NEWSLETTER - 10 September 2012

Tshwane Spring Campaign

The City of Tshwane is embarking on a Spring Campaign and would appreciate it if you send them any special rates and special offers that you will be promoting for the months of September, October and November 2012.

Please send your information to Charlé Hodgkiss at charleh@tshwane.gov.za on or before end of working day of Monday 10 September 2012.

Tshwane wins bid to host Red Bull X Fighters in 2013

Back in 2011 the Tshwane Tourism Association began assisting Red Bull South Africa to gather support in Tshwane to host the Red Bull X Fighters event in the city. The newly formed Tshwane Convention and Visitors Services Bureau recently provided the support needed, and opened up communication channels, resulting in Red Bull South Africa being awarded the bid to bring the event to our country with Tshwane being the city of choice to host the event.

The international event, which tours the world, is hosted in spectacular locations at renowned landmarks in key cities, is a series of freestyle motocross (FMX) motorbike stunt competitions. Host cities and locations benefit from tourism during the event and invaluable publicity and brand building over the long term. This is the first time that this event will be held on the African continent. Alongside the X Games, X Fighters are the most prestigious and most challenging freestyle motocross competitions where the world's best FMX riders come face to face by invitation only. More information

Work has begun on logistics to make the event happen and further updates will be sent out as information becomes available.

Tshwane Tourism Association Chefs Chapter (TTA CC) launches Facebook page

The TTA Chefs Chapter has launched its facebook page! Explore new recipes, meet professional chefs, learn and like our page.

The Chef's Chapter provides opportunities for chefs; professional, novice, qualified or unqualified, to prosper and become renowned leaders in the field of the culinary arts.

Tshwane is the ambassadorial capital of South Africa, the potential to become a world renowned culinary destination is unlimited.

Tshwane Tourism Association (TTA) reaches out to Pretoria Sungardens Hospice and Solidariteit Helpende Hand

The TTA made 2 donations to charity during the month August 2012.

"Our association is a non-profit organisation with the purpose of promoting tourism" says Franco Jordaan, chairman of the TTA. "The members represent tourism stakeholders from all over Tshwane and several hotels, guesthouses, tour agents, restaurants, museums and nature reserves belong to the association. These members often have equipment and other items they no longer need and the Association coordinates the donation of such items to charities."

According to Greg Waspe, General Manager of the Premier Hotel and Board Member of the TTA, "I wanted our hotel to make a generous donation to charity. There were several items that we could donate to the value of R 73 000.00. We decided to split the donation between the Pretoria Sungardens Hospice and Helpende Hand" he said. Mrs. Angeline Senekal from "Solidariteit – Helpende Hand" received the donation from the Premier Hotel. The items were donated to PAMS Christian House in Hermanstad. Residents of the shelter were very grateful for the donation. Solidariteit provide help to 72 shelters in the Pretoria-area according to Mrs. Senekal. Any donations will be welcome.

"Charity lies very close to my heart" says Elsa Daniels of the Voortrekker Monument and also a board member. "Hospitality establishments in the tourism industry usually replace their linen every 2nd year. Items no longer needed may be need to be replaced in a hotel or restaurant setting but are still usable in a home or other environment and so we make the effort to find a place where they are needed and can be put to good use."

The association also supports a soup kitchen in Sunnyside throughout the year. Members of the association can donate money, soup ingredients or readymade soup. The soup kitchen, which is run by the Methodist Church, feeds the homeless in the area.

Anyone interested in making donations of any items to a variety of charities can contact Vanessa Ngwana on 012 841 2593 or secretary@tshwanetourism.com. Vanessa will coordinate bulk and individual donations.

Local industry news: National Hiking Indaba to take place in Tshwane

An Indaba with the theme; 'Quo Vadis? How can we stimulate new interest in the hiking industry and in the process grow Tourism in Southern Africa?', will be hosted by the Hiking Organisation of Southern Africa (HOSA) at Rietvlei Nature Reserve from 5 to 7 October 2012.

Of special significance for the Indaba is that HOSA aims to build strong partnerships between role players within the hiking fraternity and wishes to set up a communication forum in order to provide support for those involved relating to trail building and maintenance thereof, hikers' attitudes and preferences, pricing and marketing for both the local and international hiking industry. Furthermore, stakeholders need to be made aware of the important role the hiking sector plays as part of the tourism industry and that the transformation of the hiking industry has taken big steps forward to include non-traditional hikers in a meaningful way.

