Tourism Tattler February 2015

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The Natural Choice in 5-Star Luxury

Celebrating Diversity

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Tourism Tattler Trade Journal


Contents Issue 02 (February) 2015 PUBLISHER Tourism Tattler (Pty) Ltd. PO Box 891, Umhlanga Rocks, 4320 KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. Company Reg.No.: 2006/015252/07 Website: EXECUTIVE EDITOR Des Langkilde Tel: +27 (0)32 815 0414 Cell: +27 (0)82 374 7260 Fax: +27 (0)86 651 8080 E-mail: Skype: tourismtattler

BUSINESS: The Importance of Credibility in Tourism.


ADVERTISING DIRECTOR Bev Langkilde Tel: +27 (0)32 815 0414 / (0)31 813 5326 Fax: +27 (0)86 656 3860 Cell: +27 (0)71 224 9971 E-mail: Skype: bevtourismtattler



BACK ISSUES (Click on the covers below). ▼ Jan 2015

▼ Dec 2014


▼ Nov 2014


HOSPITALITY: Property Review: Grootbos Private Nature Reserve.


NICHE TOURISM: How to apply Responsible Tourism Practices. IN THIS ISSUE ▼ Oct 2014

▼ Sep 2014

▼ Aug 2014

▼ Jul 2014

▼ Jun 2014

▼ May 2014

▼ Apr 2014

▼ Mar 2014

▼ Feb 2014

04 05 06 08 10 12 15 24

EDITORIAL Accreditation Cover Story Article Comments BUSINESS SATSA Market Intelligence Report Importance of Credibility in Tourism CONSERVATION Shark Egg Case Monitoring Project EVENTS Testing the German waters HOSPITALITY Property Review: Grootbos

Adv. Louis Nel Dr. Peter E. Tarlow

▼ Dec 2013

▼ Nov 2013

LEGAL Risk in Tourism - Part 7 MARKETING Trends to boost hotel marketing Tourism Challenges - Part 2 NICHE TOURISM Responsible Tourism Practices RISK Crises Management TRADE NEWS Visit our website for daily travel news

EDITORIAL CONTRIBUTORS Martin Jansen van Vuuren RJ Friedlander Nikki Tilley

MAGAZINE 02 Grootbos Private Nature Reserve 05 06 World Travel Market Africa 07 SATIB Insurance Brokers

▼ Jan 2014

18 19 20 22 27

SPONSORS 09 Comair / 14 OTM-India 17 White Shark Projects 28 National Sea Rescue Institute

Disclaimer: The Tourism Tattler is published by Tourism Tattler (Pty) Ltd and is the official trade journal of the Southern Africa Tourism Services Association (SATSA). The Tourism Tattler digital e-zine, is distributed free of charge to bona fide tourism stakeholders. Letters to the Editor are assumed intended for publication in whole or part and may therefore be used for such purpose. The information provided and opinions expressed in this publication are provided in good faith and do not necessarily represent the opinions of Tourism Tattler (Pty) Ltd, SATSA, its staff and its production suppliers. Advice provided herein should not be soley relied upon as each set of circumstances may differ. Professional advice should be sought in each instance. Neither Tourism Tattler (Pty) Ltd, SATSA, its staff and its production suppliers can be held legally liable in any way for damages of any kind whatsoever arising directly or indirectly from any facts or information provided or omitted in these pages or from any statements made or withheld or from supplied photographs or graphic images reproduced by the publication.


Tourism Tattler Trade Journal


Accreditation Official Travel Trade Journal and Media Partner to: The African Travel & Tourism Association (Atta) Tel: +44 20 7937 4408 • Email: • Website: Members in 22 African countries and 37 worldwide use Atta to: Network and collaborate with peers in African tourism; Grow their online presence with a branded profile; Ask and answer specialist questions and give advice; and Attend key industry events.

National Accommodation Association of South Africa (NAA-SA) Tel: +2786 186 2272 • Fax: +2786 225 9858 • Website: The NAA-SA is a network of mainly smaller accommodation providers around South Africa – from B&Bs in country towns offering comfortable personal service to luxurious boutique city lodges with those extra special touches – you’re sure to find a suitable place, and at the same time feel confident that your stay at an NAA-SA member’s establishment will meet your requirements.

Regional Tourism Organisation of Southern Africa (RETOSA) Tel: +2711 315 2420/1 • Fax: +2711 315 2422 • Website: RETOSA is a Southern African Development Community (SADC) institution responsible for tourism growth and development. RETOSA’s aims are to increase tourist arrivals to the region through. RETOSA Member States are Angola, Botswana, DR Congo, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Seychelles, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

Southern Africa Tourism Services Association (SATSA) Tel: +2786 127 2872 • Fax: +2711 886 755 • Website: SATSA is a credibility accreditation body representing the private sector of the inbound tourism industry. SATSA members are Bonded thus providing a financial guarantee against advance deposits held in the event of the involuntary liquidation. SATSA represents: Transport providers, Tour Operators, DMC's, Accommodation Suppliers, Tour Brokers, Adventure Tourism Providers, Business Tourism Providers and Allied Tourism Services providers.

Southern African Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association (SAVRALA) Contact: • Website: Founded in the 1970's, SAVRALA is the representative voice of Southern Africa’s vehicle rental, leasing and fleet management sector. Our members have a combined national footprint with more than 600 branches countrywide. SAVRALA are instrumental in steering industry standards and continuously strive to protect both their members’ interests, and those of the public, and are therefore widely respected within corporate and government sectors.

Seychelles Hospitality & Tourism Association (SHTA) Tel: +248 432 5560 • Fax: +248 422 5718 • Website: The Seychelles Hospitality and Tourism Association was created in 2002 when the Seychelles Hotel Association merged with the Seychelles Hotel and Guesthouse Association. SHTA’s primary focus is to unite all Seychelles tourism industry stakeholders under one association in order to be better prepared to defend the interest of the industry and its sustainability as the pillar of the country’s economy.

International Coalition of Tourism Partners (ICTP) Tel: Haleiwa, USA: +1-808-566-9900 • Cape Town, South Africa: (+27)-21-813-5811 • Rio de Janeiro, Brazil: +5521 40428205 • Germany: +49 2102 1458477 • London, UK: +44 20 3239 3300 • Australia +61 2-8005 1444 • HongKong, China: +852 8120 9450 • Email: • Website: ICTP is a travel and tourism coalition of global destinations committed to Quality Services and Green Growth. ICTP advocates for: sustainable aviation growth; streamlined travel; fair taxation and jobs.

International Institute for Peace through Tourism Tel: +1-802-253-8671 • Website: The International Institute for Peace through Tourism (IIPT) is dedicated to fostering and facilitating tourism initiatives that contribute to international understanding and cooperation, an improved quality of environment, the preservation of heritage, poverty reduction, and the resolution of conflict - and through these initiatives, help bring about a more peaceful and sustainable world.

OTM India 2015 Tel: +9133 4028 4028 • Fax: +9133 2479 0019 • Website: OTM is India’s biggest travel trade show, in the largest travel market in India – Mumbai. OTM Mumbai takes place from 4 to 6 February 2015, with an attractive add on option in New Delhi from 10 to 12 February 2015. OTM is the most effective platform to market to the Indian travel industry catering to over 15 million Outbound travellers spending over US$ 10 billion and over 500 million domestic tourists – at least 10% of them with an immediate potential to also travel abroad.

World Travel Market - WTM Africa 2015 - WTM Latin America 2015 - WTM London 20145 WTM Africa takes place in Cape Town, South Africa from 15 to 17 April 2015, WTM Latin America will take place in São Paulo from 22 to 24 April 2015, and WTM - London will take place from 02 to 05 November 2015 in London, England. WTM is the place to do business. 04

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cover story

now employ in excess of 150 full time staff, some 80 percent of whom are from local disadvantaged communities (read more in our responsible tourism feature on pages 22 - 26).

