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The Pretoria versus Cape Town Parliament Debate

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During the State of the Nation Address (SONA) on 09 February, President Jacob Zuma set in motion a snowball discourse on the moving of the Parliament to Pretoria away from Cape Town, to reduce costs. The suggested cost for moving ...

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Developing Africa’s Health Tourism Potential

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Health Tourism can potentially provide a lucrative niche market to grow tourist numbers into Africa. However, reliable information and statistics on this sector from a local perspective are impossible to find. But this sad state of affairs is going to change ...

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Can South Africa Sustain Tourism Growth?

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While South Africa’s 12.8% increase in the number of overnight tourists recorded during 2016 compared to those recorded during 2015 is laudable, further analysis of the data reveals there’s still significant work to be done to ensure long-term, sustainable and ...

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SA Tourism Stats: Jan-Dec 2016

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While South Africa’s 12.8% increase in the number of overnight tourists recorded during 2016 compared to those recorded during 2015 is laudable, further analysis of the data reveals there’s still significant work to be done to ensure long-term, sustainable and ...

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The Role of Tour Operators in Safari Bookings

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Research suggests that travellers are changing their safari booking habits by making reservations directly on booking aggregators or directly via the safari lodge or game reserve’s website. So where does this trend leave Tour Operators? Is the traditional travel distribution ...

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Tourism Business Performance Rises In Q4 2016

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Despite the tough operating environment, the South African travel and tourism industry experienced slightly better than normal business performance in the last quarter of 2016. By Kagiso Mosue. Against a normal performance score of 100, the industry recorded an index ...

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WiFi at Safari Lodges: A Key Influencer?

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A Big Five safari is all about the sightings and experiences. Sharing the thrill of these experiences with friends and family on social media is what travellers do. But internet connectivity at game reserves can be sporadic, if available at ...

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Social Impact Initiative in Ethiopia

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Valerie Bowden, the author of ‘Backpacking Africa for Beginners’, has an inspiring story to tell. And it’s not about her book. By Des Langkilde. It’s about a snack made from Teff and a business that she plans to use as ...

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Stakeholders Lack Confidence in Tanzanian Tourism Minister

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Prof. Jumanne Abdallah Maghembe, the current Minister of Natural Resources and Tourism for the United Republic of Tanzania, met industry representatives over government demands of a $2,000 licence fee, irrespective of the size of the company in question, and for ...

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Good Service Seeds Future Tourism Growth

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These days, travellers do not vote only with their feet when dissatisfied with the quality of service they receive. They also vote with their fingers, sharing stories of their experience with friends and posting messages on social media. By Brett ...

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SA Tourism Stats: Jan-Sep 2016

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The data continues to indicate the recovery of international arrivals from 2015 as reflected in the growth in Stats SA foreign arrival data, growth in the rates of 5-star hotels and growth in the arrivals on international and regional flights. ...

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The Right Mindset For Running Your Own Business

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Running a business is a big challenge. Even the most modest enterprise takes hard work and dedication to thrive. If you own your own business, approaching it with the right frame of mind is vital to your long-term success. Here’s ...

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Market Access for SMEs

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South African Tourism has partnered with the Southern African Tourism Services Association (SATSA) on a brand-new market access partnership to develop the Small & Medium Enterprise (SME) tourism sector whilst contributing towards transformation. By Hannelie du Toit. Based on the ...

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Tourism Business Index Q3

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The Tourism Business Index for the third quarter of 2016 shows improved business performance, buoyed by a positive showing in South Africa’s accommodation sector. By Kagiso Mosue. The Tourism Business Council of South Africa (TBCSA) represents businesses operating in South ...

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SA Tourism Stats: Jan – Aug 2016

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For the first time the data from Stats SA, STR and ACSA all reflect the same period. The data indicates the recovery of international arrivals from 2015 as reflected in the growth in Stats SA data, growth in the rates ...

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Nearly One Billion Tourists Globally

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Destinations around the world welcomed 956 million international tourists between January and September 2016. According to the latest UNWTO World Tourism Barometer, this is 34 million (4%) more than the same 2015 period. By Rut Gomez Sobrino. Demand for international ...

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Global Tourist Arrivals Up 4%

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According to the latest UNWTO World Tourism Barometer, international tourist arrivals worldwide grew by 4% between January and June 2016 compared to the same period last year. Destinations worldwide received 561 million international tourists (overnight visitors), 21 million more than ...

