Kusa Cast – A Podcast Interview with Craig Drysdale

Kusa Cast – A Podcast Interview with Craig Drysdale

It was an interesting conversation between Craig Drysdale, Director of Sales and Marketing at ITT Inspirations Travel and Tours, and Graeme Watson on the podcast last week. ITT specialises in inbound tourism to Southern Africa and works with tour operators from around the world, as well as outbound destinations such as Morocco, Egypt, Turkey, Israel, Scandinavia, and cruises.

Craig has been in the tourism industry for nearly 30 years and the COVID-19 pandemic has been the biggest challenge Craig and the entire industry have faced. Despite the struggles, the industry has shown great camaraderie and support during this difficult time, with competitors helping each other out. Craig believes the spirit of family has been present in this sector since its inception, and it has only been reinforced by the pandemic. He says that “tourism has always been a very family orientated industry” and that “some great friendships have formed and great support going forward”.

Craig shared his daily schedule, saying he gets up between 05:00 and 07:00 to tackle emails. He also advised on the importance of work-life balance. ITT recently relaunched and rebranded their logo and website. Working from home and the office is also becoming more popular with Craig saying that “productivity and happiness increase by 30-40%”. This concept of “less is more” has been embraced by the industry, with businesses taking up less office space and reducing paper usage.

Domestic tourism was a saviour during the COVID-19 pandemic, and Craig believes that the industry should also focus on selling Southern Africa to South Africans. He has also been involved in the National Department of Tourism’s tour operator incubation program, which has helped 44 SMEs survive the pandemic.

Ultimately, Craig believes that the time for talking is over and that action needs to be taken in order to hit the 2030 tourist numbers. He says “if we’re going to do it, we must do it now and do it fast”. With the help of the industry’s great camaraderie, this goal is within reach.

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