February is the month of romance and our cover image, taken at Grootbos Private Nature Reserve in South Africa, reflects the serenity of nature with the privacy afforded by 5-star hospitality – an ideal combination for Valentines Day celebrations.

In this edition of Tourism Tattler we also look at the importance of credibility in tourism (pages 10 - 11), acknowledge the initiative of Whale Coast Conservation and their Shark Egg Case Monitoring Project (pages 12 - 13), and get advice from South Coast Tourism in marketing to German travellers (page 15).

In fact, reading the book 'Field Guide to the Flora of Grootbos Nature Reserve and the Walker Bay region' by Sean Privett and Heiner Lutzeyer, it is apparent that the rehabilitation and development of this 2500 hectare property has been a labour of love. Back in 1991, when Heiner and Eva Lutzeyer purchased a 123 hectare farm on the mountain slopes overlooking Walker Bay between the villages of Stanford and Gansbaai, little did they realise that their enterprising sons Michael and Tertius would succeed in establishing what has become a pristine botanical treasure trove, wildlife sanctuary, international 5-star eco-lodge and a world leader in luxury responsible tourism (read our property review feature on pages 16 - 17). Over the years, Grootbos staff have cleared all alien vegetation from the property, restored damaged areas, and now manage the land in accordance with strict ecological principles. The tourism development and associated non-profit programmes of the Grootbos Foundation The appropriately named Garden Lodge at Grootbos reflects the regions floral diversity, such as these Bergharpuisbos (Euryops abrotanifolius).


Our legal beagle, Louis the Lawyer continues his series on the law and contracts (page 18) . Our marketing section looks at trends to help boost hotels, and new challenges facing tourism this year. And finally, our risk section looks at crises management - a critical component to avoid your business being thrust into chaos (page 27). As usual, our content is free to distribute and I encourage you to share and comment on articles published on our website - you may just win a Dietz Monarch Hurricane Lantern for taking the time to do so (see page 6 for more info). Yours in Tourism, Des Langkilde.


Tourism Tattler Trade Journal



Article Comments Article comments, 'Likes' and 'Shares' received on the Tourism Tattler website and Social Media pages.

Wi n

The winning comment, 'Like' or 'Share' posted on the Tattler website or Social Media pages during the month of February 2015 will receive a Dietz Monarch D10 Hurricane Lantern with the compliments of Livingstones Supply Co – Suppliers of the Finest Products to the Hospitality Industry.

The Dietz Monarch was first introduced in 1900, and has been produced in at least seven distinct variations continuously over the past 108 years. The first and oldest style Monarch had a flat top tank, un-reinforced air tubes, and a 9/16" fuel cap.

Connect with Livingstones on:

The global leading event for the African travel industy. Don’t miss out, register now!

Register now 06

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Market Intelligence Report The information below was extracted from data available as at 09 February 2015. By Martin Jansen van Vuuren of Grant Thornton.


The latest available data from Statistics South Africa is for January to March 2014: UK

Current period

Change over same period last year

133 455


97 507


Germany USA

81 419



24 556


42 292


737 374


China Overseas Arrivals (excl same day visitors) African Arrivals

1 842 630


Total Foreign Arrivals

2 583 034


NB: African Arrivals plus Overseas Arrivals do not add up to Total Foreign Arrivals due to the exclusion of unspecified arrivals, which cannot be allocated to either African or Overseas.


Current period

Average Room Occupancy (ARO)

Average Room Rate (ARR)

Revenue Per Available Room (RevPAR)

All Hotels in SA


R 1 000

R 620

All 5-star hotels in SA


R 1 760

R 1 085

All 4-star hotels in SA


R 952

R 577

All 3-star hotels in SA


R 814

R 515

Change over same period last year All Hotels in SA




All 5-star hotels in SA




All 4-star hotels in SA




All 3-star hotels in SA





The latest available data from ACSA is for January to December 2014: Change over same period last year Passengers arriving on International Flights

Passengers arriving on Regional Flights

Passengers arriving on Domestic Flights

OR Tambo International




Cape Town International




King Shaka International




CAR RENTAL DATA The latest available data from SAVRALA is for January to November 2014: Current period Industry rental days Industry utilisation Industry Average daily revenue

Change over same period last year

14 608 345







Foreign arrival data from Statistics South Africa is still not available. Data from ACSA for the full 2014 year indicates that passengers arriving on international flights increased marginally for OR Tambo, while Cape Town International and King Shaka International experienced strong growth. Growth of passengers arriving on domestic flights were subdued for all airports. Data comparing the passenger arrivals for December 2013 with December 2014 indicate that OR Tambo and King Shaka International experienced either negative or subdued growth, while Cape Town International experienced better growth, particularly from passengers arriving on regional flights (up 13.8%). Updated date from SAVRALA indicate that the car rental industry’s utilisation decreased during January to November 2014. 08

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For more information contact Martin at Grant Thornton on +27 (0)21 417 8838 or visit:

The latest available data from STR Global is for January to October 2014:


14 routes 6 cities a whole lot of flying When your customers want to go places, kulula is the airline to take them there. O.R. Tambo |

Lanseria |

Durbs |

Cape Town |

George |

East London

FEBRUARY 2015 30444_Trade_279x216.indd 1

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2014/09/17 10:09 AM


The importance of Credibility in Tourism 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 reassurances? It’s all about credibility, writes Des Langkilde. By definition, the word Credibility relates to the quality of being believable or worthy of trust. The wise words of Lord Alfred Tennyson (Poet Laureate of Great Britain and Ireland) “Trust me not at all, or all in all,” may have been acceptable reassurance back in the 1800s, but against the backdrop of tourist scams, free vacation email solicitations and dubious business ethics that have blighted the 21st century, such platitudes provide scant reassurance to wary travellers. So how does one attain the elusive quality of being worthy of trust?

WORD-OF-MOUTH REFERRALS Clearly, the longer that a tourism service provider stays in business and provides quality services to satisfied clients, the more likelihood there is that these past clients will refer them to friends and family. It’s not that easy for new start-up companies though, who still have to prove their integrity and attain critical mass for referrals. According to Tripadvisor, an astounding 90% of travellers trust trust people they know, while only 60% trust traditional advertising, according to Pomegranate.

TRADE REFERRALS For start-up companies, getting trade referrals is even harder. Anyone who has exhibited at a trade show for the first time will have experienced the hosted, but somewhat elusive, buyers flashing past their stand as they make a bee line for a competitors stand, with whom they have probably done business over many years, and consequently tested their credentials and trust at the coal face. Of course, the ‘Speed Marketing Session’ initiatives launched by trade show organisers like South African Tourism’s Indaba in Durban over the past few years has afforded an opportunity for SMME’s to showcase their product and services to hosted buyers, but it still comes down to the question of trust. As the old adage goes “Better the devil you know, than the devil you don’t know.”

TESTIMONIALS Letters of thanks and gratitude from past clients are always a marketable asset and are often used on tourism service provider’s websites as testimony to the company’s product or service. 10

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As with reviews however, what is lacking is the readers relationship to, and hence level of trust with, the person providing the testimonial. For obvious reasons of privacy, few, if any of these testimonials give the clients email address or contact numbers for ratification.

