Africa Travel Week
Victoria West Tours

Victoria West Tours – Tour Operator and Guide

Ricardo Akhona Pieterse, the owner of Victoria West Tours, started his business in 2019. This touring business offers a variety of tours in Victoria West including town tours, township tours and hikes. Clients can enjoy getting to know the area with quality guides that know the ins and outs of Victoria West. 

Q&A with Ricardo Akhona Pieterse 

How did the idea for your business come about?  

I couldn’t find full-time employment in our town/community. I then looked for something to start to become self-sustainable and came up with the idea – but wasn’t sure how to start it. I did some research and started with photography that eventually led to where I am today. 

How did you come up with the name for your company/experience? 

Victoria West is the name of our town and because we are based in Victoria West, I decided to name it Victoria West as part of making our brand (and town) easily recognisable. 

Who is your ideal customer and why? 

Travellers from the city who want peace and quiet – and those that have lived in smaller towns and now miss the peace and quiet.  

Why do you offer the very best experience/product for your customers? 

It’s because I give them what they want. Which are peace and history. 

What is your greatest hope for your business? 

To connect and help with the reconciliation process of our country through tourism. 

What has been the most satisfying achievement in your business? 

Being able to function through all the difficulties of the tourism industry. I completed two national training programmes through the tourism department. I attended the AAVEA (African Association of Visitor Experiences and Attractions) tourism event in Cape town in 2019 through a working scholarship. I won a 12-month website for my business and many other important achievements. 

What advice would you give to other entrepreneurs who want to get into tourism? 

It’s a tough industry to be in – and to break through – but if you have a love for culture, heritage and history as well as a love for people, business and storytelling it all becomes worth it! 

If you could have a do-over, what would you do differently? 

Invested more time in researching our heritage and studying tourism. 

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.