NEWSLETTER - 1 April 2016

Welcome to new members

We'd like to extend a warm welcome to new TTA member Tweyamo Guest House.

Tweyamo is a modern country house situated in the upmarket leafy suburb of Waterkloof Ridge. The Guest House has Victorian bathtubs, fireplaces, magnificent views, and a lush green garden that leads to the swimming pool, a lapa and a Boma.

New government procurement system

The new central government supplier database has come into effect today and all organs of state will only be able to transact with companies registered on the new system as suppliers.

The National Treasury has established a Central Supplier Database (CSD) where all suppliers to public entities are required to register. This makes it easier to transact with government entities as the CSD will have interfaces to SARS to enable tax clearance status verification of suppliers throughout the Procure–to–Pay process and the Companies and Intellectual Property Commission (CIPC) for vetting of business registration and business ownership meaning you only have to register your business once on the central database and not with multiple government departments/entities.

If you have not yet registered click here for a "How To" infographic (page 2), or visit the website.

New government rates

Revised and proposed new cost containment measures for government entities have been presented to be implemented on 1 April 2016, however, a formal Treasury Instruction and Travel Policy has not yet been published clarifying detail.

The presentation gives the following information relevant to TTA members (clarification on VAT, inclusions/exclusions, etc. are still awaited):

Domestic Hotel Accommodation
Domestic hotel accommodation is revised from R1300 per person per night (including dinner, breakfast and parking) to the following new rates which focus on a reduction of commission charged by travel agents:

Vehicle Hire
Vehicle hire is limited to category b vehicle. The next higher group category of a vehicle may only be hired if:

  • three (3) or more employees are travelling together for the same official business; and
  • employees return trip to be travelled exceeds 400 kilometres;
Employees can accept upgrades on vehicles hired only if its offered free or at a lower charge than a group B category vehicle.

Catering expenses
Revised provision on catering- allows catering for meetings which lasts for 5 continuous hours or more. This provision will not apply to the hosting of:

  • Conferences, workshops, indabas, courses, forums, training sessions and hearing;
  • Meetings related to commissions and committees of inquiry; and
  • Meetings arranged by accounting officers of public entities, including governance committee meetings

Hosting of conferences within the borders of SA
Conference expenditure – maximum of:

These amounts will be reviewed periodically by the National Treasury.

DEVIATION - AO/AA must seek prior written approval of the National Treasury if the expenses related to the hosting of the conference exceeds R350, 480, and 565 per delegate per day for a 3 star, 4 star and a 5 star hotel [venue] respectively.

AO/AA must consider utilising government owned facilities and resources when hosting conferences within the boarders of SA.

The cost of R350, R480, or R565 per delegate per day will exclude costs related to other services required by the conference organisers:

  • Hiring of the venue and rooms;
  • Usage of other equipment;
  • Printing costs;
  • Transportation of equipment; and
  • Speaker fees and other costs

Travel & Subsistence

  • Alternative means of reaching decisions face-face must be considered (use of conference calls or video conferencing) to reduce the number of flights, accommodation and vehicle hire.
  • Institutions - make use of shuttle services if the cost of such service is below the cost of hiring a vehicle;
  • AO/AA should consider using shuttle services if the cost of kilometres claimable by an employee and the cost of parking at the airport is higher; and
  • Air travel - be properly planned for restricted airline tickets are used as opposed to the more expensive flexible tickets.

Public inputs on the draft regulation for tourist guiding required

The National Department of Tourism published the draft Regulation for Tourist Guiding on the 17th of March 2016 for public input and comment - view the draft regulation.

Interested parties of the public are invited to submit their comments within sixty (60) days of the gazette publication. All written representations or objections to the draft regulations can be sent to the following addresses:

By post: Attention: Ms Uveshnee Pillay
The Director-General
Department of Tourism
Private Bag X424
Pretoria
0001
By hand: Ground Floor (Reception), Tourism House, 17 Trevenna Street, Sunnyside
By email: upillay@tourism.gov.za
or by fax:
Directed to Ms Uveshnee Pillay at 012 444 6386
Comments received after the closing date may not be considered.