REVIEWS In her article ‘4 Reasons to Use Online Marketing in the Tourism Industry’ Chevaun Herholdt of digital marketing agency ‘red & yellow’ points to Tripadvisor research, which indicates that 87% of travellers in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa say that reviews influence them in choosing where to book. On the other side, even more hoteliers (96%) say that reviews influence how many bookings they get. People trust their peers much more than they trust companies themselves (90% trust people they know, while only 60% trust traditional advertising, according to Pomegranate). With the growing inter connectedness of the world and advances in transportation and communication, more and more people are travelling as independent tourists, putting together their own itineraries and activities from information researched from social media. However, many reviewers post reviews without validation, leading to the explosive growth of reviews and the proliferation of uninformative, biased or even false information. This makes it very challenging for travellers to find credible reviews. In a research paper titled ‘Quantifying Reviewer Credibility in Online Tourism’, prepared by the Hong Kong Polytechnic University in China, the authors presents a method that quantifies the credibility of reviewers in TripAdvisor, by proposing an Impact Index to measure reviewer credibility through evaluating the expertise and trustworthiness based on the number of reviews posted by the reviewer and the number of helpful votes received by the reviews. Of course some TripAdvisor reviewers are more credible than others. For example, look at Tourism Tattler’s review contributions here. Looking at repeat business from clients whose trust has been earned, TripAdvisor’s ‘TripBarometer September 2014 South Africa: The Psychology of Travel’ info-graphic reveals that only 48% of properties with a 74%+ repeat guest rate tend to build lasting post stay relationships.


SOCIAL MEDIA & BLOGS According to study on the Credibility of Blogs in Tourism by the School of Business Economics at the College of Charleston in the USA, blogs (whether personal or corporate) were perceived to be significantly less trustworthy than traditional word of mouth among survey participants across the board. Interestingly though, the findings also indicated that participants attributed levels of authoritativeness to corporate blogs as they do traditional word of mouth. So, while traditional word of mouth may have the biggest impact on consumers due its high overall credibility, there may be room to promote one’s product effectively using corporate blogs as well. One instance in which the use of corporate blogs might be particularly useful to marketers is when complaints in the form of travel blogs make their way into the blogosphere.

the TGCSA has created a globally recognised and credible quality assurance body for tourism products throughout South Africa. Of the nine main types of establishments that travellers can choose from – namely Hotels, Lodges, Bed & Breakfasts, Country Houses, Guest Houses, Self Catering Units, Caravan & Camping Parks, Backpackers & Hostelling facilities as well as Meetings, Exhibitions and Special Events (MESE) venues – those establishments that have been graded by one of TGCSA’s Accredited Grading Assessors are entitled to clearly display the Star Graded insignia. Simply put, if a hospitality establishment bears a TGCSA star plaque and certificate, tourists can expect outstanding quality and service excellence, appropriate to the star level displayed.



Getting down to the crux of the matter, true business credibility can only really be assured by having a trusted third party certify to the fact that: • your company is a legally registered business entity in its country of operation; • your trading name is unique and trade-mark registered as such; • your financial and tax affairs are in order; • you have appropriate, and adequate, insurance cover in place; • you have a financial guarantee in place to reimburse your clients deposits in event of the involuntary liquidation of your company; • you have agreed to abide by a code of conduct relating to best business practices.

The Tourism Grading Council of South Africa (TGCSA) operates as a business unit of South African Tourism. Over the past 15 years,

The Southern African Tourism Services Association (SATSA) has been doing exactly that since 1969.

AWARDS Travel awards abound in the tourism trade. From the Oscars of the travel industry, the World Travel Awards to the coveted Safari Awards (now in its eighth year), and South Africa’s home grown Lilizela Tourism Awards, which includes the ‘Emerging Tourism Entrepreneur of the Year’ (ETEYA) and Welcome Awards, being listed as a finalist and ultimately as a winner in a specific tourism category does add to the recipient’s credibility.

The Mark of Quality Tourism The SATSA logo is your assurance of credible hospitality, transport and affiliated tourism service providers, who comply with a strict code of business practice and ethics. Booking with a SATSA member ensures a top quality holiday and peace of mind. * Subject to Terms & Conditions

To find a member visit for more information or call +27 (0)11 886 9996 or email FEBRUARY 2015

Tourism Tattler Trade Journal



Shark Research

Whale Coast Conservation's innovative public participation programme, asks holiday-makers and students to collect shark egg cases found along the Cape Whale Coast beaches and rocky coastline to assist in research, writes Des Langkilde. While visiting the Cape Whale Coast region of South Africa's Western Province during December 2014 (see our destination feature article here), I came across the poster shown at right displayed at Grotto Beach in Hermanus. Intrigued, I registered as a volunteer on the Whale Coast Conservation website, and started searching for egg cases. Believe me, it's no easy task as the egg cases are not easily discernible among the flotsam of kelp and sea weed, But I did manage to find few, and duly submitted my find using their downloadable submission form. The project, where egg cases are collected on beaches and recorded in a survey, hopes to build up a database for the entire coastline in the Whale Coast region. Only about 25% of all sharks lay eggs. This is called ovipary. The embryo (baby shark) grows inside an egg case and has a yolk sac off which it feeds. The egg case is leathery and protects the embryo while it grows. Often there are tendrils (or hooks) on the ends, which anchor the egg case onto rocks or marine plants. Some egg cases have been found to be linked to an adult shark but there are others that conservationists are still uncertain of. When the embryo is fully grown, the ‘baby’ shark hatches and comes out of the egg case. The case mostly dislodges and often washes out of the water. If an egg case is found on a beach, it means that the adult that shed that egg must be in the water next to that beach. After keeping a lookout for shark egg cases for some years, it seemed to Whale Coast Conservation researchers that there are more egg cases on the beach at different times of the year. To test this, egg cases are collected regularly every two weeks at three different beaches and the numbers are recorded. This will be continued for two years at least to determine if there really is a pattern to the collection data. After five months of collecting it seems that some shark case numbers have remained constant whereas others have shown a spike in numbers during the autumn months. It is too soon to really tell but this may mean that these sharks have a identifiable breeding season or that the numbers of egg cases on the beach is correlated to stormy weather, rough seas and strong winds. Whale Coast Conservation will continue to monitor this in search of answers. 12

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Tourism Tattler Trade Journal


Fast facts about Das Boot Skou 2015:


• South Coast Tourism and African Dive Adventures were the only South African companies exhibiting and networking at the show; • 235 000 visitors from 60 countries; • 16 Themed areas; • 1 623 exhibitors from 60 different countries ; • 213 000 square metres of exhibition space; • 17 exhibition halls with bus transport between halls; • Taking it to the next level: live waterskiiing & windsurfing demos; indoor scuba diving; wind machine propelled yacht racing; • Marketed as the ultimate 3600 water sports experience.