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Africa Tightens Business Visa Requirements

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Some African countries are getting stricter in terms of their visa requirements. They often require not only a letter of invitation and an itinerary, but also proof of company registration, bank-account statements, tax-clearance certificates and a minimum bank balance. By Raylene ...

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Visas in Africa for African Travellers

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Africa is increasingly moving towards achieving part of its African Union Agenda 2063, which envisions the abolishment of visa requirements for African citizens by 2018. By Josephine Wawira. The recent launch of the Pan-African Passport is a big milestone towards ...

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Fresh beginnings on the Werf

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As the ancient oaks put on a fresh coat of green leaves and the southeaster begins to blow away winter’s cobwebs, it can only mean one thing: spring has arrived at Spier! It’s fitting that during this season of fresh ...

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SATSA MIR August 2016

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The data from Stats SA reflects the continued recovery in international arrivals.  The stabilisation of the Rand in recent weeks will slow growth slightly but is not expected to have a major negative impact.  By Martin Jansen van Vuuren of ...

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Tourism Business Index Q2 2016

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Persisting tough trading conditions affecting tourism in Q2 2016. The Tourism Business Council of South Africa (TBCSA) reports that the persisting tough trading conditions in the South African economy are affecting businesses in the sector and have led to below ...

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The Business of Field Guiding

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The tourism industry is one of the most demanding industries in the world. Basically you are doing everything you can to satisfy people’s expectations; people who have paid a lot of money and expect the best.  By Ben Coley. For ...

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South African Tourism Statistics: July 2016

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The South African Tourism Statistics & SATSA Market Intelligence Report for July 2016 as indicated below was extracted from data available as at 27 June 2016. By Martin Jansen van Vuuren of Grant Thornton. WHAT THIS DATA MEANS FOR YOUR ...

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TOMSA Domestic Campaign Launched

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The Finders Keepers promotional campaign that aims to promote domestic tourism in South Africa was launched on Sunday 10 July. Read our pre-launch feature story on page 18 to 19 of the Tourism Tattler June edition here. Launched nationally in ...

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Foreign Labour in the Tourism Industry

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2015 was possibly the year when the tourism industry got the most public attention after the implementation of the visa regulations. It became a major talking point and because tourism in South Africa has a class character, the class nature ...

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South African Tourism Statistics: June 2016

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The South African Tourism Statistics & SATSA Market Intelligence Report for June 2016 as indicated below was extracted from data available as at 24 May 2016. By Martin Jansen van Vuuren of Grant Thornton. WHAT THIS DATA MEANS FOR YOUR ...

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TOMSA Set To Boost Domestic Tourism

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Launching on Sunday 26 June 2016, Finders Keepers is a new Tourism Marketing South Africa (TOMSA) promotional campaign that aims to promote domestic tourism in the country by showcasing the products of existing tourism levy contributors, and to raise industry-wide ...

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Wage Increases for SA Hospitality Industry

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Minimum wage increases will come into effect for the South African hospitality industry on the 01st July and will be applicable until the 30th June 2017. This was disclosed at the World Travel Market, part of Africa Travel Week, which ...

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Hotel Revenue Management Secrets

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The Key to Hotel Pricing. By Craig Macdonald of IDeaS. Revenue managers across the globe spend large portions of their days managing rates. They are constantly lowering, raising, and analysing their hotel’s pricing. With the hotel’s bottom line depending heavily on ...

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South African Tourism Statistics: May 2016

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Data from Statistics South Africa indicate the impact of the devaluation of the Rand as foreign arrivals recovered. By Martin Janse van Vuuren of Grant Thornton, South Africa. Tourism enterprises should utilise this windfall to recover previous losses but should ...

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Tourism Business Index Q1 2016

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Steady Travel and Tourism Business Performance Results For Q1 2016 Notwithstanding the rising inflation and slow economic growth, overall business performance levels in South Africa’s travel and tourism sector have remained steady in the first quarter of 2016. This is ...

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Hotel Chain Growth in Africa

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The number of planned hotel chain rooms in Africa has soared to 64,000 in 365 hotels, up almost 30% on the previous year, according to new figures from the annual W Hospitality Group Hotel Chain Development Pipeline Survey. The increase ...