Women in tourism to be developed to an Executive Level

On 15 March 2016 the UNISA Graduate School of Business Leadership (SBL) launched a brand new Executive Development Programme for Women in Tourism. The programme will be presented by the SBL's Centre for Business Leadership in collaboration with the UNISA College of Economic and Management Sciences' Department of Entrepreneurship, Supply Chain, Transport, Tourism and Logistics Management (ESTTL) and is endorsed by the National Department of Tourism (NDT).

The executive development programme will address capacity building, specifically for female practitioners and policy makers in the tourism industry. A curriculum was carefully crafted to allow the development of women executives to manage and lead tourism organisations in strategic decision-making at corporate level and in a global context. Participants will further develop an understanding of the tourism value chain, complemented by an in depth coverage of leadership, marketing, finance, strategy, organisational dynamics, globalization, ethics and governance.

Read further information on the programme

International Hotel School wins

The International Hotel School have just been voted Top Hotel School in Africa and voted into the top 50 global hotel schools by the international publication CEO Magazine. The training company is also slowly but surely improving the reputation of our city as a good service destination by providing top class training across the city. Six TTA members have recently 143 of their staff and the city now boasts:
2 x Certified Hotel Administrators
1 x Certified F&B Executive
1 x Certified Rooms Division Executive
1 x Certified Hospitality Housekeeping Executive
26 x Certified Hospitality Supervisors
50 x Certified Guest Service Professionals
16 x Certified Front Desk Representatives
20 x Certified Restaurant Servers
26 x Certified Guest Room Attendants

Raising the standards and setting the bar high!

National Tourism Stakeholders Forum Meeting

On the 18th of March 2016 Sithembile attended the National Tourism Stakeholders Forum Meeting (NTSF) in Sandton representing TTA. Herewith summary feedback:

The session serves as a platform for all tourism role players in the country to reflect and engage on the status of tourism in SA. Director General of National Department of Tourism, Mr. Victor Tharage welcomed everyone at the session and encouraged a robust and informative dialogue across the room. In his introduction he highlighted the two areas that have impacted severely in the tourism sector:
1) The interest rate
2) Depreciation of the rand

He emphasised that the Department of Tourism and the Department of Home Affairs have been working well together in trying to address the issue concerning the VISA application process with the new policies in place. He highlighted that the tourist guide regulation had been published and was circulated from the 17th of March 2016, and requested input from tourism role players and the public since the document was available for comment and input for 60 days.

The forum had two presentations from:

  • Statistics SA (Stats SA)
  • NDT- National Tourism Sector Strategy Review

The statistics reviewed were preliminary and were from the year 2014. Delegates attending the forum raised concerns that statistics needed to be more relevant and not so outdated. Stats SA offered to present statistics that were 11 months old, going forward but advised the forum that they have to ensure that the information collected was accurate as they use direct contributions when capturing their data, which is why the information was from 2014 and is delayed.

Stats SA revealed the shocking statistic that 1 in 25 people are employed in the tourism sector and that more needs to be done in addressing the unemployment situation in the tourism sector. The average annual growth rate from 2005 -2014 increased to 4.1%, with the percentage of total work force directly employed in the tourism sector being 4.5% from 2005-2014.

In summary the presentation highlighted the following stats:

  • Tourism contributed 2.9% of the GDP in 2014.(R111 560 million)
  • Tourism direct contribution to the Global Value added GVA) from 2005-2014 reached over 90 000 million.
  • The contribution of inbound tourism was R106 728 million in 2014.
  • The value of domestic tourism in 2014 was R132 012 million.
  • The value of internal tourism (inbound + domestic) was R 238 740 in 2014.

When compared to other countries Stat SA mentioned that the information for the GDP was sourced from the World Bank. The data on Tourist arrivals was obtained from the UNWTO and information on the GDP contribution was obtained from Stats SA. South Africa contributes 350 billion US$ in GDP, with 9,5 million tourist arrivals and the GDP contribution being 2.9% when compared to other tourism driven countries (which are mostly islands i.e.: Mauritius, Jamaica, Bahamas etc.

The second presentation was from NDT and they shared their plans on reviewing the National Tourism Sector Strategy (NTSS) which has been in existence as a guideline for 10 years.

