The IPTGSA leading officers attended the National Tourism Stake Holder Forum on 24 February 2022.
These twice a year whole day meetings were started almost a decade ago and our profession, the tourist guides were invited right from the first meeting. The meeting is attended by stakeholders from private industry and government departments alike.
The meeting is a valuable instrument whereby the participants interact face to face with the many representatives and can bring points of concern and valuable input via the secretariat to the forum either through a topic request in the agenda or via the raise of hand in the final formal discussion sessions.
The meeting produced this time some statistics that were rather positively surprising like e.g.:
- It has for a long time been the case that domestic tourism was the main carrier of the total South African tourism business, but one was not all that much aware of this. It is the Covid-19 situation that has helped a lot to uncover that fact.
- It is the domestic tourism that helped and still helps to lift the industry out of the standstill we were in. This results in looking at marketing domestic tourism more seriously and more to the point than was the case pre the Covid-19 paralysation time.
- The Tourism Business Council of South Africa (TBCSA) reported that their levy collections are presently at 64% of the benchmark year 2019.
- The Chief Marketing Officer of South African Tourism reported that the source markets prior to Covid-19 were 44 worldwide. They since trimmed them down to now just over 20 (cut-out deadwood). Their focus has shifted to rather bring the consumer to our shores. Previously they marketed heavily to travel agencies.
- In order to get to the consumer’s attention, they start a 12-18 months TV and media presentation roll-out in the source markets, to communicate some new products over and beyond that which is the product called South Africa. Part of the presentation is a tourism calendar, highlighting various events. The presentation could not be shown to the forum as it only is permissible to do so after the worldwide launch on Monday, 28 February 2022.
- On another topic, the CMO briefed the forum on the efforts they will not spare to get South Africa off the red lists.
- Mention was also made of the relevant government departments having a comparative look at the visitor visa situation in the SADEC nations and how an alignment can be achieved.
- The issue of negative news reporting about whatever happens in our country (riots, protests, etc.) is getting hard scrutiny. Ways are looked at to keep speculation out and objectivity in where it belongs.
- The forum also heard from the DDG-Tourism that our President sat in some of the departmental meetings to have his finger on the department’s pulse.
Lesiba, Johan, and Sam then had a chance to get face to face with the newly appointed National Registrar of Tourist Guides, Mrs. Mmaditonki Setwaba.
We invited her to make use of our combined expertise and experience and assured her of our support.