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A Cape Town tour operating service, Santacruise Tours, introduces new tours for locals and keeps the business’ doors open.

With humble beginnings and over 21 years of experience, Santacruise Tours offers private tours in and around the bustling Mother City, the Garden Route, Johannesburg, Kruger National Park, and Malawi. They have built partnerships with countries like Zambia, Tanzania, Ghana and many others, spoiling individuals with a variety of locations across Africa. Santacruise Tours provides several options that make planning any holiday experience simple and exciting with tailor-made tours that meet different individuals’ needs and interests.

Owner, Tingo Mtambalika, highlighted how every tour is planned with love, consideration and is well researched to ensure bespoke experiences for those who make use of their services.

However, many businesses across various sectors, especially those within the tourism industry, have experienced immense strain due to COVID-19 restrictions. With Santacruise Tours forming part of the larger Cape Town Tourism sector, they too had to think fast.

“Our plans were to expand tours to neighbouring countries, adding cars and staff, which didn’t materialize due to financial losses after tours were cancelled,” said Matambalika, adding that  several areas of their business plans had been affected.

The team updated their business plan to respond to the repercussions of lockdown and as soon as restrictions were implemented, Santacruise Tours took a proactive approach and found solutions that would keep the business running.

Local market bringing recovery

They’ve made changes to their service offering by focusing more of their efforts on local travel instead of their international clientele. “In that way, marketing is locally targeted,” says Matambalika. The tour operating service continued to think proactively and out-of-the-box, adding new tours to their portfolio that would specifically attract and interest locals. Right now, business innovation is key for survival.

With lockdown restrictions relaxing, health and safety protocols still remain top of mind for Santacruise Tours. “Every Santacruise staff member is trained and equipped with COVID-19 aids such as masks and hand sanitizer, and trained to clean the seats and areas in and around the tourism fleet for the safety of our clients and themselves,” says Mamtabalika.

Engaging with local communities and those abroad with the help of various social media platforms is also extremely important, now more than ever. He added that the company is actively using their social platforms to remind the travel community about the beauty of Cape Town and parts of Africa.

Mamtabalika concluded by saying, “Our plan is to grow into a one-stop-shop for tours into all African countries and offer assistance in arranging accommodation and flights, and streamlining the whole experience.” Santacruise Tours is determined to expand its services and keep pushing to get the Tourism sector back on its feet.

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