NEWSLETTER - 28 October 2013

Welcome to our new members

The TTA warmly welcomes the following new members:
ALR Trading & Projects
Conference Consultancy South Africa (Pty) Ltd

Tourism bucks the confidence trend

The Tourism Business Index (TBI) reached its highest level for the first quarter of 2013 since the survey began in late 2010, despite generally negative business confidence.

The index reached 116,1, exceeding the expected level of 97,0. In contrast, both the SACCI Business Confidence Index and the RMB/BER Business Confidence Index, showed a decline in their last reporting periods.

The TBI is compiled quarterly by Grant Thornton for the Tourism Business Council of South Africa (TBCSA). The survey is split into two sub-indices – for accommodation, and other tourism businesses that include tour and coach operators, vehicle rental, airlines, travel agents, retail outlets, forex traders, conference venues and attractions.

Accommodation achieved an index of 110,8 and is expected to reach a similar level of 110,0 for the fourth quarter. Other tourism businesses reached a high of 120,1 and the index is expected to reach 111,4 for the next quarter. This high level was attributed to positive performances among respondents in car hire, airline, conference centres, activities and attractions.

In the accommodation sector, respondents attributed Q3's performance to strong domestic business demand. In the other business sector, respondents cited the weak exchange rate.

"It's really good to see that improved performance has increased confidence in the overall expectation for the last quarter of the year, which confirms that the industry is feeling upbeat and expects operations to continue on a steady normal trend," said Gillian Saunders, Global Leader of Hospitality and Tourism at Grant Thornton.

"It's interesting to note that the businesses in both sectors that feel more positive are those that have upped their marketing efforts to respond to prevailing conditions," said Mmatšatši Ramawela, TBCSA CE.

Cost of inputs remained one of the most cited negative contributing factors for both accommodation and other tourism businesses, as it has been for the last five consecutive quarters. Other tourism businesses also cited competitor market behaviour as the most negative factor.

The accommodation sector expects negative impacting factors for Q4 to be cost of inputs, insufficient domestic leisure demand (33%) and insufficient overseas leisure demand. The other tourism business sector expects competitor market behaviour to be one of the major negative contributing factors for the next quarter, followed by cost of inputs, insufficient domestic business demand and increases in competitive supply.

Long-term confidence remained pessimistic for the accommodation sector, which expressed a negative outlook (-13,6%) for next year. By contrast, other tourism business were positive about the outlook for the next year at an index of +34,5%, the highest level achieved since the TBI Index commenced.

Source: Tourhsm Update

Gautrain unveils plan to expand network

The Gautrain Management Agency has unveiled a proposal to extend its rail network to the south of Johannesburg and the East and West Rand.

The proposal is part of a 25-year Integrated Transport Master Plan (ITMP25), which was released by Gauteng Department of Roads and Transport mec, Ismail Vadi, in August. The plan highlighted the need to prioritise public transport and set up the rail system as the backbone of the transport network.

Gautrain CEO, Jack van der Merwe, told Radio 702 that the agency was still in the planning stages and feasibility studies would follow. Jack estimated that, pending approval, it would take five years to complete construction of the extended network.

The extensions to the Gautrain are still subject to approval from government. Following approval, funding methods and timeframes will be developed for further approval. Proposed extensions to the network include:

  • A link from the existing Gautrain Park Station to Westgate in the Johannesburg CDB;
  • A link from the existing Rhodesfield Station to Boksburg;
  • A rapid rail link from Naledi in Soweto to Mamelodi via either the proposed Gautrain Samrand Station or the existing Gautrain Midrand Station;
  • A link from the existing Gautrain Sandton Station to Randburg.
  • A metropolitan railway system based on the existing PRASA/Metrorail
  • A commuter rail network that provides mobility between concentrations of residential and employment areas.

Source: Tourhsm Update

Mangwanani African Day Spa Has a New Branch in Centurion

Mangwanani has just added a new member to its spa family.

Situated within the elegant Moroccan-themed Royal Elephant Hotel and Conference Centre, this Boutique Spa offers a personalised experience in a uniquely African setting.

The Mangwanani Boutique Spa offers a range of therapeutic wellness massage treatments in the spa area as well as a limited selection of in-room treatments.

Participation in special events (including at the poolside) is available by special arrangement.

The Royal Elephant Hotel and Conference Centre is located on the banks of the Hennops River in Centurion.

Black-neck swan cygnets get the human touch

The black-neck swan cygnets have been given a second lease on life after being saved at the National Zoo from one of Pretoria's first summer thunderstorms.

The three chicks were incubated by the parent birds and due to adverse weather conditions experienced one night in Pretoria in late August 2013, it was decided to remove the chicks for further rearing by staff. The staff assessed the situation and determined that the chicks would not survive further inclement weather.

The cygnets were kept in a heated brooder for three weeks, and have been moved to a bigger enclosure with a shallow pool for daytime activities and a secure night room for rest. They will be introduced back to the parent birds when they are approximately two months old.

Black-necked swans are indigenous to the lakes, swamps, marshes, and lagoons of southern South America, extending from the tip of the continent to as far north as central Chile. These birds are the smallest species of swan with males being slightly larger than the females.

The National Zoo is home to a pair of black-necked swans that have been together for four years. Black-necked swans mate for life.

It's that time of the year: Tourism Tradeshows!

NB! NB! Please look out for emails/communique about the TTA participation at 2014 tourism shows. If you would like to participate kindly contact Vanessa on

Upcoming industry conferences, exhibitions and events

See what hot entertainment is on in the city

Read the latest Zoo e-News

Tourism Leadership Dialogue, 29 October 2013, Protea O R Tambo

Meetings Africa 2014, 24-26 February 2014, Johannesburg

IBTM Africa, 28-30 April 2014, Cape Town

International Luxury Travel Market Africa, 28-30 April 2014, Cape Town

World Travel Market Africa, 2-3 May 2014, Cape Town

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