Who should attend? All owners and managers of hiking trails – private and corporate, hikers - individuals and club members, booking agents, equipment providers, trail builders/auditors, tour operators and all other interested and affected parties.

For more information contact Albert Bossert 072 22 88 161 or Jackie Doman 083 532 555 7 or visit the website.

Local industry news: Activity hots up in the business events tourism industry

Business Events. A very lucrative industry for countries and cities around the world, contributing to knowledge transfer and economic development. South Africa, Gauteng and Tshwane are fast making progress to benefit from this industry. Watch these video clips from the recent South African Association for the Conference Industry (SAACI) 2012 Congress to keep up to date on recent happenings:

Perspective on changes in the hotel industry catering for the business traveller

Gone are the days when out-of-town hotel conferences ended at 5pm for socialising. Thanks to technology, many conference delegates and business travellers work days start in their hotel room when the conferencing day ends. So, are hotels catering for the fast paced MICE industry? Arthur Gillis CEO of the Protea Hospitality Group explains.

"Conferencing with an overnight component has always meant to be an immersive experience - taking your clients or staff away from the 'hub-bub' to think tank the next great idea or sell the next great product. The operative phrase there is 'taking away,' but in the modern world that's no longer possible," says Gillis. Technology has fundamentally changed the way business operates. It's also the most significant thing changing what the MICE market expects from hotels because of 24/7 connectivity that's turned the work day into an around-the-clock venture.

In years gone by, people would attend conference sessions during the day, then invariably take some 'down time' to mix with colleagues at the hotel bar or restaurant. But nowadays conference delegates and other business travelers carry so much technology with them that their work day generally starts when their conferencing day ends. "This means hotels have to constantly innovate their product offering - rooms in particular - in order to meet and exceed the expectations of a far more sophisticated traveller," Gillis adds.

Earlier this year Hotels.com released the results of an international survey of both guests and staff expectations and perceptions of hotel amenities. According to the survey, the single most important thing to the majority of guests is free, fast Wi-Fi - not docking stations, surround sound, 200 TV channels or gaming consoles in rooms. In fact, nearly 40% of respondents said they make booking decisions based on free Wif-fi.

Gillis explains: "Hoteliers need to focus on providing seamless, fast connectivity throughout the property and relook their public areas as they become spaces where conference-goers and executive travellers mix far more business into leisure time."

The Hotels.com survey was done in highly developed countries so, what's the situation in South Africa? Are South African MICE organisers and delegates still more interested in a trendy bar than in connectivity? "Absolutely not," says Gillis. There's been a greater shift in guest expectations in the past five years than at any other time in the past three decades. Hotels are being forced to reinvent themselves and the experiences they present to their clientele. The change in guest behavior, brought about by 24-hour connectivity, is so profound that it's completely rewritten the rules of service delivery.

Many of the Protea Hospitality Group hotels in Africa are based in secondary economic nodes and while one would expect change to be slower in smaller towns than in cities, that's no longer true. Ninety five per cent of their business is corporate and a fair amount of that, conferencing. "The bulk of the Group's feedback across the board indicates an entirely new set of primary desires which have changed the purpose of hotel rooms from spaces of relaxation and rest to work spaces that need the right amenities," explains Gillis.

What's important to business travellers are things like conveniently located plug points, a sufficient number of plugs to charge their various devices, appropriate lighting, laptop safes, comfortable work station chairs, pens that don't dry out within five minutes, and free bottled water. Of course the fundamentals such as comfortable beds, fresh rooms, spotless bathrooms, crisp linen, good pillows, climate control, enough hangers, and brilliant breakfasts will always be important. However, these things are no longer at the top of most guests' hierarchy of needs, because they're expected when booking with a reputable brand.

"Guests 'niggle factors' have also changed," says Gillis. If a conference organiser has a choice of two hotels, it's likely the one that provides efficient service and free Wi-fi, and doesn't charge exorbitant prices for the pleasure of having a glass of water, is the one that gets chosen.

Hotel room interior décor trends have also changed to work around the modern corporate traveller. The contemporary school of thought is that less is more. According to Gillis, guests prefer organised spaces with good quality essential pieces, rather than cluttered fussy rooms where everything important is disguised by elaborate décor.