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South African Tourism Statistics: April 2016

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The following statistics on foreign tourist arrivals, hotel occupancy & room rates, airport flight arrivals, and car rental data for South Africa has been extracted from data available as at 29 March 2016, and compiled by Grant Thornton SA for, ...

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SA’s Budget Speech Acknowledges Tourism Sector

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South Africa’s 2016 budget speech demonstrated that Government is beginning to fully appreciate the meaningful role that the travel and tourism sector plays in the economy, writes Kagiso Mosue. In his 2016 budget speech delivered on Wednesday 24 February, the ...

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SA Tourism Stats – March 2016

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Analyses of Statistics South Africa data shows that foreign arrivals declined in 2015 and were at similar levels to 2013, writes Martin Jansen van Vuuren of Grant Thornton South Africa. A ray of hope is that foreign arrivals did start ...

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Travel Trade Challenges in 2016 – Part 2

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Last month we examined some of the challenges facing the tourism industry in 2016 – see Part 1 here.  This month we examine related challenges with which tourism leaders may have to contend in 2016, writes Dr. Peter E. Tarlow. ...

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Tourism Safety Initiative Gains Momentum

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The Tourism Safety Initiative (“TSI”) is rapidly gaining momentum as the South African travel and tourism industry’s primary platform for the coordination, promotion and provision of safety support to tourists, writes Kagiso Mosue. TSI is a travel and tourism private ...

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Wikitourism Comes of Age

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Access to tourism-related information has become a lot easier since the launch of South Africa’s home-grown Wikitourism online portal two years ago. All content is publicly available with copyright permission, which means that anyone can freely use the information. By ...

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Tour Operator App to Boost Rural Tourism

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An innovative online product aims to assist tour operators in sourcing new, emerging and community-based tourism businesses and experiences for their tours and itineraries, writes Claire Allison. Local non-profit organisation Open Africa in partnership with Die Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale ...

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Tourism Business Index Q4 2015

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Strong Domestic Leisure Demand Lifts Q4 2015 Business Performance Strong domestic leisure demand has helped to lift South Africa’s travel and tourism business performance in the last quarter of 2015, writes Kagiso Mosue. The Tourism Business Index (TBI) report for ...

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Travel Trade Challenges in 2016 – Part 1

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The global travel and tourism industry is far from static as evidenced by the number of travel trade challenges that have become constant problems for the industry, writes Dr. Peter E. Tarlow. The recent stock market ups and downs are ...

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SATSA Market Intelligence Report – Jan 2016

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Foreign tourism continues to decline (see Statistics South Africa data) while domestic tourism remains positive (see passengers arriving on domestic flights). It is hoped that the changes to the visa regulations will be implemented soon in order for foreign tourism ...

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Super-rich Tourism in Africa

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A recent study by New World Wealth titled ‘Millionaire Tourism in Africa’, says that around 43,000 multi-millionaires visited Africa in the 12 months to September 2015. South Africa was the most popular African destination for the super-rich, with roughly 11,000 ...

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Tour Operators Oppose Traffic Officer Bribery

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SATSA and KLT have taken steps to reduce inappropriate fines levied against tourists and tour operators by traffic officers in the South African province of Mpumalanga, writes Anne Briggs. Last year, the Southern Africa Tourism Services Association (SATSA) Mpumalanga Chapter ...

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AU funding model, a threat to tourism in Africa

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South Africa hosted the African Union Summit in Sandton in Johannesburg from 07 June 2015 to the 15 June 2015. The AU want all member countries to impose a US$2 hospitality levy per hotel stay and a US$10 airfare levy ...

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How to Support Responsible Travel in Africa

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Tour operators play a major role in influencing responsible travel through the holiday packages they design and offer to clients. Your business can support responsible travel in Africa by promoting Fair Trade Tourism certified tourism products and by packaging and ...

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Paul Kruger Must Fall, Paul Kruger Must Rise

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The acts of statue vandalism that have beset South Africa this year highlight the need for the country to protect its cultural heritage for tourism growth, writes Unathi Sonwabile Henama. The statue of Afrikaner hero Paul Kruger, located at the ...

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Three Ways to Shorten Your Sales Cycle

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Every company’s ultimate goal is financial success (a.k.a. profitability) but many find it difficult to maintain, especially when their product or service has a lengthy sales cycle, writes Jennifer Nagy. Here are three ways that a B2B business can shorten ...

