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Business & Finance

News, views, and reviews relating to business and financial issues with particular relevance to the global travel trade.

Weekly SA Forex Update

SOUTH AFRICA, Monday 17 September 2018 –  After the recent doom and gloom, last week finally brought some welcome relief for us Springbok supporters, and it wasn’t a bad week for the Rand either! By Bruce Burnett. These are the mid rates ...

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Global IT Co Chooses Durban for Africa HQ

DURBAN, South Africa, 28 August 2018 – Dushyant Savadia, the CEO and founder of Amber Group LTD, has confirmed his commitment to investment and job creation in South Africa with the opening of African operations officially headquartered in Umhlanga, Durban. “With Durban having ...

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How Mining Benefits Africa’s Economy

Statue of miner with mining gear in background

The term ‘mining’ often drums up images of dusty, dark tunnels, hefty pieces of machinery like drills and crushers and rubble filled with valuable minerals and materials. However, while these are commonly found, the industry in and of itself is ...

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Tourism Business Index Half-Year Report 2017

The Tourism Business Council of South Africa (TBCSA) has released its half-year Tourism Business Index (TBI) Report, which tracks and provides information about the level of business performance across the travel and tourism value chain, and also forecasts prospects for ...

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Domestic Tourism: Trends & Opportunities

South Africa’s domestic tourism industry has the potential to contribute significantly more to the economy if it manages to expand the industry so that it caters for everyone in the country rather than just focusing on traditional international tourists. By ...

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Africa Hotel Valuation Index 2017

HVS, the global hospitality consulting firm and host of the THINC Africa conference, launched their 2017 African Hotel Valuation Index (HVI) at the conference. This year sees the fourth edition of the African HVI, which includes more markets and increasing ...

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Global Tourism Statistics: Jan-Apr 2017

International tourist arrivals worldwide grew by 6% in January-April of 2017 compared to the same period last year, with business confidence reaching its highest levels in a decade. Sustained growth in most major destinations and a steady rebound in others ...

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Celebrating Lalibela’s Economic Impact

Bucking the trend of gloomy economic forecasts for South Africa, Lalibela Game Reserves’s positive impact on the Eastern Cape tourism economy over the past year provides ample cause for celebration. This article explores the impressive achievements that have contributed to ...

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Economic Development in Africa

Following the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) held in Geneva, Switzerland in January 2017, an in-depth report has been published on tourism for transformative and Inclusive growth in Africa. Here are a few of the startling findings ...

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Hotel Valuation Index: Africa

The third edition of the HVS/STR African Hotel Valuation Index offers critical information on 21 African hotel markets and the countries, including hotel value changes and projections through 2016 and intelligence on market dynamics. Numerous factors influence the value of ...

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Exclusive Use Safari Lodges on the Rise

With global demand for exclusive use vacation rentals on the rise, Lalibela Game Reserve is seizing the opportunity by providing a solution for large family and corporate sole-use enquiries who want a Big-5 safari experience with exclusivity and privacy. By Des ...

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The Biggest Challenge Facing DMO’s Today

Destination Management Organisations (DMOs) have a unique historical opportunity to help lead the shift from an old and obsolete way of doing tourism to one that is regenerative rather than extractive. By Anna Pollock. After interviewing dozens of destination marketing leaders, ...

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SA Tourism Stats: Jan-Feb 2017

Data from the latest South African tourism stats indicates the slowdown in domestic tourism with either low growth or a decline in passengers arriving on Domestic Flights.  The decline is supported by the stagnation of occupancies of hotels. Recent political ...

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Developing Africa’s Health Tourism Potential

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?

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

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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Good Service Seeds Future Tourism Growth

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

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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Market Access for SMEs

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

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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Nearly One Billion Tourists Globally

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%

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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TOMSA Domestic Campaign Launched

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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TOMSA Set To Boost Domestic Tourism

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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Hotel Revenue Management Secrets

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

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

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

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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SA Tourism Stats – March 2016

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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Tourism Safety Initiative Gains Momentum

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

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

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

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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Super-rich Tourism in Africa

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

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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How to Support Responsible Travel in Africa

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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Three Ways to Shorten Your Sales Cycle

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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Economic Volatility & Tourism in SA

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

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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Business Enterprise Solutions for BEE Codes

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

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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10 Tips on Tour Quoting

Hands on laptop keyboard

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. By Linday de Heer. ...

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10 Tips for Change

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

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

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

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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South African Tourism Sector in Crisis

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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Managing Credit Card Fraud in Tourism

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

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

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

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

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

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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SA Tourism Stats – April

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 Tour Itineraries Current

booking operator with screens in air

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. By ...

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