The full blown name of the organisation is the “1000 Hills Community Tourism Organisation”. To make life a lot easier, we simply refer to it as the CTO.
Sometimes it’s a little difficult to explain what exactly the CTO is and how it functions. So in the this blog post we’ll take you back to the beginning and hopefully by the end of the post, you’ll have a far clearer idea of what the CTO is and what it does.
Before the CTO was a CTO
Originally, the CTO as we know it today, was a simple tourism association – this was pre-2012 days. Back then the association functioned much like it does today; there are committee members that volunteered their time and efforts, meeting once a month at the tourism office in Bothas Hill.
The association aimed to bring tourism into the 1000 Hills area, but did so with pretty much no budget at all. In fact, if we needed any financial support we went cap in hand to council and asked nicely – and most times they obliged.
One of the events that the 100 Hills tourism association used to support was the “Beer and Boerie Festival” at the Chef’s School in Bothas Hill (for those readers who are not South Africans, a “boerie” is a delicious farmers sausage).
The White Paper
In response to a government white paper, eThekweni municipality adopted a new way of doing things. Instead of having small and largely informal associations scattered around Durban, there would be 9 “community tourism organisations” instead.
And instead of each CTO going cap in hand to eThekweni when funds were required, a budget would be created and each of the 9 CTO’s would get a slice of that budget.
The 9 CTO’s are;
- 1000 Hills CTO
- Clermont KwaDabeka CTO
- Umlazi CTO
- Durban West CTO
- Sapphire Coast CTO
- Umhlanga CTO
- INK (Inanda, Ntuzuma and KwaMashu)
- Durban South CTO (Sodurba)
- Durban Central CTO
What do the CTO’s Do?
CTO’s are there to promote tourism to their relevant areas, so in the case of the 1000 Hills CTO, it would be the area defined as being between Kloof and Cato Ridge and between Molweni and Shongweni.
The CTO also looks to identify, support and promote small and upcoming businesses with an emphasis on developing township tourism, and to do their part in job creation.
The CTO’s are also invited by Durban Tourism to be a part of various trade shows around South Africa, and they are often represented at “activations” (aka launch events). CTO’s now also get to create what are called “key events” in their respective areas, for 1000 Hills it’ll be the upcoming wedding fair.
Why Join as a Member of the 1000 Hills CTO
There are so many good reasons to join the CTO, for example;
- Networking opportunities – throughout the course of the year there are normally one or two (or three) networking opportunities for all our members.
- Website listing – have your product listed on this website at no cost.
- Visitors guide – have your product listed in the 1000 Hills Tourism visitors guide when it’s published (at Durban Tourism’s discretion).
- Trade shows – the CTO participates in trade shows such as Durban Indaba, the WTM and other shows such as Garden and Home.
- Have a voice – by being a member you will get to have input in the way tourism is marketed in the 1000 Hills area.
Who Should Be a Member
If you deal directly with tourists; you own an accommodation establishments or you’re a tour guide or tour operator, then you absolutely must be a member of the CTO.
If you own a coffee shop, a restaurant, in fact any eatery at all, then you should join!
If you are a wedding venue, operate an animal farm, if you depend on anyone visiting your product or venue, then you should absolutely join!
What Does It Cost
There is an annual fee of R400.00 that is paid directly to the CTO (as of 2020/2021).
The financial year runs 1 July to 30 June, so if you join after January, it’ll only be R200!
Want to join? Use the convenient contact form below to get in touch.