NEWSLETTER - 12 December 2013

Happy Holidays

This is the TTA's last newsletter for 2013 and we would like to wish you all a safe and festive holiday season. We look forward to 2014 and all of the new opportunities that it will bring.

We are grateful to all TTA Members, old & New, for the support and commitment shown during 2013, all your inputs, participation and sponsorship for all the projects we took this year to further build a strong united tourism community in the city and improving the city's tourism brand. We could not have done it all without your support so thank you!

To all our new Members, we say welcome once more, your support means we are able to strongly go forward in our mission to promote & market Tshwane to all.

For those travelling in the coming weeks please do so safely, rest well if you are taking leave and we look forward to seeing you again in the New Year for we have some great and exciting educational & networking meeting and other exciting projects planned!

From that year to this year ... A highlight!

In 2013 we embarked in a few projects and meetings that excited us. Once again we were able to do this with your support.

AGM

We held a successful AGM in April 2013 and the following Board Members were elected, and have continued to grow the Association activities:
Bronwen Cadle De Ponte - CSIR ICC
Daniel Velayutham - Premier Hotel Pretoria
Srinivas Venkatkumar - Arcadia Hotel
Nico Rowan - Manhattan Hotel
Rosemarie Van Staden - Guesthouse Association of Tshwane/Pretoria east (GATE)
Harry Labuschagne - Bed and Breakfast Accommodation Association of Pretoria/Tshwane (BBAPT)
Franco Jordaan - Court Classique Suite Hotel

Marketing

TTA has successfully exhibited at Meetings Africa and Indaba 2013. We are giving members a chance to can also exhibit at these two shows in 2014. For more information contact Vanessa on secretary@tshwanetourism.com.

Meetings

The TTA hosted a number of educational meetings throughout the year. We encourage the members to join us again at these meetings in the New Year. Your input and participation are of great importance to us so should you have any topics you want covered please let us know.

Newsletter

We have distributed the TTA newsletter to more than 900 stakeholders in the city in 2012 and have since seen a growth in subscriptions. Members are encouraged to submit their news, press releases and specials to Vanessa regularly to be featured in the newsletter and the TTA website.

Projects & affiliations

The TTA has signed an MOA with City of Tshwane (CoT) and an agreement with the Tourism Business Council of South Africa (TBCSA). We have since established a list of projects that we will be embarking on in the New Year. Your input and participations on this is important, kindly contact Vanessa [secretary@tshwanetourism.com] for a list of these projects and for more information on how you can get involved.

Freedom Park Receives Clean Audit Award

The Office of the Auditor-General of South Africa (AGSA) visited Freedom Park last week to present a clean audit award to Freedom Park Council and Management, for the 2012/2013 financial year.

'I am pleased to state that the organization has again succeeded in delivering a clean audit, for the third year in succession', says Fana Jiyane, Chief Executive Officer of Freedom Park. 'This achievement is a result of team effort, and I would like to thank in particular the Chief Financial Officer of Freedom Park and his team for ensuring strict compliance with applicable laws, regulations and policies, the Audit Committee for its robust oversight and guidance, and all management, staff and council members for their commitment and cooperation. We are also grateful for the support of the Department of Arts and Culture'.

Jiyane furthermore said that the company's goal, as stated in the mission statement, is to become the leading heritage destination. This achievement is a big step towards that goal. He emphasized that Freedom Park will continue to strengthen its controls, in order to retain this award, while addressing all deficiencies in other areas of the work, so that Freedom Park can be a model of excellence to all heritage and other state institutions, at a time when public confidence in such institutions is in decline.

During the award ceremony, the Auditor General's office commended Freedom Park Council and management for this outstanding achievement.

In her remarks, Ms Corne Myburgh, AGSA's Business Executive of the National Department, congratulated Freedom Park for 'excellent work' and said a clean audit outcome was an independent assurance of clean governance within an institution. She stressed the role of internal audit and the importance for closer relations with the Auditor General's office.