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10 Tips on Selecting Tour Operator Software

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For Tour Operators, it always comes down to cost; but investing in tools that will improve productivity, manage workflow, reduce errors and give your travellers a professional look and feel are an absolute must, writes Linday de Heer. Embrace the ...

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Economic Volatility & Tourism in SA

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South Africa’s current economic volatility offers opportunities for tourism growth and job creation, but government must pave the way by removing obstacles that inhibit growth and the country’s competitiveness as a destination, writes Unathi Sonwabile Henama. Charles Dickens in his ...

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Making Tourism Work

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Rail tourism has potential for growth in South Africa, but Is government an asset or liability to this sector, asks Prof Melville Saayman. I had the wonderful opportunity to experience one of South Africa’s luxury trains, the Blue Train, and ...

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Africa Tourism set for sustained Growth

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According experts gathered at the Africa Hotel Investment Forum, the hotel and tourism industry in Africa is set for a period of sustained growth, writes Anja Eckervogt of Tarsh Consulting. The hotel and tourism industry in Africa is beginning a ...

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Business Enterprise Solutions for BEE Codes

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The Tourism Enterprise Partnership (TEP) has entrenched its reputation as the forerunner in tourism small business development with the launch of its unique Enterprise and Supplier Development Solutions (ESDS) programme to assist corporates in this sector meet the new amended ...

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The Mark of a Good Holiday

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Fair Trade Tourism is a leading South African non-profit organisation promoting responsible tourism development. It grows awareness about responsible tourism to travellers, assists tourism businesses to operate more sustainably and facilitates a globally recognised certification programme, the first in Africa, ...

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Tourism Market Intelligence Report – October 2015

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Data from Stats South Africa confirms that international tourism has declined significantly, while data from ACSA shows resilience in the domestic tourism market that is helping hotels to maintain occupancy levels, while increasing rates. *Note that African Arrivals plus Overseas ...

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10 tips on Tour Quoting

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It’s no longer acceptable for tour package quotations to take hours or days to compile. It’s time for tour operators to automate their business processes in order to survive in this technology driven era of tourism, writes Linday de Heer. ...

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10 Tips for Change

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In this first part of an ongoing series of articles on office automation for Tour Operators, Linday de Heer provides useful advice and tips to help find your way when changing office procedures. “Change is the heartbeat of Growth” (Scottie ...

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SA Tourism Review Report

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A panel of experts have reviewed how South African Tourism is responding to the dynamics of the national and international tourism sector and has made recommendations to guide its future strategic direction, writes Des Langkilde. The SA Tourism Review Committee ...

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Skills Development Levy Refund

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Did you know that South African registered businesses can get a portion of their Skills Development Levy (SDL) back each year? Charmaine Pratt explains how. What is Skills Development Levy (SDL)? SDL is a levy imposed by the South African ...

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VAT in the Tourism Industry

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Value Added Tax (VAT) charged to clients in the Tourism Industry can be a mine field, writes Thomas Joubert. In the tourism industry, not only does one need to look at the costs of putting together the trip, where there ...

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Tourism Market Intelligence Report – August 2015

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This market intelligence report information below was extracted from South African source data available as at 01 AUGUST 2015. By Martin Jansen van Vuuren of Grant Thornton. The data from Statistics South Africa shows the continued decline in foreign tourist ...

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South African Tourism Sector in Crisis

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The South African government’s ‘Unfriendly approach’ to the Visa regime is negatively impacting African and Overseas tourist arrivals to South Africa, and the tourism industry, reports Grant Thornton. South Africa’s Tourism sector is entering its first serious crisis stage as ...

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South African Credit Card Fraud Increases

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The South African Banking Risk Information Centre (SABRIC) is concerned over the increase in card fraud. The banking industry’s gross fraud losses due to South African issued credit card fraud increased by 23% from R366m in 2013 to R453.9m during ...

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Managing Credit Card Fraud in Tourism

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The tourism industry is a popular target for credit card fraud, according to a leading payment services provider – but there are ways to manage the risk, writes Elzaan Rohde. “Accommodation establishments like hotels, guesthouses and B&Bs are especially vulnerable ...

