By: Tebogo Mokwena
There is a greater desire amongst residents from Ekurhuleni’s townships to explore the metro, which has resulted in an increase in accommodation businesses such as guest houses, according to Londi Nkosi, who owns Alberton Guest House. Nkosi said more people should follow suit and tour their cities and support the burgeoning sector. The business owner told Vutivi News that his establishment was contributing to the tourism economy by encouraging visitors to enjoy Ekurhuleni’s attractions.
Since 2019, the guest house has been hosting residents from townships like Katlehong, Vosloorus, Spruitview and Kwa-Thema. He said that his and similar businesses sprung up in the area when the demand for local tourism increased. “A lot of people from these townships started seeing the need to enjoy some quality time to themselves and started booking our guest house,” he said.
“They book pool parties, birthday parties and baby showers at the guest house because of the scenic garden and the big and clear swimming pool. “They also make full use of the facilities including wifi, a braai area and an entertainment area.” However, due to lockdown restrictions, Nkosi said it would take him at least 18 months to recover from the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. While some guest houses remained open, he stopped operating during that period.
He also believes that it will take time for the accommodation sector to bounce back. To help the sector, Nkosi encouraged township residents to explore their surrounding areas as accommodation had become cheaper. He also urged people to open guest houses to accommodate growing tourism numbers. “The benefit of exploring your own city is that you support local businesses while finding new and exciting places to visit,” Nkosi said. He told Vutivi News that he loved running a guest house because he was in control of his own time and schedule, which he was now using to focus on expanding his accommodation business. His plan is to acquire more property and open other guest houses in Gauteng.