NEWSLETTER - 8 May 2015

Welcome to our new members

We warmly welcome our new members:

We hope you benefit greatly from joining the TTA family! Download an updated list of TTA members.

TTA Hosts successful AGM

The TTA hosted a most successful AGM at the spectacular new Fire & Ice! hotel in Menlyn on 26 March 2015. The annual financial reports for the association were approved by members present (copy available on request) and the following members were elected to the Board:

Nico Rowan (Manhattan Hotel)
Mnqobi Mahlangu (Ubuhle Be Narha Tours)
Samantha Clingham (Southern Sun Pretoria)
Tesh Tshivhase (Freedom Park)
Bronwen Cadle de Ponte (CSIR International Convention Centre)
Rosemarie van Staden (Angels Place Boutique Hotel)
Sonja Lombard (Voortrekker Monument)

The City of Tshwane presented the detailed plans for the regeneration of the inner city at the AGM - view the presentation [5.8 MB].

TTA participation in Meetings Africa 2015

TTA coordinated a very successful stand, on behalf of participating members, at Meetings Africa 2015 at the Sandton Convention Centre on 24 & 25 February 2015. Participating members were:

Manhattan Hotel
Arcadia Hotel
Burgerspark Hotel
Morningstar Hotel
National Zoological Gardens

Today the TTA stand builder together with TTA members are off to Indaba to set up the TTA stand for the exhibition which starts tomorrow – we wish them a great and fruitful show!

City of Tshwane Convention & Visitors Services Bureau brings tourism buyers to Tshwane

The Tshwane Convention Bureau was proud to welcome 50 incentive buyers and 2 business tourism media representatives to an exclusively-packaged incentive trip showcasing the best of what Tshwane has to offer.

For the first time in history the Tshwane Convention Bureau had the opportunity to host a mega familiarisation trip of 50 international incentive buyers who represented top executives from global incentive companies that own big corporate and multinational accounts. These buyers are pre-selected and screened by industry professionals and the South African National Convention Bureau to attend Meetings Africa. This is in an effort to showcase Africa's diverse offering of services and products where African associations and African meetings industry professionals can partner to help transform our continent. Meetings Africa is an annual business tourism trade show hosted by the South African Tourism, National Conventions Bureau as a platform to engage with international and local hosted buyers with the hope of sealing business deals in the end.

Since its inception, the Tshwane Convention Bureau has identified rich incentive resources around the city and embarked on a journey of developing Tshwane's incentive product offering to attract high-end incentive tourists and further differentiate itself from other city-based destinations. Incentive tourism is usually undertaken as a type of employee reward by a company or institution for targets met or exceeded, or a job well done. Unlike the other types of MICE tourism, incentive tourism is usually conducted purely for entertainment, rather than professional or educational purposes. The benefit of the Convention Bureau in hosting these buyers is that the buyers get to experience and test the products first hand, thus making it easier for them to sell the Tshwane product to their clients.

Themed City of Tshwane – "Like you have never seen it before", the tour took place from 22 to 23 February 2015. The tour saw the incentive buyers take a trip back in time to Cullinan in the proudly South African Rovos Rail Steam Train. Guests disembarked at the historic town of Cullinan for a diamond mine tour. The international guests later enjoyed an Ndebele welcome and a dinner at the bush camp headquarters of Haywards Grand Safari in the big five region of Tshwane. The dinner theme centralised around "Africa Traders".

The morning of the 23rd took the buyers for a morning game drive and a surprise "Breakfast in the Bush" experience followed by a SITE inspection of game reserves in the Dinokeng area.

The late afternoon allowed the buyers to visit the Nelson Mandela Statue at the Union Buildings' gardens, followed by a few SITE inspections of 4 and 5 star hotels in the city. The Tshwane Convention Bureau is grateful for all the industry support received from the tourism suppliers in the city which ensured the successful hosting of our international guests.

Read the article on page 27 of The Event issue 3 and watch a video interview with our Convention & Visitors Bureau.

New South African Tourism Board members announced

The Minister of Tourism, Derek Hanekom, has welcomed new appointees to the Board of South African Tourism. They were announced to Cabinet in a meeting on Wednesday 29 April 2015. The non-executive members of the South African Tourism Board are:

Vincent Mntambo (reappointed)
Graham Wood (reappointed)
Ayanda Ntsaluba (reappointed)
Thebe Ikalafeng (reappointed)
Chichi Maponya
Oregan Hoskins
Tanya Abrahamse
Iraj Abedian
Monhla Hlahla
Michelle Constant
Judy Nwokedi
Colin Bell
Amor Malan
Mmaditonki Setwaba

Hanekom said: 'I am very pleased with the selection of the new board, given their combined level of strategic leadership, governance, financial, business and tourism experience. 'Tourism is a force for change, and must take the lead in the sustainable and inclusive development of the country. We rely upon South African Tourism to position our beautiful South Africa as a prime tourist destination.'