Dr Sakiwo Tyiso, representing the Director General of Department of Arts & Culture, said Freedom Park was one of only six out of 28 Department of Arts & Culture entities, which obtained clean audits and that maintaining such a record for 3 years in succession was a remarkable achievement.

In her acceptance speech, the acting Chairperson of Freedom Park, Dr Ramdhani, thanked the AGSA for the recognition and accepted the offer to work closer with the Auditor General.

Flamingo Chicks A-Plenty At The National Zoo

Christmas cheer has come a little early to the National Zoological Gardens of South Africa with the hatching of 12 Caribbean flamingo chicks in the past three weeks. Conservation staff are expecting at least another 25 eggs to hatch in the coming weeks.

The flamingos started nesting about a month ago (incubation is between 28 to 32 days) and zoo staff have anxiously been awaiting the arrival of the first chicks.

The Caribbean flamingo is found in the Galapagos Islands, coastal Columbia and Venezuela and its nearby islands, the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico, and in the northern Caribbean in the Bahamas, Hispaniola, Cuba, Turks and Caicos. These birds occur in saline lagoons, mudflats and shallow brackish coastal and inland lakes.

The Caribbean flamingo measures between 120cm and 140cm in length. Male birds weigh approximately 2, 8 kg with females being slightly smaller at 2, 2 kg.

In the past, flamingo tongue was considered a delicacy and was served in a pickled form. Their feathers were also highly sought-after for their vibrant colours. Although these magnificent birds are not classified as threatened their numbers have declined markedly due to habitat destruction, the effects of global warming on their natural habitat and hunting.

Flamingos get their pink feathers from a unique form of algae that is naturally found in the food that they eat in the water where they live. In order to substitute this, the National Zoo feeds its flamingos a carotene supplement to ensure their rosy pink colouration.

FTT Certifies Africa's Majestic Voortrekker Monument

Situated on a hill south of Pretoria, the Voortrekker Monument was designed to honour the Voortrekkers, and is also known as the Hall of Heroes. The monument contains what is thought to be the world's longest historical marble frieze which reflects the experiences of the Voortrekkers during the Great Trek.

On the lower level is the Cenotaph Hall containing the central cenotaph, historical flags and objects of cultural and historical value. Tapestries with more than three million stitches depict the story of the women and children during the Great Trek.

This Hall of Heroes recently joined the Fair Trade Tourism (FTT) family of responsible and sustainable tourism products & activities.

FTT encourages and monitors fair and responsible practises in tourism establishments and activities. Its purpose is to create opportunities for business owners and employees of tourism businesses in developing countries to enter and trade in markets governed by fair practice and transparency. Added to this, it aims to afford tourists travelling to developing countries the opportunity to travel responsibly and engage with the communities in which they travel.

The Managing Director of the Voortrekker Monument, Sonja Lombard, said, "We are very pleased to have the Monument declared a Fair Trade Tourism certified monument, as it was declared a Grade 1 National Heritage Site in July 2012. As such, I am sure that visitors to the Monument as well as the friends of Fair Trade Tourism can be assured of service excellence and a remarkable historical experience when visiting the biggest monument in Africa".

As part of the greening initiatives at the Voortrekker Monument, a recycling project in conjunction with the restaurant on site was recently established. For recycling at the monument, colour coded bins have been placed in strategic areas to make it easy for international tourists to contribute towards recycling project.

The Voortrekker Monument manages their water source, as well as two dams on site. The water in the dams is used to maintain the beautiful gardens. The Monument is also situated on a declared nature reserve. In addition, the Voortrekker Monument works closely with members of Tshwane Nature Conservation to ensure that the site conforms to standards.

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

TTA will be exhibiting at Meetings Africa. Please book now as space is limited. If you would like to participate kindly contact Vanessa on secretary@tshwanetourism.com.

Upcoming industry conferences, exhibitions and events

See what hot entertainment is on in the city

Read the latest Zoo e-News

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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