NEWSLETTER - 29 July 2016

Welcome to new members

We'd like to extend a warm welcome to new TTA members:

Growth Institute - an accredited training provider for the Institute of Certified Bookkeepers and for the Confederation of Travel and Hospitality (represented by the Chartered Institute of Tourism and Hospitality in South Africa)

Renele Travel & Conferencing - a leading independent travel and conference company in providing a customised service that meets the needs of clients.

Tshwane Tourism Association launches tourist map for the city

At a glittering champagne breakfast event held on Tuesday morning we launched our comprehensive tourist map for the metropolitan area of Tshwane.

The event was attended by over 200 members and other invited guests including tourism product owners, ambassadors and staff from some embassies, prominent artists and academics resident in the city as well as representatives from local, provincial and national government and other industry associations.

The tourist map includes the location of, and detailed information on, accommodation establishments, attractions, tour operators and guides and other tourism related businesses in the city. It also provides the visitor with detailed information on the buildings on Church Square, information on major transport hubs such as the airports, Gautrain stations and bus routes, locations of free wifi and Visitor Information Centre's around the city. Added extras are a section on Tshwane Trivia providing fun facts on the city and an inset detailing the cities rich and vibrant presence of public art.

The map will be distributed through TTA members in the city as well as at visitor information centres across Gauteng – 60 000 copies of the first edition were printed and distributed at the launch. Individual copies are also available from the Tshwane Tourism Association office on (012) 841 4212 or secretary@tshwanetourism.com.

Delivering her presentation at the launch TTA Chairperson, Bronwen Cadle de Ponte, left the audience with these parting thoughts "We must remain cognisant that, whilst the production of this map may be a significant achievement for an association like ours, it is but is a basic requirement of visitors to a city. We therefore have to continue to work very hard on this and on new projects to enhance the experience of the visitors to our city and we will do so."

   
   

Updated tourism industry qualifications from UNISA

Unisa has updated its tourism qualifications brochure, please click here to view the new brochure and share it with staff and colleagues.

With tourism being one of the largest generators of jobs, Unisa is proud to offer the following programmes: Higher Certificate in Tourism Management, Diploma in Tourism Management, Bachelor of Commerce in Tourism Management, Postgraduate Diploma in Tourism Management, and BCom (Honours) in Tourism Management.

Official Attractions Africa announcement and video

In our previous newsletter we let you know that the Attractions Africa 2017 conference would be held in Tshwane and that TTA would play a supporting role.

Click here to view the official announcement video and begin this exciting journey with us!

A new blog post with lessons learnt in 2016 is also available.

Sports & Events Tourism Exchange 2016

The 6th edition of the Sports and Events Tourism Exchange will be hosted in a CONNECT format which is dedicated to maximising delegates networking and one-on-one meeting opportunities. The SETE Connect platform will give conference delegates the time to attend the conference sessions and schedule one-on-one meetings with fellow delegates, industry stakeholders and international hosted buyers in between each conference session. This will be the second year SETE takes place in the City of Tshwane and will run from the 25-27th October 2016 at the Protea Hotel Fire & Ice! Menlyn.

Participation from products in Tshwane was low in 2015 whilst other major South African cities were well represented at this worthwhile conference by their products. The TTA urges members to participate in this very worthwhile industry platform.

The TTA office gains first-hand knowledge of members


Liz outside the Luxury tented camp at Ngata Safari Lodge.
 
Inside the Luxury Tented Camp at Ngata Safari Lodge.

Sithembile admiring the tree house at Tussen-I-Bome.
 
Beautiful view among the many trees at Tussen-I-Bome.
The TTA office recently had the great pleasure of being invited by two of its members to experience their offerings. Herewith some feedback from Sithembile:

Ngata Safari Lodge invited TTA to be part of their recent open house launch which was well attended with family, friends and tourism associates. This new safari lodge looks absolutely beautiful with plenty to offer guests. There's a tranquil and calm atmosphere that the premises exudes. The food and drinks were delicious and refreshing, some of the attendees walked away with gifts and vouchers. Liz and I managed to treat ourselves for a neck massage and manicure at the Ngata Bush Spa. To Carl and Elize, we'd like to thank you for the invitation; we had absolutely had a great time and can attest that Ngata Sarafi Lodge is definitely a place of abundance!

