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 South Africa, about their Basket of Benefits.
TT: What motivated the Basket of Benefits initiative?
‘As the custodian of South Africa’s hospitality quality grading system since its inception in 2000, the Tourism Grading Council of South Africa (TGCSA) has continually been approached by a wide range of service providers who, understanding the power of group buying, want to offer incentives to our almost 6,000 graded establishments.
We’ve collated these supplier incentives under appropriate subject headings, and uploaded them onto a purpose designed dedicated website at www.basketofbenefits.co.za, which is regularly updated on the latest pre-negotiated deals and specials. We have also published an eight page Basket of Benefits (BoB) brochure, which summarises the various sections contained within the website.’ (The BoB brochure can be downloaded here – Editor).
TT: Is there a fee to access BoB?
‘No. BoB is a free service brought to the hospitality trade courtesy of the TGCSA. The only condition is that users must be TGCSA graded establishments.’
TT: What benefits does BoB provide?
‘The BoB brochure provides a summary of all the key benefits, which are described under five subject headers, namely:
The Procurement Warehouse – where users not only save money on pre-negotiated deals and specials but also enjoy the convenience of having someone to search for the best deals and negotiate with service providers on their behalf.
Leads Generator – includes the Market Place, where the website system automatically matches the users establishment profile with requests received from thousands of travellers looking for accommodation; and Promotions, where users can run their own promotional campaigns via dedicated websites to large customer databases.
Business Advisor – provides access to a virtual team of business experts for free advice and information to help the user make key decisions with confidence. A free legal compliance audit is also available, as are free tourism indemnity form templates. We have prepared about 30 legal documents that users can tailor-make to suit their specific needs. These include agreements for employment, independent contractors, shareholders, loans and sale of property agreements. Financial and tax advice, general business advice, insurance advice and IT advice is included in this section.
Recruitment Officer – gives users access to a large database of job seekers. This service also provides e-mail alerts to inform the user whenever a newly uploaded CV fits the users staff requirement.
Personal Assistant – provides the benefit of a PA without the cost of having to employ one. This service can provide the users guests with a list of child-friendly restaurants and activities in the area, source promotional gifts at the best rates, schedule appointments, call service providers for quotes or emergency repairs. Our very capable assistants are on hand 24/7 to log requests and ensure that a specialist responds immediately if urgent, or within 24 hours.’
TT: Is BoB only available via the internet?
‘No. The BoB services are also available by calling our 24-hour service centre on 0861 444 443.’
TT: Are there any other services available on BoB?
‘Within the Market Place section, users can sell distressed stock at a discounted rate or promote their services during a quiet or out-of-season period. Our Coupon Cafe facility allows users to create their own personalized coupons free of charge and to display these special offer or value-add benefit coupons to large databases of clients at no cost to the user. There is also a Classifieds section, where users can sell used office furniture, swap their services for other products, or search for new or second-hand business products. This service enables users to place an advertisement that runs for 21 days. It’s a great FREE way to buy and sell items.
There is also a Training section, for users who want to get their staff trained and specialised in certain areas of their business. We advise on which courses are SETA accredited and where users can benefit from skills development points on their BEE scorecards. Users can save 25% on selected CTU training courses!
In addition, we have a Vehicle Dealer section, to alleviate users from the tedious task of shopping for a brand new or pre-owned car, and an Online Shop with discounted packages and deals that are delivered to the users door-step.’
TT: Is BoB looking for more supplier discount providers?
‘Bear in mind that the BoB website has only just been launched, so the number of benefits are currently limited, but we are always keen to negotiate with new suppliers who are willing to provide meaningful benefits to our graded establishments. There is a section on the BoB website where vendor applications can be made.’
For more information visit www.basketofbenefits.co.za or call the 24/7 help-line on 0861 444 443.