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Interview with Private Safaris

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Tourism Tattler met with Kuoni subsidiary Private Safaris CEO Frank Glettenberg for an interview during the 2015 Indaba Trade Show in Durban, writes Des Langkilde. Following my interview with Matthias Leisinger, Vice President of Corporate Responsibility at Kuoni Travel Holdings ...

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Health and Wealth for Tourism

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SATIB is set to provide businesses and employees in the tourism and hospitality industry with a holistic, financial services offering ranging from short-term insurance for tourism operators to employee benefits, writes Neesa Moodley. With a solid 25 years’ experience in ...

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Interview with Kuoni Group

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If you want your tourism product to be taken seriously, and considered for inclusion by one of the world’s largest B2B wholesalers and online providers of hotel accommodation and land services, you’d better take Responsible Tourism seriously, writes Des Langkilde. ...

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Market Intelligence Report – May 2015

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Indications are that business tourism is growing. STR Global data indicate that hotel occupancies are stabilising while average room rates are continuing to improve. Business travellers are more likely to pay higher rates that leisure travellers. ACSA data is showing ...

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Tourism Performance Steady in Q1 2015

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Amid calls for calm in various parts of the country, which have seen an upsurge of violence against foreign nationals, first quarter results of the TBCSA Tourism Business Index (“TBI”) show that business performance in the travel and tourism industry ...

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How to Streamline your Tour Operator Business

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Surprisingly, there are still tour operators who rely on manual (spreadsheet and other) solutions to run their businesses, which invariably leads to costly errors, resource wastage and loss of business due to the slow turnaround time in getting quotes to ...

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SA’s Visa Immigration Debacle Rages on

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The visa requirement for unabridged birth certificates for minors entering South Africa is due to come into effect on 01 June 2015, and the Southern Africa Tourism Services Association (SATSA) is appealing to the inbound travel trade to unite and ...

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Governments Recognise Benefits of Visa Facilitation

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Visa facilitation has experienced strong progress in recent years, particularly through the implementation of visa on arrival policies according to UNWTO’s Visa Openness Report. This largely reflects an increased awareness among policymakers of the positive impacts of visa facilitation on ...

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Are Concierges Right For Tour Operators?

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In this article, guest blogger Julia Barrero of Xola looks at the ecosystem of tourist-driven sales for tour operators with a special focus on hotel concierges. But before asking whether you should be pursuing hotel concierges as a booking engine ...

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SA Tourism Stats – April

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Statistics South Africa have finally released tourism arrivals stats for 2014, which clearly show the impact of Ebola and the Visa Regulations on the emerging markets. Note that Statistics South Africa has stopped counting people transiting through South Africa as ...

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How to keep itineraries current

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For most tour operators and travel agents, checking inventory rates and booking availability for their clients itineraries is a time consuming and frustrating task. But it doesn’t need to be – there are online solutions to integrate the process, writes ...

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SA Tourism Stats – March

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The latest South African Hotel Stats for the full 2014 year, shows that hotel occupancies stabilised and room rates continued to improve, resulting in Average Room Occupancy (ARO) of 62.5%, with an Average Room Rate (ARR) of R1,019 and Revenue ...

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The importance of Credibility in Tourism

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Travellers want to deal with tourism service providers that they can trust to provide not only value and an experience of a lifetime, but also reassurance that their hard-earned holiday savings will be protected. But how does one provide such ...

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SA’s clean audit not good enough

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The financial management of South Africa’s government departments and local municipal departments, while showing slight improvement, is still simply not good enough. By Tourism Tattler contributor Trevor Neethling. December 2014’s release of the Auditor General’s PFMA report for the 2013 ...

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2022 Commonwealth Games for Durban South Africa?

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Hosting the Commonwealth or Olympic Games would not only allow South Africa to access a greater share of the global sports tourism market which is estimated to be valued at between R2- and R6-trillion, but also better position the country ...

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Cover Story – November 2014

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This edition of Tourism Tattler is dedicated to the Tourism Grading Council of South Africa (TGCSA). The TGCSA was established in the year 2000, and operates as a business unit of South African Tourism. Over the past 14 years, the ...

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TGCSA Launches Basket of Benefits

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Having your hospitality establishment graded now means more than a few stars – it also provides access to a range of meaningful benefits. Tourism Tattler (TT) spoke to Thembi Kunene, Chief Quality Assurance Officer at the Tourism Grading Council of ...

