A Leisure Tourism Stakeholder Meeting was held on 28 June 2011, when around 70 senior tourism stakeholders met informally to discuss the current crisis in the leisure tourism industry and to come up with solutions.
Chaired by Malcolm McCulloch of SATIB Insurance Broker’s client Wilderness Safaris and presented by Colin Bell (Wilderness Safaris founder) and Peter Anderson (SATIB client & strategic partner, Livingstones Group), the meeting confirmed that there is a crisis in the tourism industry and that many establishments have closed down resulting in job losses.
The key points agreed upon at the meeting were (in no particular order of importance):-
- 1. That all tourism stakeholders familiarise themselves with the National Tourism Sector Strategy (NTSS) document.
- 2. To motivate operators to contribute to the TOMSA levy to
- (a) to put more money into marketing SA and
- (b) to increase the influence that TBCSA has on SAT.
- 3. Change the method of tourism arrival statistics data collection to take place on the tourist’s departure from SA rather than on arrival;
- 4. SAT needs to take a number of steps to market SA more effectively, by;
- a) Focusing its efforts on the best producing markets - primarily the top 10 or 12 markets;
- b) Lobby Government to increase the SAT budget in this time of job crisis; .
- c) Increase SAT spend of its budget closer to 50% and less on admin, overheads, research and outsourcing;
- d) Ensure that each of the key SAT offices are given revised targets and budgets to double their “overseas leisure tourist” arrival numbers;
- e) Measure the effectiveness of SAT’s PR companies around the world and end agreements with those that are ineffective or inefficient;
- f) Eliminate negative tag lines and commit to consistent, positive long term branding of SA;
- g) Keep the TBCSA regularly informed of marketing campaigns launched by SAT.
- h) Involve the TBCSA in headhunting a competent candidate to fill SAT’s currently vacant position of CEO.
- 5. Provide benchmarking statistics to serve as a guideline to ensure that we charge our tourists at competitive rates in relation to the rest of the world.
- 6. Encourage the trade to better react to the TBCSA quarterly business index surveys.
- 7. Not ignore the domestic tourism market, which is inadvertently called on to sustain the industry when downturns take place.
- 8. The trade and TBCSA must hold SAT and their boards accountable for their performance and delivery.
- 9. SAA and SAT should combine budgets and campaigns to aggressively market SA.
- 10. Address the visa issue with Home Affairs.
Subsequent to the above meeting, the resolutions were discussed at a meeting between the TBCSA and SA Tourism held on 11 July.
As a result of this meeting, the TBCSA invited all stakeholders who attended the Tourism Stakeholder Meeting to attend the TBCSA AGM, which took place on 04 August, where SA Tourism presented their business plan for 2012/2013.