South Coast Tourism tests the German waters Beulah and Roland Mauz of African Dive Adventures met with South Coast Tourism’s CEO Mr Justin Mackrory, to join them at the Das Boot Skou held in Dusseldorf, Germany from 17-25 January. And this proved to be no ordinary consumer show, writes Nikki Tilley. The reason behind African Dive Adventures involvement in Das Boot Skou is that the German market has proven, year on year, to be the strongest long haul country visiting South Africa for the purpose of diving, and primarily with sharks. It is well known that both Aliwal Shoal and Protea Banks on the KwaZulu-Natal South Coast are recognized as two of the top ten shark dive sites in the world. Always looking outwards, both nationally and internationally, towards attracting business from various niche markets, and especially focusing first and foremost on those markets that the South Coast is well known for, such as oceanic activities, it seemed a perfect match and reason for South Coast Tourism to attend this show. Added reinforcement that this would be money well spent was the fact that African Dive Adventures was exhibiting for the 5th year in succession. Das Boot is certainly the most impressive and constructive expo I have ever attended. I have come back home to South Coast Tourism armed with highly valuable knowledge and a far deeper understanding of the German market. In addition to this we have some very solid leads and business commitments – we are already hosting a documentary company which broadcasts on over 42 channels online and have many others in the pipeline which include product shoots, travel documentaries, magazine and online exposure and a combination of some rather creative ideas put together to market our destination at very low cost. It is certainly very interesting to see what the German (and European markets) are seeking and how there is a constant shift in experiences that they are looking for. According to many experts, South Africa is now the flavour of the month and is expected to see an increased number of visitors

over the next three years. Aligned to this is also the optimism from other exhibitors to export their goods to South Africa. This naturally opens up many economic business opportunities for South Africans involved in the outdoor and oceanic lines of business. And further exciting meetings took place which are hopefully going to see some very unique legacy projects take place on the South Coast, given its 365 days a year climate and its diverse landscape. So with all of this positive feedback from the European market, now more than ever is the time to make use of the exchange rate and market South Africa. Both South Coast Tourism and African Dive Adventures spent a considerable amount of time marketing South Africa as a whole and advised travellers of possible itineraries, which also included areas outside of the KwaZulu-Natal South Coast region. It’s a win-win for everyone and more South African presence at a show like this will most certainly have an increased impact on interested travellers. And that’s not all – given the success of this show, South Coast Tourism is now looking at attending the Euro Bike Exhibition in August this year, which will be held in Friedrichshafen, Germany. Over 46,300 trade visitors from 111 countries attend, along with 21,100 bike fans and over 1800 journalists from 46 countries. So having tested the German (and European) waters, it’s certainly time to look beyond the horizon of the `local bread and butter market’ and sail the open seas. For more information contact South Coast Tourism Events and Marketing specialist Nikki Tilley on +27 (0)39 682 7944 or email FEBRUARY 2015

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Property Reveiw

Grootbos Private Nature Reserve

GPS Coordinates: 34°25'S 19°20'E

In South Africa there are ample hospitality establishments who provide 5-star accommodation combined with matching cuisine, but very few who excel in catering to all 6 experiential senses, namely sight, smell, taste, touch, hear and spirit. Grootbos Private Nature Reserve is most definitely one of the latter, writes Des Langkilde. If nature, in all its diversity and wonder, is sufficient unto itself in terms of eliciting the intellectual and emotional responses associated with spiritual experience, then Grootbos Private Nature Reserve has successfully capitalised on this 6th sense with unobtrusive style. Nestled in ancient Milkweed forests on the slope of a 2 500 hectare botanical treasure trove between mountain and sea, each of the two lodges and 25 suites are strategically placed to provide guests with privacy and uninterupted panoramic views over Walker Bay to De Kelders and Gansbaai. Located between Stanford and Gansbaai, just off the R44 Cape Whale Route in South Africa’s Western Province, and a two hour drive from Cape Town, I arrived to checkin at Forest Lodge on a typically sunny Monday afternoon. Leaving my overnight bag in the boot of the car, I approached the reception desk expecting to endure the usual check-in procedure. To my surprise I was welcomed by name and ushered through to the dining room for lunch and a refreshing cocktail comprised of ginger ale with crushed lemon, lime and mint. Forest Lodge is an architectural masterpiece that blends unobtrusively into the surrounding Milkwood and Fynbos terrain, with its low profile cantilevered roof that allow the windows to extend from floor to ceiling and provides a scence of spaciousness that enhances the panoramic views. This lodge originally had a thatch roof and I recall

the wild fire that razed the lodge and three of its rooms in February 2006 when I was still the Marketing Director for SATIB insurance brokers, and had just placed Grootbos under cover that month. Unbelievably, the lodge, the three burnt suites and six new suites were simultaneously reopened just seven months later.

Fine Dining But I digress. I shall try my best to describe the experience that guests can expect, but words fail me, which is quite a statement coming from a travel writer. Let’s start with the cuisine, which is at the heart of any hospitality establishment and best of all, is included in your board. Grootbos boasts two outstanding restaurants (one at Forest Lodge and the other at Garden Lodge), as well as a selection of amazing venues for special occasions. This is where executive Chef Benjamin Conradie and his extensive team reign supreme, and create contemporary world-class dishes prepared with organic ingredients produced by Grootbos’s ‘Growing the Future’ food production and social upliftment project (see our Responsible Tourism feature on pages 00-00 in this edition). Breakfasts are a casual, buffet style affair with a delectable spread of fresh fruit, yoghurt, grains, cereals, pastries, cheese board and a menu for hot English style breakfasts. Lunch is a three-course menu that can be enjoyed either in the dining room or outdoors on the sundeck overlooking the spectacular views. One should take care however to leave space for the gastronomical five-course dinner, which is reinvented daily and paired with a wine menu selected from local cellars that reflect the essence of the Cape region and its people. Special dietary requirements are catered for as is more simple fare for children.

Accommodation Garden Lodge, which is constructed from stone, thatch and timber, is ideal for families and provides a range of 11 classic, luxury and two bedroom freestanding suites, each positioned to offer privacy. Below the lodge are horse stables and an outdoor play area with rabbits, ducks and other farm animals to provide children with hours of entertainment and facilitated educational activities. Forest Lodge, where I stayed in unit 28, has 16 freestanding luxury suites interconnected with cobbled pathways set beneath the forest canopy. Each suite is stylishly furnished to provide a blend of 16

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aesthetic beauty with supreme comfort. A cosy lounge with fireplace and ample wood provided, a small but well stocked kitchen with bar fridge, luxurious canopy beds and spacious bathrooms make this the ultimate getaway for total relaxation. Large glass doors flood the space with natural light and open out onto a spacious wooden deck perched over the forest canopy, with an outdoor shower. Despite the perfect comfort and elegance, the panoramic views of mountain and sea steal the show and humble the extravagant luxury of the suite. WiFi is complimentary and connects using the guests room number without the need for tedious password authorisation. The most exclusive offering in the Grootbos portfolio, and quite possibly one of the most exclusive offerings in the whole of South Africa, is the 1000 square meter Villa, which consists of six elegant suites accommodating up to 12 guests and comes complete with its own private guide, chef and butler.

Service In hospitality, service is the de facto differentiator that separates the wheat from the chaff, and Grootbos definitely takes the cake in this regard. For example, while dining with Forest Lodge’s general manager Sean Ingles, I happened in conversation to mention my passion for cigars. On arriving back at my suite after dinner, a Montecristo of Havanna, Cuba cigar lay presented on the lounge table complete with ashtray, clipper, matches and a personalised complimentary card. Now that’s what I call service with attention to detail!

Activities and Excursions This is where the 6th sense analogy that I used to introduce this feature comes into play. I can well imagine that when the Lutzeyer family purchased the original farm in 1991, they must have felt

the spiritual connection that the land imbues through its incredible biodiversity. Respect and appreciation of the environment are too readily dismissed as elitist affectations, whereas they underpin our physical and spiritual wellbeing. The friendly and knowledgeable guides take pride in sharing their love for nature and the outdoors, and they know Grootbos and its surrounds like the palm of their hand and display an eagerness to share it’s many secrets with guests. Their humorous commentary and intriguing tales aim to convey science and history through stories that bring the landscape to life. Coming from different backgrounds, cultures and schooling, each guide adds an individual quality and flair to the Grootbos experience - a personal touch and friendliness beyond mere service. For example, my guide Jo De Villiers explains that of the 9 250 species of flowering plants to be found in the Cape Floristic Region, 760 species are found within Grootbos, of which six are totally new to science, having been discovered by their own botanist, Sean Privett, and found only in this particular part of the reserve. While all guided adventures are limited to Grootbos guests, there are a host of adventure and scenic guided tours on offer, including whale watching, shark cage diving, beach and cave tours, horse riding, bird watching, scenic flights and quad biking to name but a few. In conclusion, I have come to realise that Grootbos Private Nature Reserve has so much to offer discerning guests, that one night in paradise is insufficient to truly appreciate this gem of biodiversity and I shall have to return. A sentiment that I am sure every departing guest has made no matter how long they have stayed. For more information visit

