Africa Travel Week
Septi Bukula

Behind the Mic with Septi Bukula

Septi Bukula is the founder and director of Seeza Tourism Growth Network, a collaborative network of independent tourism enterprises across South Africa, dedicated to enhancing their international competitiveness and market access. He has an extensive professional background in public policy on entrepreneurship and SME promotion and a particular focus on the easing of regulatory burdens on small and medium enterprises. 

What are you hoping could ignite enthusiasm on what you’re going to speak about (without giving away too much)? 

Focus on rethinking tourism SME development. 

What have you missed with regards to face-to-face contact in the events speaking space?  

Networking, sharing and being inspired by colleagues and peers from around the world. 

How did you come to do what you do, tell us a bit about your career advancement?  

Besides trying my hand at becoming a chartered accountant and stopping halfway through that journey due to y my political activism, and subsequently becoming an active trade unionist, I’m a professional analyst in entrepreneurship and SME development, specialising in public policy and programmes. I came into tourism via the back door by hosting a highly-successful international SME conference in 2012.

Subsequent to that I established a Professional Conference Management company which has bid for and hosted numerous international business events, winning the coveted Lilizela Tourism Award in 2014. My most exciting initiative was the establishment of Seeza Tourism Growth Network, which focuses on linking tourism SMEs as suppliers to inbound business events and channelled R5 million to SMEs between February 2018 and July 2019. 

Based on your five senses, what are you looking forward to most at the show this year: 

See: People and experiences on offer 
Taste: Cape Malay food 
Feel: The energy of the travel and tourism industry 
Hear: Stories of resilience and hope during challenging times 
Smell: The fresh Atlantic Ocean breeze 

What makes Africa Unique?  

The energy and resilience of the African people, the diversity and vibrancy of cultures, the unrivalled beauty, and so many opportunities. 

What is the first thing you will do once you set foot in Cape Town?  

Slow down and take in the splendour of Cape Town. I can never have enough of it. 

Looking back on past events that you have been to, what business connection/relationship stands out that made it truly worthwhile.  

Speaking for the first time about Seeza Tourism Growth Network, cementing the network’s relationship with WTM Africa, which has grown from strength to strength since then. 

Find me at WTM Africa: 

Topic: Why the digital transformation of tourism SMEs is no longer just a nice to have, and what Seeza Network is doing about it 
Date: 11 April 2022, 11:30 – 12:15 
Stage: Travel Forward Theatre 

Africa Travel Week

Africa Travel Week (ATW) focuses on inbound and outbound markets for general leisure tourism, luxury travel, LGBTQ+ travel and the MICE/business travel sector as well as travel technology. Shows include: ILTM Africa, WTM Africa, EQUAL Africa, ibtm AFRICA, Travel Forward, Sports & Events Tourism Exchange and African Tourism Investment Summit.