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Planning your year-end function

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As the end of the year is around the corner and planning a year-end function forms part of wrapping up another year, Quintin Wiehahn Managing Director of The Menlyn Boutique Hotel shares some tips on planning the perfect year-end function. ...

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SA’s Tourism Growth Spurs Property Investment

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Over the past 20 years, the tourism sector’s contribution to South Africa’s gross domestic product (GDP) has increased significantly – with an average annual average real growth rate of 7.3 percent – an attractive proposition for both domestic and international ...

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13 Tips to surviving as a Small Tourism Business

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Main image: Paul Miedema and Nelson Sebezela of Calabash tours. Operating a small tourism business in South Africa can be tough. Tourism Tattler asked tourism stalwart Paul Miedema of Calabash Tours for some tips and lessons learnt in operating his ...

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Tourist Arrivals & Hotel Stats for South Africa

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Tourism Growth Key for SA and Car Rentals

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South African tourism, exceeding over 10 million arrivals last year and its growing GDP contribution which now exceeds 9%, has demonstrated sustained growth well above the global industry norm. Reflecting further on the extent of this performance, one is reminded ...

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Business Insurance for SMME’s

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Entrepreneurs need insurance cover at affordable premiums, but they also need access to other factors that contribute to business success, such as access to finance, training, mentorship and market access. By Paula Bester. The Tourism Enterprise Partnership (TEP) and Sky ...

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Find Business Partners in Namibia

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Your client wants a seven-night authentic bush camp safari in Namibia for a party of four, and to experience the culture of San Bushmen. The safari request is no problem but where the heck do you find someone who specialises ...

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Tourism Business Performance Down

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South Africa’s tourism business performance dipped in the second quarter of this year, according to the latest TBCSA FNB Tourism Business Index (TBI). By Kagiso Mosue. The report shows a score of 94.7 across April, May and June, indicating performance ...

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Access to Finance

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A critical factor in SMME development Entrepreneurs need access to finance, but they also need access to other factors that contribute to business success, such as training, mentorship and market access. By Paula Bester. When an entrepreneur speaks of the ...

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What is Tax Season?

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One often hears the term ‘tax season’ bandied about, which sends shivers down the spines of many. But are there circumstances in which a sole proprietor does not have to submit a tax return at all? By Kevin Watson. Typically ...

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SA Tourism Numbers Reach Record High

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South Africa welcomed a total of 9,616,964 tourists in 2013, up from the 9,188,368 tourists that visited South Africa in 2012. Tourist arrivals to South Africa in 2013 showed positive growth from all regions. The latest release from Statistics South ...

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Interest in SA shoots up by 250%

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South African destinations are attracting more interest, according to a recent TripAdvisor traffic study, which found views of South African destinations listed on the site grew over 250% from 2012 to 2013. The results confirm the recent findings of TripAdvisor’s ...

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9 Essential Skills for Entrepreneurs

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Operating a successful tourism business requires certain skills. Test your own proficiency against these nine skill sets. By Thys Buitendag CA (SA). Being an entrepreneur is a demanding but mostly rewarding job. In a large corporate environment there are probably ...

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13 Things Entrepreneurs Don’t Do

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I spend many hours of my time reading. Some of it is about real live historical events (I don’t enjoy fiction) but I also read a lot about business and my industry. Not just because I enjoy it but also ...

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Inbound Demand Lifts SA Tourism

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Strong Overseas Leisure Demand Lifts SA’s Tourism Performance The first quarter results of the TBCSA FNB Tourism Business Index (TBI) point to the weak exchange rate and strong overseas leisure demand playing a significantly positive role in lifting business performance. ...

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Arrivals & Hotel STR Statistics

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The current SATSA Market Intelligence Report can be viewed in the MAY 2014 magazine edition (Click on the cover image at right of the Tattler Home page – see page 10. Or download the PDF  HERE). Below are the statistics ...

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Statutory Business Requirements

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Statutory Registrations are a very important part of running a business legally in South Africa and must be adhered to. By Thys Buitendag CA (SA). Below is a list of registrations that need to be completed at each stage of ...

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Financial Reporting Requirements

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For businesses in South Africa. In South Africa, business entities can operate in various forms; the first form is what is referred to as incorporated – for example a Company or a Close Corporation. Other businesses can trade as a ...

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