritage tourism in SA: visits to the Apartheid Museum, Robben Island, Soweto’s Vilakazi Street, Mandela House, Maropeng (Cradle of Humanity), and even the Voortrekker Memorial in Pretoria.
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“All of the above have a rich heritage. They all tell a story about how far we have come as South Africa and where we are going. They are also popular because they are unique,” said Koji.
Koji at the entrance to the Lesedi Cultural Village on the East Rand in Gauteng.
Travel with Confidence provided
He recently made a trip to South Korea to build greater cultural tourism ties.
“Koreans enjoy playing golf when they visit South Africa and going on safari. My effort is mainly to increase tourism between South Korea and South Africa.
“This will help create more local jobs. Our aim is to push 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 trade between the two countries,” said Koji.
He is from Taung village in the northwest.
“My father worked for the then Spoornet [today Transnet] and this gave us the opportunity to travel by train from Taung to Johannesburg during the school holidays.
“It was exciting and I enjoyed meeting people along the way, on the train. This allowed me to develop a curious mind about travel. I imagined traveling outside of South Africa and beyond,” Koji recalls.
“I started researching tourism and what it really means to be a traveler. The first highlight was traveling to Botswana for the first time alone. I also enjoyed making friends, whom I still visit to this day. This was over 16 years ago. years.”
Detail exhibited in Lesedi Cultural Village.
Travel with Confidence provided
After completing high school, he obtained a three-year higher education degree in business tourism at Birnam Business College in Johannesburg and eventually started his own tourism business.
“Being an entrepreneur in South Africa is very difficult, but I’m still going despite Covid-19,” Koji said.
“The company has also created a foundation that helps children get through school.
“South Africa faces serious challenges with high unemployment. The government cannot do everything alone. We must all work together, create more jobs and build a strong South Africa.”