Government to invest millions in incentive scheme

The Department of Tourism will invest close to R600 million over the next three years in a new incentive scheme that aims to help tourism establishments become graded, help tourism businesses seek out new markets and encourage establishments to retrofit themselves with renewable energy sources.

Tourism Minister, Derek Hanekom, has highlighted the growth of the sector, which, he pointed out, had outstripped the growth in the overall economy significantly. "We are now well positioned to do more, to continue growing, and to transform the sector by making it more inclusive and sustainable. "We will be investing close to R600 million in the Tourism Incentive Programme during the MTEF (Medium Term Expenditure Framework) period to support tourism enterprises to reach their full potential, so that they will be in a better position to make sustainable contributions to the growth of the industry and to the country's economy," the Minister said.

"This will make South Africa a more competitive global destination." Hanekom said the programme would be dynamic and expand over time. However, he said, initially it would focus on energy, given the current demands on the country's energy grid. "In assisting establishments to retrofit with renewable energy, we are achieving multiple objectives," he said.

These include reducing electricity costs and therefore increasing profitability of these establishments; ensuring establishments were less vulnerable to load shedding; reducing demand on the national grid and encouraging a move towards renewable energy; and to change the face of the industry.

Bernhard Meyer, Chief Director: Tourism Incentives Programme, said the pilot phase of the incentive programme would start this year. "This is to get the basics right. We need to lay a strong foundation on which we can build an expanded programme."

According to Meyer, the programme has four aims. These are: To drive sales and grow the customer base of small tourism establishments by providing them with better access to tourism buyers and potential guests. To promote compliance with quality standards and ensure that tourists know what to expect by helping establishments to get graded. To enhance the experience of visitors to iconic tourism attractions by improving facilities at these sites. To reduce the operating costs and make tourism facilities more sustainable by installing renewable energy sources.

In order to assist tourism businesses with marketing, Meyer said the programme would subsidise some of the costs of participating in international trade exhibitions and marketing roadshows. "This will be open in April," he said. According to Meyer, the department would provide partial reimbursement of some of the costs for tourism establishments to participate in trade exhibitions and marketing roadshows, including airfare, accommodation and exhibition fees.

This aspect of the programme will be limited to marketing platforms supported by SA Tourism and the amount of support will be capped. Meyer said the department would publish a list of the predetermined events that will be supported in the current financial year on its website and, three to six months before each event it would put out a call for applications. He said there would be criteria for businesses to qualify for this funding and transformation would be built into the criteria.

In order to encourage establishments to be graded by the Tourism Grading Council of South Africa, the programme would lower the cost of grading through retroactive discounts or rebates on the grading fee. Meyer said the department wanted to encourage more establishments to get graded and to remain graded. This programme will start from April.

"What we want to offer here is a structured system of rebates on your annual assessment fee." He explained that establishments being graded for the first time would qualify for a 30% discount. "To keep enterprises in the system and make it worth their while to stay in the system for longer we will ramp this up over time."

The discount on re-assessments would increase 5% each year to a maximum of 50%, which would be a continuous discount for as long as the programme runs. Meyer said the department would not overlook establishments that had been graded for a long time. He said to stimulate further transformation the department would offer an additional 10% discount for businesses that had made an effort to transform.

The third component of the programme, investing in the retrofitting of establishments with renewable energy, would initially not be open to the private sector, said Meyer. This element would start this year with mainly state-owned destinations and attractions, while the learnings from this pilot will inform the design of a similar programme for establishments in the private sector, starting in 2016. It will start at facilities at World Heritage Sites, national parks and botanical gardens as well as community-owned projects.

According to Hanekom, the retrofitting component of the programme would be expanded in future to include resource efficiency in its broader sense, including waste management, water recycling and universal accessibility.

Meyer emphasised that funds would be paid retrospectively, adding that the Public Finance Management Act prevented funding upfront. He added that the department would also look to partnering with development finance institutions to look at creating instruments to cover costs outside of the subsidies offered by the department for the different components of the programme.

He said tourism was already a force for good, contributing to social development and economic development. "Tourism can also be a major force for change," he said, adding that the sector could accelerate growth and ensure growth was more inclusive. In this context, he said, the incentive programme was an important tool for the department to activate change.

"We want to improve destination South Africa. We want to move more decisively toward responsible tourism. We want to make ourselves more competitive internationally," said Hanekom. "It is not going to be a static incentive programme. We are going to forever seek new and better ways of incentivising behaviour and ensuring that there is constant destination improvement." Read more information on the Tourism Incentive Programme. Enquiries can also be directed to tipenquiries@tourism.gov.za.

Upcoming industry conferences, exhibitions and events

See what hot entertainment is on in the city
Read the latest edition of the National Zoological Garden's online newsletter
Sustainability Week, 23-28 June 2015, CSIR Convention Centre
Hospitality Investment Conference Africa, 9-11 September 2015, Johannesburg
Red Bull X Fighters World Tour, 12 September 2015, Pretoria
World Travel Market (WTM), 2-5 November 2015, London

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