+27 (0)28 384 1774 | | FEBRUARY 2015

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REQUISITE #1: OFFER & ACCEPTANCE TELEPHONE ENQUIRIES Let’s look at each medium of enquiry alluded to in Part 6 of this series and suggest a ‘best business practice’ for each. Let’s start with a TELEPHONE ENQUIRY: My advice is that you confirm the telephone conversation via e-mail. Most people nowadays have an e-mail address and if it is a new customer, simply ask them for their e-mail address and type up the content of your discussion whilst talking or immediately afterwards. There will be a very strong presumption that it is correct if the customer does not dispute (any of) it. The further benefit of doing this is that, if your e-mail has the ‘correct’ ‘signing off’ wording, the offer extended by you via e-mail and the ultimate acceptance will incorporate your standard terms and conditions (‘STC’). The case of Lambons v BMW (1997 SCA) was about a visit by BMW to Lambon’s business premises and his allegation that he was appointed 3 days later as a dealer during a telephone conversation (call from) with BMW. The court found that the telephone conversation was unlikely to have constituted such an agreement inter alia because there were too many outstanding issues such as the area. Lambons should have known there could only be a binding agreement once all the outstanding issues had been agreed upon. E-MAILS & WEBSITES The second medium alluded to is E-MAIL: by definition the comments in the previous paragraph will apply to such communication. Last year (November 2014 – Spring Forest v Wilberry: SCA) it was confirmed that an agreement concluded via (exchange of) e-mail is binding and that a type –written name comprises a signature. This applies as well to an exchange of Short Message System (‘SMS’) as was suggested a couple of years ago in a judgment in the Labour Court (Jafta v Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife) Thirdly enquires via your WEBSITE: it is imperative not only that your website contains your STC but also that your IT people set up your website in such a manner that it works on the ‘click and accept’ principle i.e. a customer cannot proceed to peruse your website or at 18

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In Part 1 (page 36 - August 2014), I categorised risk into five categories, namely; 1. PEOPLE, 2. MONEY, 3. LAW, 4. SERVICE and 5. ECOLOGY. I will be dealing with the risk profile of each, i.e. broadly speaking the areas of risk that any business is exposed to can been allocated under these five categories. In Part 2, (page 22 - September 2014), I covered the category of 'People' under four sub-categories: Staff (discussed in Part 1); Third party service providers (‘TPSP’); and Business Associates. Part 3 (page 24 - October 2014), continued with 'PEOPLE' as Customers. Part 4 (page 27 - November 2014), started the discussion on the 2nd category, namely 'MONEY' in terms of CASH and CHEQUES. Part 5 (page 23 - December 2014), looked at CREDIT and CREDIT CARDS. Part 6 (page 25 - January 2015), looked at LAW and CONTRACTS, with an introduction and Requisite #1: Offer & Acceptance. In this issue we continue with Requisite #1 in terms of the medium of enquiry as it relates to offers and acceptances in contracts.

least make a booking until he or she has accepted to have read and be bound by your STC. Ideally you should have some form of audit trail as well. ONE-ON-ONE ENQUIRIES & ADVERTISING The fourth type of enquiry alluded to is the OFF-THE-STREET or CASUAL ENQUIRY: very few businesses deal with these effectively. It is imperative that such customer must sign and accept your STC as well. This can be done by means of a business application form which captures all the customer details, serves as a marketing tool and also contains your STC without it being ‘in your face’ (Provided such wording meets the requirements of the CPA). Remember if the customer leaves your offices with a written or verbal offer which does not incorporate your STC, it is very difficult if not impossible to later ‘import’ the STC into the booking (More about such ‘implied terms’ in later articles). You should also bear in mind that, in my experience, 90% of your problems come from 10% of your bookings and the majority of that 10% usually has NO contract and is therefore in terms of common law! A very important principle should be borne in mind: if the customer does not accept your offer but reverts with a totally different proposal or qualified offer (assuming there has been no misunderstanding), this will constitute a COUNTER-OFFER and the whole process will start afresh, i.e. you can reject or accept this counter-offer of the customer. ADVERTISING is an interesting area of law and has been held to constitute an invitation to the public to make an offer and as not constituting an offer as such. However I believe the CPA has changed that and it applies from the very first ‘interaction’ between the supplier and the consumer (the CTP) which in most cases is some form of advertising – accordingly it is imperative that all forms of advertising should comply with the CPA and incorporate reference to your STC. Disclaimer: This article is intended to provide a brief overview of legal matters pertaining to the travel and tourism industry and is not intended as legal advice. © Adv Louis Nel, 'Louis The Lawyer', February 2015.



Trends to Boost Hotel Marketing in 2015 At the beginning of every year, many experts offer their list of industry forecasts for the year ahead. In the hotel industry in particular, most prediction articles neglect to mention how hoteliers should actually implement these trends at their properties. After all, figuring out how to make a trend work for you can often be the hardest part of innovation, writes RJ Friedlander. Here are the trends that hoteliers are most likely to experience this year, along with some strategies for implementing them most effectively. Mobile Travellers Require Mobile-Friendly Services Today, almost everybody has a smartphone or tablet; whether they use it for reading the next best-seller or chatting with friends on Facebook, we will see that these devices will become even more critical for hoteliers to consider in 2015. Unlike previous generations, Millennials (those who reached young adulthood around the year 2000) are “mobile-first” travel consumers who rely heavily on their mobile while travelling. In order to make your property more appealing to Millennials, it is important that you think beyond just mobile bookings. Some other key tech elements that you should implement at your property include: • Free high-speed Wi-Fi throughout the property. • Option to checkout via tablets in the front lobby. • Device charging docks in all of the common areas. • Music players that will work with both Apple and Android devices. • Online concierge service with local info, attractions, etc. • Smart TVs, which allow streaming from a guests’ various online accounts for TV, movies, music, etc. All of these options provide self-service options for those who would prefer to do everything online from their collection of smartphones, tablets and laptops, and will help your hotel increase popularity with this growing demographic. Optimise Big Data, Online & On-Site The proliferation of big data runs the risk of overwhelming hoteliers, but managed correctly, it can unlock the door to highly personalized experiences for guests and better operations for hoteliers – both online and on-site. Hotels need to find ways to harness the power of data to find meaningful insight into traveller behaviour and likes/dislikes to make decisions that decrease costs, drive greater guest satisfaction and increase revenue. What is especially critical is to find a way to leverage the most valuable Guest Intelligence in conjunction with your existing technology systems (CRM, PMS, Business Intelligence). Analyse online semantic data (the language used by guests in online reviews) to help you identify how guests feel about the overall condition of your hotel’s resources and the ROI of budgets for separate departments. Guest satisfaction data is also no longer limited to online reviews. Harvest even more feedback by creating custom online guest