Gerhard van Jaarsveld the owner of Tussen-I Bome Guest Farm invited TTA's membership coordinator, Liz and I to his Guest Farm on Thursday, 30 June 2016. 'Thursdays evenings are normally social gathering at the farm for people around the Dinokeng area and visitors around the country as a platform to socialize and network. I have big plans for the farm and I'm currently working on some ideas 'Gerhard said. The guesthouse has a very homely feel and the rustic bushveld surroundings bring such a tranquil and relaxing experience. Liz and I thoroughly enjoyed the fresh and unspoilt scenic beauty, it was amazing and again we'd like to extend our gratitude to Gerhard and Wilma for the invitation and hospitality!

Grading criteria under review

The Tourism Grading Council of South Africa (TGCSA) is currently reviewing its grading criteria, with new criteria expected to be unveiled in November. Darryl Erasmus, TGCSA Chief Quality Assurance Officer, told Tourism Update that the council had begun to engage with industry associations as part of its reviewing process.

"We've already begun to engage with the Southern African Association for the Conference Industry (SAACI) and we've got some fantastic feedback from the engagements that we had with them," said Erasmus.

Other associations the council has approached include national accommodation association, Federated Hospitality Association of Southern Africa (Fedhasa) and the Youth Travel Association. "We're now rolling out to the broader industry to say: 'These are what our proposals are, how do you feel about them? Should they become part of the way forward?'" added Erasmus.

He said feedback thus far included the fact that travellers were insisting on WiFi. "It actually speaks to South African Tourism as well, because at SA Tourism we're all about enabling international, but also domestic travellers, to experience authentic South Africa and share it – and what better platform than social media to share those experiences."

On the other hand, Erasmus said WiFi was still quite expensive in South Africa so it would have to be decided at what point in the star grading process it was made compulsory.

Other concerns that will be raised to the industry include whether boutique hotels and hotel apartments should form part of their own category, and the possible introduction of superior levels within the five-star grades. "We have product out there that is entry-level five-star product but you also have the top end. Globally, many of these grading entities around the world are taking the existing star levels and are saying you have three star, but you also have three-star deluxe or three-star superior," Erasmus explained. He said this was something they would pitch to the industry to allow establishments to differentiate themselves, especially those that were over achieving.

In addition, Erasmus said the Tourism Analytics Programme launched at Indaba allowed them to monitor service levels of all product across South Africa, whether they were graded members or not, using online guest reviews. "We basically scrape all these online platforms, such as TripAdvisor and Expedia, we aggregate all of the scores and all of the comments and we give establishments an average of those scores," explained Erasmus.

He said the global trend was towards accreditation in terms of quality assurance and actual assessment and then monitoring service levels using online guest reviews. "It may be that you qualify for three star but, according to the online guest reviews, you're operating at two out of five and through the commentary we are able to drill down into the service issues." Erasmus said they were then able to inform establishments on what specific service-related issues to correct based on the comments.

The TGCSA is also responsible for delivering the Lilizela awards together with the National Department of Tourism. "If you think about it, Lilizela is about rewarding excellence in the industry and the Grading Council's mandate is assuring quality and service excellence," said Erasmus.

Source: Southern African Tourism Update

Upcoming industry conferences, exhibitions and events

See what hot entertainment is on in the city
Sports & Events Tourism Exchange, 25-27 October 2016, Pretoria
WTM London, 7-9 November 2016, London
IBTM 2016, 29 November-1 December 2016, Spain
AIME, 21-22 February 2017, Australia
Meetings Africa, 28 February - 1 March 2017, Johannesburg
WTM Africa, 19-21 April 2017, Cape Town
IBTM Africa, 19-23 April 2017, Cape Town
Food and Hospitality Africa 2017, 3-5 May 2017, Midrand
Indaba, 6-8 May 2017, Durban
Attractions Africa 2017, Dates to be confirmed, Tshwane
SAACI 31st Annual Congress, 4-6 June 2017, Pretoria

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