Meet Bee (Betina Appel), the face behind Bee Du Jour, a fashion, travel and lifestyle blog which she runs from her home base in Cape Town, South Africa. As a true travel-aficionado, she has explored all of the continents in the world (except Antarctica), worked as a copywriter in Peru, taught ESL in South Korea and studies in France.
Bee has worked for some of the world’s best specialist travel brands which allowed her to experience new adventures locally and abroad.
How did you fall in love with travelling or start working within the industry as a career?
It started with my first trip visiting family abroad in The Netherlands and since then I just wanted to see more of the world. I started a blog after my post grad studies as a place to share my experiences and then landed a job in the travel industry.
What kind of traveller are you?
I think it would be a combination of planning ahead and going with the flow. I enjoy solo travel a lot so there are things I prefer to plan and not let to chance, but also enjoy the spontaneity of not having a too rigid itinerary.
Tell us about one of your most memorable travel moments…
There are too many, but I would say most memorable was my first trip to the bush in the Manyeleti near the Greater Kruger and sleeping in a luxury tent. I had no idea how loud that place is at night and hardly slept…especially with a cackling hyena lingering outside.
What lessons have you learnt from your experience during COVID – both personally and in your business?
Nothing is guaranteed in life!
How confident are you that the travel and tourism industry in Africa (especially South Africa) will survive & prosper over the next 2-3 years?
Yes, I am pretty confident we will continue to grow but the industry can’t simply rely on those working in it to help make that happen.
What do we need to do to make sure that happens?
I think local tourism should start focusing on growing our local markets and encouraging them more than ever to enjoy the beauty of our own country. While I know brand positioning is important, diversifying your offerings for a local market is just as important to surviving in the industry. It will take more than slashed rates for accommodations and experiences as transport is one of the biggest expenses to anyone wanting to travel in South Africa. Privately owned and public transport operations will need to be improved.
Based on the five senses and thinking about travelling what do you…
- Like to see: Both the city and the countryside.
- Like to taste: New types of spicy dishes found nowhere else.
- Like to feel: Satisfied that I saw and experienced all my check list places on my trip.
- Like to hear: The sound of the waves crashing nearby
- Like to smell: A quality breakfast being prepared in the morning.
Lastly, what do you love about Africa Travel Week and do you think that live trade shows will still be important going forward?
Yes, I think the live shows under Africa Travel Week at the Cape Town CTICC present a great opportunity for networking and for finding opportunities to meet various thought leaders and innovators in the industry.