satisfaction surveys that allow your hotel to ask guests specific questions about different elements of their experience at your hotel. Find out more about how your hotel can implement guest satisfaction surveys. Use an online reputation management tool that analyses reviews from all sources (there are more than 140) in all languages, that is user-friendly (to maximize staff engagement) and that offers an open platform (API access that can connect to your property’s current internal technological platforms/systems) to enable accessing and managing all online reviews, comments, ratings and direct guest survey results in one integrated platform. Bring Offline Services Online Social media is rapidly becoming the number one channel for customer service. Since the explosion of smart phones and tablets, communication with consumers has evolved into an open online dialogue – real-time streams of conversation that are visible to anyone, anywhere. Correctly handled, conversations between guests and brands can instil a positive impression in casually browsing travellers. Discuss how your hotel marketing team should respond to requests and comments to transform Twitter into a customer service channel. Set up alerts to automatically monitor mentions of your hotel online across all major channels. You can also make the process of reviews more proactive by automatically sending customized guest satisfaction surveys – which might have once gathered dust in the hotel room – to guests as a post-stay email to gain valuable insight into how you can improve guests’ experiences in very specific areas. Visualize Your Brand Message on Social Media In 2015, increase the use of visual media – especially videos and vivid imagery – on your website and social media. The brain recognizes visual content 60,000 times faster than text and the most innovative global hotel brands are already harnessing cognitive stimuli, known as neuro-marketing, to connect with travellers on a more emotional, instinctual level. This includes encouraging guests to generate visual, earned content as part of your marketing campaign. For more information visit About the author: RJ Friedlander is the CEO of ReviewPro – a leading provider of Guest Intelligence solutions to independent hotel brands worldwide. The company’s suite of cloud-based solutions includes Online Reputation Management (ORM) and Guest Survey Solution (GSS), which enable hoteliers to obtain deeper insight into operational and service strengths and weaknesses, increasing guest satisfaction, review volume and driving revenue. FEBRUARY 2015

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Tourism Challenges in the New Year – Part 2 –

Last month, Dr. Peter Tarlow explored some of the challenges that lie ahead for the world of tourism in 2015. Among the issues that we looked at were the question of security, health, issues of policing a few of the economic issues facing the world of tourism and customer service challenges. This month's article exams some of the other issues that may impact the world of tourism during 2015. It also looks at the evolving and ever-worsening terror situation in Europe. Tourism officials, like it or not, are going to have to confront Europe’s unravelling. The recent terrorist attacks in France along with major police raids in Belgium, the Netherlands, Greece, and the United Kingdom combined with the Euro zone’s ever increasing economic problems will present tourism’s leadership with new challenges. It would be a major mistake for tourism’s leadership that mere rallies will solve what is an endemic problem within Europe. The potential for spill over into the American and African nations is ever present. Attacks on key tourism centres such as airports, train stations and major attractions may have a profound impact on tourism. Europe’s economic problems may result not only in fewer Europeans being able to afford to take vacations outside of their region, but its deflation may hurt tourism on a world wide basis.


Here are some of the other 2015 issues about which tourism and travel leaders need to be aware:


Visas may become a hot issue. There was a time when Europe was not seen as a terrorist threat. As Europe’s demographics have changed, so have opinions regarding visas. If visa restrictions become the norm, the tourism industry will face a threat around the world that it long thought was a thing of the past. 20

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Airlines have become the business that travellers love to hate. With the merger of airlines around the world tourism leaders can expect higher costs and a continual downgrading of services. Not only have airline costs continued to rise, but also there are fewer flights to fewer places. Both Europe and the US suffer from airline personnel who simply do not seem to care. The cost of an airline ticket is now merely an approximation as the ticket only buys the most basic of services and then passenger is asked to pay for additional fees for almost everything else. The cost of airline travel is perhaps less of a challenge to the tourism industry than is the lack of comfort, and hassles that travellers are forced to endure. Few airports around the world can handle super-sized aircraft that can bring well over 300 people to an airport at one time. These larger aircraft mean higher probabilities of lost luggage, great lines by which to pass through a nation’s customs and immigration procedures and higher levels of traveller frustration and anger. Pay attention to alternative transportation modes. Due to problems in the airline industry an eve-increasing number of travellers are seeking alternative forms of transportation. Expect to see more people travelling by car, rail, and if the cruise industry can control on board illness and publicity disasters, then higher usage of sea transportation. These transportation changes will have beneficial


effects on small communities’ tourism products. Rural tourism may greatly benefit from these changes. In order to benefit however, small towns and rural areas will need to think through their tourism product. Issues as to what to do at night or what to do during inclement weather must be addressed. These communities will also need to create regional rather than local tourism products. On the other hand, those tourism locations that are airplane dependents will need to create hospitality centres that compensate for the hassle of airline travel.

status as premier destinations. Some of the new and fast growing markets are the religious tourism market, the farm-vacation market, the history seeking market, and the travel and food market. The key to niche marketing is to find something unique about a specific community, brand it and publicize to the demographic that may fit into the niche. For example, educational tourism should continue to be an important tourism product both on cruise ships and at places with educational centres whose faculty is willing to become part of the leisure industry.



The travel and tourism industry will continue to see a wide demographic spread and determine how it will cater to these different demographic groupings. The baby boom generation (people born between 1946-1959) is now hitting retirement age. These people will have the leisure time to travel, tend to deal poorly with hassles and are prone to seek alternatives to what they consider to be unnecessary or unfair travel difficulties. Both in Europe and in the US this age group may look to alternatives means of transportation, such as road trips and rail. Furthermore, many of these people have children who are living far from where they live and may use travel as means to connect with grandchildren rather than merely to explore. At the other end of the spectrum, is the now growing youth travel. These are people who seek economy over comfort and look for adventure rather than five star luxury. The growth of this market will be especially important for places offering adventure tourism.

Business travellers will expect more from hotels and transportation companies. Business travellers around the world expect free internet and wi-fi services. Many business travellers now use some form of tablet rather than a laptop computer. These people need access to free printing via the Internet, flexible check-in and check-out times and dining options that are both affordable and varied. Travellers will continue to seek healthy food options and increased after work opportunities. Many business travellers also travel with family members and seek not only to combine business with pleasure but in the case of single fathers or mothers, need to bring their children with them. Tourism centres must adjust to the travelling single father. These men who either have partial or full custody of their children and seek services such as bonded baby sitters, playrooms and rest room with places to change diapers.


ECONOMIC DEFLATION Most of us have been raised with the fear of inflation, but a review of the world’s chronic unemployment or under-employment, poor economy despite world governments’ statistical games can be as dangerous or even more dangerous than inflation. Low interest rates are especially hard on the retiring baby boomers who are dependent on fixed incomes. Deflation at first seems great but as consumers hold back from making purchases in the belief that tomorrow things will only be cheaper, the potential for economic chaos, especially in industries that are based on discretionary income such as tourism, becomes greater.

New opportunities for alternative or niche travel experiences are everywhere. Many legacy destinations will have to compete with new travel experiences. A new generation will seek combination tourism in which it can mix business with pleasure, short-term vacations, that embrace long weekends, and boutique tourism experiences that are out of the ordinary. Many of the legacy destinations will suffer from the “been-there-done-that” syndrome and will have to offer more conveniences or tourism opportunities if they are to keep their

About the Author: Dr. Peter E. Tarlow is the President of T&M, a founder of the Texas chapter of TTRA and a popular author and speaker on tourism. Tarlow is a specialist in the areas of sociology of tourism, economic development, tourism safety and security. Tarlow speaks at governors' and state conferences on tourism and conducts seminars throughout the world and for numerous agencies and universities. For more information visit or to subscribe to his 'Tourism Tidbits' newsletter email FEBRUARY 2015

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Apply Responsible Tourism Practices

The benefits derived from responsible tourism practices are well documented, but in practice the implementation of these principles can be a nightmare for the uninitiated. In this article Des Langkilde looks at how Responsible Tourism practices can be implemented.


