NEWSLETTER - 23 May 2013

Welcome to our new members

The TTA warmly welcomes the following new members:
Faircity Roodevallei
Kungwini Guest house
Better-Link travel Agency
African Touch Lodge
Kievits Kroon
Royal Elephant Hotel & Conference

TTA Announces new board

The TTA had successfully appointed a new board of directors; this was done after an election meeting held in April with nominees from the AGM in the early April. The new board members and their portfolios are:

Chairperson: Bronwen Cadle De Ponte - CSIR ICC
Vice- Chairperson: Daniel Velayutham- Premier Hotel Pretoria
Treasurer: Srinivas Venkatkumar - Arcadia Hotel
Marketing & Membership: Nico Rowan - Manhattan Hotel
Special Projects & Chapters: Rosemarie van Staden - GATE (Guest house Association of Tshwane east)
Special Projects & Chapters: Harry Labuschagne - BBAPT (Bed & Breakfast Association of Pretoria/Tshwane)
Stakeholder Liaison: Franco Jordaan - Court Classique Suite Hotel

Indaba 2013

The Tshwane Tourism Association successfully coordinated an exhibition stand for participating members at Indaba 2013 which was held held between 11 and 14 May 2013 at the Inkosi Albert Luthuli Convention Centre in Durban. Indaba brings together a showcase of Southern African tourism products and services for the international travel trade.

The following members participated on the TTA stand:
Voortrekker Monument & Nature Reserve
The State Theatre
Alpine Attitude boutique Hotel
Arcadia Hotel

Vanessa represented all TTA members on the stand and brought back 33 hot leads for members. A report with the leads will be sent out to members and Vanessa can be contacted on secretary@tshwanetourism.com for more information.

GTA's first mobile app takes top spot

Gauteng Tourism's first mobile app, the Gauteng Travel Guide, has reached the number-one spot as South Africa's favourite free travel app download. It is produced by the Gauteng Tourism Authority and Tourism Radio, and encourages all travellers, domestic or international, to explore the province.

Gauteng Tourism's e-marketing manager, Kay Robertson, said the latest Distimo figures for South Africa revealed that the Gauteng Travel Guide had outperformed the mobile app download distribution for iPhones, at 71.43%, compared with the benchmark of 0.37%. Robertson said the app had reached downloads in over 40 countries.

"We're now 18th in free apps across the board, not only travel. Watch this space, we're aiming for top 10 of all iStore apps," said Robertson.

The Gauteng Travel Guide's features:

  • Users are able to use the Gauteng Travel Guide once online and the map becomes available to use completely offline - No data costs while you're out exploring!
  • High-quality audio information, voiced by South Africans
  • 350-plus points of interest (POI) across Gauteng's five regions, including the cities of Johannesburg and Pretoria
  • Detailed information about each POI, including contact details, opening hours, and prices
  • Built-in search and category filter functionality, as well as detailed maps of areas around Gauteng for ease of travel

The POIs include approximately an hour of audio content on some of the province's most popular tourist attractions.

Dawn Robertson, CEO of Gauteng Tourism, says the organisation has made a strategic decision to promote the diversity of the province's attractions and experiences on the mobile platform in line with the staggering local and international growth achieved and projected for mobile. "With 1.08 billion smartphones in use globally, mobile penetration to reach 96% globally by the end of this year and mobile set to overtake fixed Internet access by 2014, mobile cannot be ignored by destinations and travel products as a premium marketing and communications tool."

"This is the first time a Tourism Radio app has become the number-one free travel app in South Africa. The Gauteng Travel Guide has raised the bar for all our future endeavours, due to the relatively short time that it took to achieve this coveted milestone. Tourism Radio looks forward to providing travellers in Gauteng with quality, locally produced audio and text information on their iPhone and Android mobile devices," said Tourism Radio CEO and founder Mark Allewell.

Kay Robertson said the Gauteng Travel Guide would be maintained and expanded to include even more attractions as the province was rich with a wide range of quality experiences across all themes of interest.

