South Africa’s Welcome Challenge

It’s the little things we do that make a big difference.

“Even in the middle of the bush, making sure my visitors get the best service is essential – and that’s my responsibility. I’m attentive to all needs of my visitors – so when they fall in love with the elephants, I introduce them by name, as each elephant is part of the family. The guests love getting personally involved – it makes the experience truly unforgettable. It’s the little thing I like to do for visitor, what’s yours?”

South African Tourism is inviting the tourism trade to take the Welcome Challenge and learn how to welcome tourists in special ways.

South African Tourism’s Welcome Campaign aims to inspire and educate South Africa’s tourism role players and everyday South Africans on how to exceed tourists’ expectations when it comes to service delivery.

Hospitality-Welcome-LogoBy taking the Welcome Challenge – a fun quiz designed to improve your knowledge of how to make guests from around the world feel welcome and special – you will gain valuable insights into welcoming tourists from different markets and the nuances associated with these markets.

Jan Hutton, SAT chief marketing officer, says the organisation is encouraging its trade partners to take the Welcome Challenge and make use of the Welcome website, which is packed with useful information, marketing collateral and innovative ideas on how to be welcoming.

“We want to hear from the trade about how they welcome tourists. Once they’ve gone through the Welcome Challenge and have given insights on how they welcome tourists, they will be automatically entered into a random draw in which they have a chance of winning an iPad mini,” says Hutton.

The Welcome Challenge promotion runs over nine weeks, from the beginning of September 2013, with the winners announced in December 2013. There are nine iPad minis up for grabs.

Enter the Welcome Challenge and stand a chance of winning one of nine iPad minis.
Enter the Welcome Challenge and stand a chance of winning one of nine iPad minis.

“Being welcoming and helping with the little things is the first step to service excellence, and is key to delivering on South Africa’s brand promise and growing the tourism industry,” says Hutton.

The website has a Knowledge Centre with recipes and restaurant guides that will give you the edge when it comes to hosting Indian and Chinese tourists. Here you’ll also find videos on wine pairing and general wine etiquette, and you can learn more about adventure tourism.

The site also offers in-depth marketing booklets designed to improve your knowledge about markets around the world. The Welcome Toolkit includes a Welcome letter and gift ideas, a Welcome video, a Welcome corporate identity guide, and Welcome logos for your use in advertisement co-branding. All these are available for free download.

Welcome Wall

There’s also a ‘Welcome Wall’ where your “little thing that makes a big difference” suggestion is placed after completing the quiz. Here’s a couple of suggestions from the wall:

“I like to allow my guests to pick their bottle of wine from our cellar, it’s a personal touch that always makes them feel special. ” Julie Webb – Willow Hills B&B.

“Friendly staff, unparalleled service and excellent facilities creates a ‘feel right at home’ perception with every guest that enters our resort.”  Dorie Olivier – Emperors Palace.

“We have a herb garden right outside our front door and we invite conference delegates to take some fresh herbs from our garden home with them after a long conference day.” Bronwen Cadle de Ponte – CSIR International Convention Centre.

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