Tourism Tattler Trade Journal



Being a responsible tourism product and service provider includes a lot more than merely conducting your own business in a responsible and ethical manner. Ethically based tourism is categorised into several terms, so before we get into this article, it’s probably best to look at a definition of each. The table below has been extracted with acknowledgement to the Centre for Responsible Travel (CREST): CATEGORY DEFINITION Ecotourism

Responsible travel to natural areas that conserves the environment and improves the welfare of local people.4


Tourism that sustains or enhances the geographical character of a place – its environment, heritage, aesthetics, and culture and the well-being of its residents.5

Pro-Poor Tourism

Tourism that results in increased net benefit for the poor people in a destination.6

Responsible Tourism

Tourism that maximizes the benefits to local communities, minimizes negative social or environmental impacts, and helps local people conserve fragile cultures and habitats or species.7

Sustainable Tourism

Tourism that takes full account of its current and future economic, social and environmental impacts, addressing the needs of visitors, the industry, the environment and host communities. Sustainable tourism development guidelines and management practices are applicable to all forms of tourism in all types of destinations, including mass tourism and the various niche tourism segments.8

Ethical Tourism

Tourism in a destination where ethical issues are the key driver, e.g. social injustice, human rights, animal welfare, or the environment.9

Source: 4The International Ecotourism Society (TIES). 5National Geographic. Center for Sustainable Destinations. 6Pro-Poor Tourism. 7Cape Town Declaration on Responsible Tourism. 8World Tourism Organization (UNWTO). 9Institute for Tourism.

Responsible Tourism Trends and Statistics According research conducted by CREST (downloadable here), there is strong evidence that responsible tourism contributes to the bottom line of both businesses and destinations, and the opinions of numerous experts, backed by surveys and statistics are referred to. The 'Business Case for Responsible Tourism' shows that increasing numbers of businesses are creating environmental departments, adopting environmental and social good practices, seeking certification, and looking at ways to ‘green’ their supply chain. In recent years, increasing attention has been focused on protecting and enhancing environmental and social sustainability within entire tourism destinations, and not simply within individual businesses. Tools for measuring and criteria for certifying ‘green’ destinations are gradually being developed, including by UNWTO, European Union, National Geographic’s Geotourism Program, Ethical Traveler, EarthCheck, Green Globe, and Sustainable Travel International’s STEP program. In November 2013, the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC) released its Criteria for Destinations, (GSTC-D) which represents a common understanding of what constitutes the minimum requirements for a sustainable destination.

Responsible Tourism in South Africa The National Tourism Sector Strategy (NTSS) (downloadable here) calls on the Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism (DEAT) and

other stakeholders to promote Sustainable and Responsible Tourism to make South Africa a tourism destination of choice. In March 2002, the DEAT published the National Responsible Tourism Development Guidelines for South Africa (downloadable here), which was followed up in July 2002 with The Responsible Tourism Manual for South Africa (downloadable here). Both documents aim to provide tourism businesses and community-based tourism enterprises (CBTEs) with information and opportunities that responsible tourism presents for improving business performance. Specific to South Africa, and in line with current international best practice, the authors of the latter document have collected a range of practical and cost-effective responsible actions available to tourism businesses and tourism associations. The manual refers to many useful sources of information and examples of best practice that can help to guide users’ implementation of responsible business activities.

Practical Application of Responsible Tourism Clearly there are numerous exemplary tourism businesses in South Africa who have successfully implemented responsible tourism practices and initiatives. Hotel Verde (see pages 20-21 in the Tourism Tattler June 2013 edition here), Kwandwe Private Game Reserve (see pages 21-25 in the Tourism Tattler September 2013 edition here) and Mdumbi Backpackers (see pages 24-25 in the Tourism Tattler April 2014 edition here) are prime examples, as is Grootbos Private Nature Reserve (featured on pages 0000 in this edition).

Green Futures graduate Viola lectures women in sustainable farming.

Growing the Future graduate Anchelle now facilitates the Food for Sport programme.


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Female participants at the Growing the Future farm on Grootbos.

The Grootbos Foundation

Green Futures

I turned to the Grootbos Foundation to find answers on how to Beginning my introductory tour, we head for the Green Futures implement Responsible Tourism practices. Established in 2003 by the Horticulture and Life Skills College, located within the Grootbos Private Grootbos Private Nature Reserve owners, the Lutzeyer family, with Nature Reserve, and meet Susan Lochner who is the Head of Green the aim of simultaneously protecting the unique Futures. Namibian born and South African raised, In just one year the Grootbos natural environment of the region, and improving Susan has been with the Grootbos Foundation for Foundation has concluded the lives of local communities in a sustainable over 11 years. Educational training is provided to 420 000 hours with sports outreach 8-12 unemployed young adults each year, with the manner, the Grootbos Foundation facilitates three participants, trained 400+ education aim of providing students the skills and confidence integrated programmes: 'Green Futures’ which beneficiaries and qualified focuses on conservation, the ‘Football Foundation’ necessary to market themselves and become 54 graduates, planted 385 which focuses on utilising sport for development, employable, while at the same time contributing indigenous trees, cleared 5 684 ha and ‘Siyakhula’ which focuses on the creation of to the conservation and promotion of the Cape of alien vegetation, and farmed sustainable livelihoods. Whale Coast region’s unique biodiversity.

980 kgs of organic honey, 26 000

I met with Leán Terblanche, whose areas of eggs and 3 tonnes of organic fruit & The fully accredited (AGRISeta) course combines expertise lie in community capacity development, essential life skills, such as personal finance, vegetables. programme design, fundraising and public private business skills, computer literacy, driving and health partnerships. She holds a BA Humanities degree as well as a Post education with knowledge of environmental and conservation issues, Graduate Diploma in Marketing Management obtained at the University and skills of horticulture and landscaping. of Stellenbosch. Along with her co-Director Julie Cheetham, who holds On completion of their course, the students are awarded a nationally a B.Com in Economics from Port Elizabeth University and has 15 years’ (SETA) accredited certificate in horticulture and are assisted in work corporate experience in financial services, consulting and manufacturing placement. Successful students can also apply for a second year of tuition sectors, the executive team manage an equally qualified and experienced in (FGASA) field guiding level 1. team of thirty staff members and 15 international volunteers. Growing plants from cuttings.


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Fresh produce and preserves from the Growing the Future organic farm on Grootbos, is supplied to the lodges.



Ladies hard at work on the farm. “Since inception, we have have graduated over 110 young people, and more than 90% of graduates have found employment on completion of the course. As from this year, we will also provide housekeeping training and certification in association with Lobster Inc” says Susan. Green Futures students also work at the on site Green Futures Nursery, learning to propagate endemic fynbos plants and indigenous trees. The nursery is run as a commercial enterprise and brings in an income for the Foundation. It also has an indigenous landscaping team, offering its services to local municipalities as well as private concerns. In 1999, Grootbos assisted in the creation of the 12 500 hectare Walker Bay Fynbos Conservancy - a collective pooling of resources of Grootbos and its neighbouring landowners to further the conservation of fauna and flora in the area. This inspiring co-operative project won the Iris Darnton Award for International Nature Conservation at the 2001 Whitley Awards in London (read more at Two ongoing projects include Future Trees - a scientifically devised forest rehabilitation project, not merely a tree planting exercise - which has resulted in over 2 250 indigenous trees being planed since 2008, and the Alien Vegetation Project in partnership with the Agulhas Biodiversity Initiative, which employs 61 previously unemployed people from communities in the area, and had cleared over 5 684 hectares of land of exotic invasive trees species in 2013 alone. Last, but not least in Susan’s Green Futures portfolio is Ecological Research, which is spearheaded by Grootbos Reserve’s Conservation Director and Foundation Board Member, Sean Privett. To date, more than 765 species of endemic fynbos have been documented growing here ­­- six of which are newly discovered species, previously unknown to science.