For more information, or to download, visit iStore download or Google Play Store download

Source: SA Tourism Update

Multimedia News

Listen to an interview with Lindiwe Kwele representing Tshwane at the World Travel Market.

Take the Welcome Challenge, find marketing & training resources and lots more on welcome.southafrica.net

Q1 tourism business delivers strong first quarter performance

Results of the TBCSA FNB Tourism Business Index (TBI) for the first quarter of 2013 are the surest indicator yet that the tourism industry is back on track and playing its part in South Africa's economic landscape.

The release of the report comes ahead the annual Tourism Indaba and the TBCSA's hosting of the annual Hotel Investment Conference Africa (HICA), where the general 'health' of the hotel industry and initiatives focussed on attracting more investors and financiers back into the sector will come under the spotlight.

Below are the key highlights of the report:

  • The tourism industry experienced a strong first quarter, performing at 110.8 - against a norm of 100. This result is only just behind the performance level 111.1 achieved during the 2010 Soccer World Cup.
  • This marks three consecutive quarters of performance topic normal, with the latest quarter being the most positive
  • The industry also remains relatively upbeat about the next quarter's performance with an outlook of 103.8 and the year ahead also looking positive.

Download the full report

Source: TBCSA

Is there a future for international hotel brands in SA?

Expansion by big international hotel brands is not necessarily a good idea for the future of the hotel industry in South Africa, according to industry players speaking at the HICA conference in Durban last week.

Arthur Gillis, Group MD, Protea Hotels, says the days of international hotels coming into South Africa and building without equity are over. He says very few internationally branded hotel groups are coming into SA with their own equity. "These companies pursue an asset-light model. They will put their brand on a hotel, but they don't bring any money. We are saying: that's very exciting but not what the country needs."

Gillis says the country now needs equity investment, real cash. Increasingly this investment is coming from local investors as they have a firmer understanding of the country and its risk profile. "Every time we have bad press on politics or safety and security, it mitigates the country risk and rises the barrier to entry. Local investors are much more comfortable with the SA situation."

International brands can add value by putting flags in key cities and getting the countries into the international spotlight, says Helder Pereira, CEO, Redefine International Hotels. He adds, however, that SA is a very sophisticated market with good distribution and competent management and some very strong hotel brands. That is the reason why the big brands don't make a great impact in South Africa, says Pereira.

Gabriel Matar, MD, Jones Lang LaSalle, says the expansion of international brands is very restricted in the mature markets. "For a mature destination, such as South Africa, an international brand can bring niche products. These brands then need to cater for their own demand that comes from their market. Non-mature markets need international brands to gain international recognition."

Graham Wood, MD, Tsogo Sun Hotels, adds that the advantage of international brands is that they provide access to global distribution, which allows hotel owners access to the international corporate market. "International brands have massive loyalty programmes and massive distribution systems, so you pick up your share of the incoming corporate international market. And that's what the international brands will do."

Gillis further warns that any hotel brand should proceed with caution when it comes to expansion, even though the hotel industry in South Africa is showing promising signs of recovery. He says the hype about the recovery of the hospitality industry is right but hoteliers need to be careful not to make the same mistakes that were made in the past. "The demand side is growing and if the supply side does not go crazy now, then we will be in good shape. The challenge is that people are now starting to see some green shoots and they start building hotels everywhere. If this happens, we'll go back to 2008/2009 pre-World Cup situation, where hotels shot up right, left and centre. That was just stupid. It was ridiculous."

Source: SA Tourism Update

Members News: Kungwini Guest House receives Fair Trade in Tourism South Africa (FTTSA)

Kungwini Guest House is the fourth tourism business in the Dinokeng area to become certified by Fair Trade in Tourism South Africa (FTTSA) through the Gauteng Tourism Authority (GTA) project "Travel with a Conscience". This campaign is aimed at positioning Dinokeng as a responsible tourism destination. Dinokeng includes the three hubs of Dinokeng Game Reserve, Roodeplaat Dam and Cullinan.

Kungwini Guesthouse supports community development projects on an on-going basis and believes in youth development. It provides hospitality training for interns selected from the community and further supports the youth in sports and events that appeal to both the community and tourists.

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