KZN businessmen, Leon Rennison and Gerhard Botha, are rallying family, friends, colleagues, institutions, and corporate organisations to support their new awareness- and fundraising campaign in aid of the SA Tourism and Hospitality Industry.
Their goal is to raise funds to alleviate some of the difficulty that business owners and their employees’ families face at this time. Since the Covid-19 lockdown was implemented in April 2020, the industry has fallen on hard times. The realities of local and international travel bans, have caused significant loss of income, forced short-time and in the most severe cases, retrenchments.
The PHAT team launched their brainchild to businesses and establishments in the KZN Midlands area on Wednesday, 19 August. The event was held at Lythwood Lodge near Lidgetton, KZN where their 1000KM ‘THE PHAT GM RIDES’ Mountain Bike Tour will begin on Sunday 30 August. Their expedition will end at The Kitchen Windows in Jeffreys Bay, Eastern Cape on Sunday, 27 September.
“We don’t just want to speak about the hardships of our people, we want to do something about it”, campaign leader Leon Rennison said. “For every R300 raised we can provide food for a family of four for two weeks”.
Initiative partner, Gerhard Botha, mentioned that they are aiming to create high-level social media awareness for the impacted individuals in the industry by visiting lodges, wildlife reserves, hotels, restaurants, and coffee shops on route – showcasing their properties and telling their tough, but inspiring stories. The duo will also be sharing their knowledge of, and skills in hospitality management and HR with business owners and employees as they travel.
Apart from Sponsorships and Donations which can be made via the website, the ‘PHAT’ volunteers are encouraging Mountain Bikers and those with a love for travel and the outdoors to ‘ride along’ for R150 per person per leg of the tour (T&C’s). Corporate organisations are offered social media marketing opportunities on route for every R3500 sponsorship made. These sponsors will be allocated a DAY-ON-ROUTE where their brands will receive special tags and mentions as the day progresses.
Those that are unable to sponsor or donate are encouraged to LIKE, FOLLOW & SHARE the ‘PHAT’ journey with their own networks and connections to help spread the word.