Based in Cape Town, Tebogo Pin-Pin works as a freelance Western Cape travel planner and content creator. He is also the founder of Pin-Pin Media, a brand management agency specialising in brand management, social media consulting, field and digital marketing services. He loves to do research and explore unique destinations around the Western Cape, sharing each one through visual storytelling on his Instagram.
When not stuck behind his laptop planning holiday adventures for guests or researching unique Western Cape destinations, you will find him driving around the Western Cape chasing new and unique destinations. Tebogo admits that he has been fortunate enough to have worked with local brands within the tourism and hospitality industry to showcase some of the amazing places the Western Cape has to offer. His travel curiosity has allowed him to travel to all South African provinces and to visit few SADC nations including Swaziland, Lesotho, Botswana, Namibia, Zambia and Zimbabwe. And while he loves Africa he admits that he does still dream of the day he is able to visit other countries outside of the continent.
How did you fall in love with travelling or start working within the industry as a career?
I have always been a traveller from a young age and my family never stayed in one place for too long when I was growing up. My father was a member of Bophuthatswana Police Service and we lived in different areas around the North West Province. I moved to Free State after the 1994 elections, and in 2003 I moved to Johannesburg to further my studies. I found myself spending 15 years in Johannesburg, the longest time I have stayed in one place. I later moved to Cape Town which revived my love and curiosity for travelling.
What kind of traveller are you?
Accommodation is the last thing I think about when I travel because most of my time is spent outside exploring the area I am visiting. As long as the place is clean I am good. I have stayed in backpackers, BnB’s, hotels, lodges, apartments and beach houses during my travels. Most of my budget is spent on supporting local businesses such as tour activities, local attractions, authentic local food restaurants, craft stores, etc. I also don’t like to plan or think too much about the trip, I just go with the flow.
Tell us about one of your most memorable trips/travel moments. Where and why?
Travelling with a group of strangers to four corners of the Western Cape (Cape Point, Langebaan, Cape Agulhas and Arniston) and having dinner with a local family at their home and listening to their authentic stories. I have many places I can think of but the one that is still fresh on my mind is Kassiesbaai in Arniston.
What lessons have you learnt from your experience during COVID – both personally and in your business?
We should never value the things we have in life but the people we have in our lives. Also, you should never rely on a single stream of income.
How confident are you that the travel and tourism industry in Africa (especially South Africa) will survive & prosper over the next 2-3 years?
I am confident that our tourism industry has a chance to thrive but business owners will have to listen to people who are at bottom and on the streets because they know and understand what their target market want. Businesses cannot continue to operate the same way they used to before COVID-19. Many travel content creators including myself are doing everything they can to show the locals that there is still much to be explored here in South Africa and people are willing to explore but businesses in the tourism and hospitality industry are not meeting them half way. To be honest, I feel like they are still charging prices they would charge international guests. This discourages locals to travel locally because they would rather spend a certain amount of money in an international country if it’s equivalent to what they would pay here at home.
What do we need to do to make sure that happens?
Businesses and business owners need to collaborate with local travel content creators and host webinars or meet and greet events at their establishments. This will give them an opportunity to connect with the local market and to hear what their target market have to say about offerings and prices. Many ideas can come from those sessions.
Based on the five senses and thinking about travelling what do you…
- Like to see: Happy staff members when I arrive at my accommodation or restaurant.
- Like to taste: Authentic local food.
- Like to feel: A thick and soft mattress after a long day of exploration.
- Like to hear: Birds and sometimes the sound of the ocean.
- Like to smell: Nature and freshly prepared food.
Suggestions on resources for other travel and tourism stakeholders. Any websites, publications, podcasts, thought leaders you can recommend or newsletters we should sign up to?
- www.chicatravel.co.za (travel podcast and newsletters)
- www.gophari.com (travel tips and newsletters),
- www.tjadventures.co.za (for if you need assistance with planning your group, couple or individual Western Cape travel experiences)
- www.curate-itza.co.za (for African storytelling and culture curator)
Lastly, what do you love about Africa Travel Week and do you think live trade shows will still be important going forward?
I hope this never goes away. WTM Africa brings people and businesses within the tourism sector together and I have seen amazing working relationships being formed during the physical shows. During the event, Africa becomes one. I understand some things will never be the same and it’s possible to host virtual expos but they can never take away that personal feeling that live shows have.