Local Lodge navigates tourism wasteland

There has never been a worse time to be in the tourism and hospitality business with the curve ball that COVID-19 pandemic threw at the tourism industry. Travel for leisure has been suspended until around December 2020 at the time of writing and only recently have accommodation establishments been able to cater for guests travelling for business purposes.


The Tourism Business Council of South Africa (TBCSA), which represents private sector, has told Parliament that it predicts about 600 000 direct tourism jobs will be lost in South Africa in 2020 alone if the industry is not allowed to open up - even at a phased-in approach - as soon as possible.

The pandemic has already led to local job losses according to fin24 article quote:. "Margie Whitehouse, chief tourism officer of Wesgro - the official tourism, trade and investment promotion agency for Cape Town and the Western Cape - said during a webinar on Wednesday that it was estimated that by the end of May the South African tourism industry had already lost about 40 000 jobs.|

La Mer Lodge, in Richards Bay, is one of the many local guest houses that are facing this crisis head on. They were one of the first to reopen for essential services workers and besides business being "very slow" they are doing the best they can to survive and market their business successfully. They, along with other business sectors are desperately awaiting things to go back to normal.

This established lodge is owned and proudly run by Leigh Hornby, who has spent most of his life in Zululand. Leigh, along with his educator wife Nicky and their two kids, took over the popular accommodation venue when an opportunity presented itself five years ago. It has now been running for 15 years. The previous owner purpose built the lodge for accommodating guests so little has changed besides some cosmetic alterations. Leigh got into the travel business by chance but he has always been in the customer service industry having previously managed a service station in Empangeni, worked in the financial sector and for a motor dealership for a short time. He believes that it's all about customer service and marketing and he therefore jumped at the idea of working for himself when the opportunity presented itself.

La Mer is situated in the heart of Richards Bay in Arboretum, close to the central business district and the regions biggest mall the Boardwalk Inkwazi Shopping Centre. It is well situated for business and pleasure with a short trip taking you to the beaches and waterfront area. La Mer Lodge provides affordable bed and breakfast as well as self-catering accommodation and promise a friendly experience with gracious hospitality and attentive service.

The comfortable rooms have en-suite bathrooms, TV's with remote and DSTV, tea and coffee making facilities, air conditioners and fans, free wi-fi and use of a communal pool and break area amongst other facilities. They have some great reviews by guests online and you can conveniently book online through their website. Clichés aside... La Mer Lodge Richards Bay is truly a "home from home" for people who enjoy a relaxing accommodation with personal, attentive service and hospitality.


Lodge pictures by Nobby's Photography - Visit his website.


This feature is brought to you by myzululand.co.za and sponsored by Alliance Graphics on behalf of their clients La Mer lodge to help them with advertising in this difficult time. For more information on La Mer lodge visit their website www.lamerlodge.com. For more information on Graphic Design and Web Development contact www.alliancegraphics.co.za - For advertising on the myzululand.co.za platform please email info@myzululand.co.za

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