What does this all mean for hotel room design in the future? "Well," says Gillis, "we're going to have to keep up-to-date with technology changes if we want to retain and grow our core market. If we don't create spaces that integrate seamlessly with what corporate travellers deem to be essential in their daily lives, they're not going to walk through our doors."

Freedom Park hosts Women's Month seminar featuring Dr Brigalia Bam, Ela Gandhi and Mary Burton

On Wednesday, 22 August 2012 at 9:00, Freedom Park paid homage to the indelible mark that women have made and continue to make in our country by hosting a prestigious dialogue entitled "Forward to the decade of African women: celebrating and acknowledging the sacrifices of women in the struggle that shaped our freedom".

Featuring liberation stalwarts who continue to inspire and empower women today, Dr Brigalia Bam, Ms Ela Gandhi and Ms Mary Burton, this seminar was an educational, enhancing and uplifting experience for all those who attended

Echoing the clarion call of "56 years of women united against poverty, inequality and unemployment", this seminar acknowledges the iconic events of 9 August 1956, when women from all races and walks of life organised a march to the Union Building in protest against oppressive Apartheid laws, as a turning point in our country's history. On that day we took a pivotal step on a road that has paved the way for women to be treated as equal partners in all sectors, including Parliament and Government.

"With this seminar we also acknowledge that we still have a distance to travel on this road. We can look back at how far we have already come and at the things we have achieved. But these achievements also need to be our source of inspiration for the road ahead. Our objective with this event is thus multifaceted. By highlighting the tremendous achievements of these two South African women, we aim to empower and enhance women's roles in our society. Our focus should continually be on creating large-scale awareness of the endless possibilities for women in South Africa, especially amongst the youth," explains Mr Fana Jiyane, CEO of Freedom Park.

Freedom Park is committed to forging relationships between the generations of females in South Africa. "An intergenerational dialogue is one of the ways in which we manage to get the younger and older generation talking. Our aim is to restore that link with those who came before us, who have the experience and the knowledge to impart", explains Mr Jiyane. "We have thus partnered with the Gauteng Department of Education to ensure that female learners from Tshwane and the surrounding areas will have the opportunity to attend this event."

"It is our hope that what the young ladies heard and learnt during the dialogue will inspire them to take up the struggle against the issues they face in their lives today and to critically examine their values in the light of values espoused by generations before them."

Centurion Lake Rehabilitation

The scheduled rehabilitation of the Centurion Lake has a taken a setback and will take place at a later date due to the additional sediment that has been discovered and still needs to be treated. Gerrit Lotter from City of Tshwane reported on the progress with the implementation of the Maintenance Plan, giving the status quo. He indicated that excavation had taken place up to the end of June 2012. The pace of excavation was increased to build up silt on site, so that the transportation of material to the landfill was accelerated; this was done so as to ensure that the allocation for the previous financial year was used before the financial period comes to an end.

However, excavation was recently stopped so as not to create a problem with silt accumulating adjacent to the lake and being washed back into the lake with the first rains. Gerrit Lotter reported that there has been a recent problem with the Waste Management Department suspending the deposition of the material at the landfills. He reported that the matter is being addressed between the relevant departments internally so as to find an amicable solution.

Member news

Celebrating 10 years with great specials
The hpc is celebrating its 10 year anniversary in 2012, The hpc hotel is situated on the University of Pretoria Main Sport Campus and is also open to the public and not only exclusive to high performance athletes. We offer a 3-star sport inspired hotel and a 4-star backpacker accommodation. Visit our website for an update on a number of events and specials for the hotel, conference centre and time out cafe.

Free guide tour
The Voortrekker Monument is offering free guided tours, in both Afrikaans and English, each Friday at 10:00 during September 2012 for domestic groups only, excluding school groups. There is limited space available for the tours (40 persons per language per Friday). Entrance fees are still valid only the guided tour at the value of R250 is free. Any enquiries may be directed to Lizette Niemand.

Prokidz Playroom
The Protea Hotel Waterfront have launched a kids playroom with games, toys and lots of fun activities every Saturday from 7am to 11am for parents staying in the hotel over weekends.

Upcoming industry conferences & exhibitions

Sports and Events Tourism Exchange 2012, 12-14 September 2012, ICC Durban

Pepe's Charity Golf Day, 26 September 2012, Zwartkop Golf Estate

Clean Business International 2012, 2 & 3 October 2012, Gallagher Convention Centre

National Hiking Indaba, 5-7 October 2012, Rietvlei Nature Reserve

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