The three key areas that were highlighted within the 11 strategic objectives were:

  • Tourism growth and the economy
  • Visitor experience and the brand
  • Sustainability and good governance

The overall target for the NTSS is to increase tourism's contribution to GDP and employment and increasing domestic and international tourist numbers. The review commenced in 2015/16 financial year led by a panel of experts appointed by Minister. The process involves the following phases:

  • Environmental Scan
  • Drafting/Reviewing of the strategy and stakeholder consultation
  • Gazetting for public comments, consolidation of inputs and submission for approval
  • Awareness creation

The review highlights that international trends indicate the consistent growth and increase globally with tourism visitor numbers. The travel and tourism sector world-wide grew faster than any other sector of the economy in global terms with trends highlighting that there's a shift in tourism demographics. South Africa is the most competitive travel and tourism economy in sub Saharan Africa ranking 48th of 141 countries globally.

The overall barriers in tourism growth include:

  • Administrative barriers (impractical and aggressive boarder control policies)
  • Perceptions of instability –change in tourist flows- terrorism, pandemics, high levels of contact crime)
  • Investment in Infrastructure (lags behind growth in demand, communication, airports, roads & rails)
  • New technology and innovations that are revolutionising the tourism industry

The strategy framework outlines the following:

  • Strategy 1 – Cohesive communication, branding and marketing
  • Strategy 2 – Deliver a world class visitor experience
  • Strategy 3 – Promote responsible Tourism practices
  • Strategy 4 – Promote transformation within the sector
  • Strategy 5 – Create conductive and enabling regulatory environment

The ultimate goal being to achieve inclusive and quality growth of the tourism economy.

After the presentation, comments were welcomed, the two below were noted and discussed upon:

  • The NTSS should also look into promoting responsible & sustainable tourism (greening
  • The tourism sector should find ways of reclaiming and retaining September as Tourism month because of the years it has been overshadowed by being claimed as the Heritage month.

SAT was therefore requested to present at the next meeting in addressing the issues raised from the meeting. The next meeting is scheduled for the 15th of September 2015.

Don't forget to be a winner

Enter the Lilizela Tourism Awards for 2016!

These Awards recognise and reward tourism players and businesses who work passionately and with pride to deliver a world class product and service and whose delivery grows South African's global destination competitiveness.

There are 60 days until entries close. Enter now!

The negative impact of social media in the hospitality industry

One cannot deny the huge impact social media has created in our spaces whether socially, personally and professionally. In order for businesses to be relevant in society, they need to adapt.

Paul Duverge, Menlyn Boutique Hotel's GM recently gave his views to the Biz Community Newspaper on the pros and cons of social media in the Hospitality industry.

Read the article: Hospitality industry must adapt to impact of social media.

Pretoria based WH Leisure Group acquires full ownership of the MolenVliet Lodge

WH Leisure Group, a privately owned independent hotel company recently acquired full ownership of MolenVliet Lodge. Renowned for its exceptional five-star offering, re-branding exercises began on what is now known as Fifty Seven Waterberg. Maintaining the same personalised service, Fifty Seven Waterberg boasts the best of the South African bush coupled with luxury accommodation and dining. The lodge is situated in the Big Five, privately-owned Welgevonden Game Reserve, in the malaria free area of the Limpopo province.

Forming part of WH Leisure Group is TTA member The Menlyn Boutique Hotel, a premium five-star offering situated in the heart of the Tshwane Metropole. The Menlyn Boutique Hotel offers the industry's best in luxury accommodation, fine dining and premium conferencing. The hotel won at the World Luxury Hotel Awards in Hong Kong in October 2015 as country winner for luxury hotel and conference centre, highlighting their ultimate achievement in service excellence.

Job vacancies

Travelling Mystery Guest is seeking a young individual/student who is passionate for the tourism, hospitality and marketing industry.

The candidate must be available to assist on a half day basis 2-3 days per week.

CVs can be sent to enquire@travellingmystery.co.za. Successful candidates will be informed by 1 May 2016.

Upcoming industry conferences, exhibitions and events

See what hot entertainment is on in the city
Food and Hospitality Africa 2016, 3-5 May 2016, Midrand
Indaba 2016, 7-9 May 2016, Durban
Attractions Africa 2016, 8-9 June 2016, Cape Town
IBTM 2016, 29 November-1 December 2016, Spain

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