Siyakhula Moving on from Green Futures, Leán transports me across Grootbos Reserve’s private airstrip to the Siyakhula Organic Farm, which is also located within the reserve boundaries. The farm employs a full-time staff of six, and is run as a commercial enterprise to provide an income for Foundation projects - all vegetables, herbs, lettuces, fruit, eggs, honey and preserves produced at this farm are sold to the Grootbos lodges. Established in 2009, the farm initially provided skills development in organic agriculture, sustainable animal husbandry and beekeeping to members from the local community, particularly women. Today, beyond employment and food production, the farm functions as research and experimentation space for the Foundation’s larger food security projects, specifically the innovative ‘Green Box’ home garden system.

The Green Box concept uses urban container gardens, a revolutionary way to grow vegetables in dry areas with poor soil quality. Green Boxes save more than 60 % of water usage and nutrients are not washed from the soil, as with irrigation. Other benefits include up to 60% less fertilisers needed, faster growth rates, higher yields per square meter, no pesticides needed, no runoff of fertilisers or water due to a closed system, no negative environmental impact on biodiversity and the environment and no arable land needed due to soil-less cultivation. Home gardening projects are implemented within the communities in which the Foundation works and use raised beds, Green Boxes and other forms of container gardening and permaculture to improve food security and dietary variety. In addition, the Food for Sport project – a 12 week training programme that combines sport, nutrition and food security – addresses the general low energy levels amongst youth, while teaching school children invaluable lessons in organic food production, nutrition and life skills. Candle making is an enterprise in which Siyakhula excels. With approximately five kilograms of residual wax disposed of by the two Grootbos lodges daily, this project is able to produce 100 to 150 candles, which they can then sell back to the lodges. Each candle produced consists of 50% recycled wax collected from the lodges and 50% new wax, purchased by the Siyakhula programme from a low-cost, wholesale provider. Another promising enterprise is Honey Production. This project has grown from farming with 30 hives to 75, and currently approximately one tonne of honey is produced at Grootbos each year. A new Siyakhula initiative aims to increase honey production to 3 tonnes in the next financial year, and then to develop a range of personal products (e.g. skincare, bath products) containing honey and beeswax. This will employ and develop even more of the local unemployed community. Still in the experimental phase, Oyster mushrooms, highly prized as a culinary delicacy, are grown by students and sold to the kitchen at the Grootbos Lodges at a profit. The eventual aim of this initiative is to increase production and turn the project into a commercial enterprise supplying a number of clients and employing local people. The Foundation is currently seeking funding to erect an on-site greenhouse dedicated to this promising and potentially highly profitable enterprise. And finally, in partnership with ABSA bank, the 'Careers, Employability And Enterprise' Project provides skills training workshops to empower an estimated 900 young people per year to become more employable, FEBRUARY 2015

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Boys from the football for development programme. self-confident and positive about life. A select group of budding young entrepreneurs from the project go on to complete a business development programme focused on small enterprises and entrepreneurship. This programme strives to significantly improve students’ lives in areas such as personal agency, communication, teamwork, financial literacy and employment skills and hopes to strengthen their sense of citizenship.

Football Foundation Last, but by no means least of Grootbos Foundations' responsible tourism initiatives, is their subsidiary Football Foundation of South Africa (FFSA), launched in 2008 with the dual aims of achieving greater social integration in the Gansbaai region and educating and empowering youth, using sports as a vehicle for change. This multiple award winning programme launched in 2008, with the construction of a multipurpose sports facility, including a showpiece, a full-size, third generation (3G) artificial soccer pitch (sponsored by the English Premier League), is situated at the cusp of traditionally segregated black, white and coloured areas of Gansbaai. The Football Foundation runs football, netball, hockey and athletics training sessions in Gansbaai, Stanford, Hermanus and Hout Bay, which engage approximately 2000 youths each week. In addition to these sessions, FFSA also run programmes centered on HIV education, female empowerment, environmental education, nutrition, enterprise development and integration. With this flagship programme, the Foundation aims to uplift communities by empowering individuals through sports programmes, including accredited skills training and leadership opportunities, and simultainously promote education, health, social integration and participation through sports.

Consulting Services The Grootbos Foundation advises and consults to a number of organisations on their Corporate Social Investment initiatives by devising strategies, practices and opportunities around corporate social responsibility and experiential learning to ensure that donors derive maximum value from any partnerships created. The team focuses on designing CSI practices that align with an organisation's commercial, corporate social investment and employee engagement objectives, whilst delivering on the needs and expectations of target beneficiaries. The Foundation consults, engages with and profiles target communities in combination with intensive client consultation to deliver aligned, priority-driven and cost-effective development interventions, with high social returns and targeted sector partnerships. Their collaborative approach strives to be a positive model of how Public Private Partnership 26

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(PPP) can increase productivity, legitimacy and secure long-term success. Community ownership through transparent, legitimate and effective cooperatives is the long-term goal.

Conclusion If I were a lodge owner / general manager, tourist attraction or destination manager looking to apply responsible tourism principles into my business operations, I’d certainly look at tapping into the Grootbos Foundation’s expertise for assistance. As Leán commented when parting company at the end of my guided tour: “We have perfected our responsible tourism initiatives over the past 12 years and learned a lot along the way. Our methods are tried and tested, and the same principles can be applied to integrate within any environment and community, not just within South Africa but anywhere in Africa, or the World for that matter. Our established supplier contacts and strategic partnerships have taken years to develop and we can even make our NGO fundraising facility available to travel trade partners who want to implement their own responsible tourism initiatives.” In conclusion, I leave you with some positive statements from Tourism Minister Derek Hanekom, while commenting on the World Responsible Tourism Awards held during WTM-London in November last year (read more here). “I believe we can do more to educate and activate travel consumers to support responsible tourism. This will accelerate the implementation of responsible tourism principles by destination operators even further,” Hanekom said, while adding that South Africa will look at ways to incentivise the retrofitting of tourism attractions and accommodation facilities. We await the Ministers action on the last statement with bated breath. For more information, contact the Grootbos Foundation on +27 (0)28 384 8048 or email



Crisis Management When crisis strikes, there’s often little warning. In the blink of an eye, an incident such as a road accident, hijacking, kidnap, rape, assault, snake bite or life threatening illness inflicted upon your guests could thrust your business into chaos, writes Des Langkilde.

This is especially true of the tourism industry, where service providers have a ‘legal duty of responsible care’ to their guests. The manner in which an emergency or crisis situation is managed could well mean the difference between being found negligent in the event of a claim for financial damages being instituted against the provider or the guest taking no legal action at all for compensation. The most common reaction to crisis situations is panic, which can best be described as an overwhelming feeling of fear and anxiety, resulting in a distinct inability to make rational decisions. To compound the situation, most emergency contact center staff are trained to react to specific defined events in the context of normal urban infrastructure with little experience or scope to design a response to out of the ordinary crisis situations. To provide a solution to this problem, SATIB Insurance Broker's clients have exclusive access to the SATIB24 Crisis Call service. In the event of an emergency crisis situation occurring, the SATIB client staff member or their appointed sub-contractor involved in the incident, simply contacts the SATIB 24 hour Crisis Call number. On assessment of the situation, SATIB24 will offer immediate advice and support the caller to contain the incident and minimise risk whilst smoothly mobilising the most appropriate response and reassuring the guest and other involved parties. It must be stressed that the SATIB24 Crisis Call service does not seek to replace the police, fire brigade or existing emergency medical services but rather to act as a client centred first call option to contain and manage a crisis situation. The idea is to have a team of experienced professionals who understand you and your unique situation on your side in order to guide you through what can be a very tricky and risky process and give you the best possible chance of coming out the other side with alive, functional and satisfied guests. SATIB24 is not an insurance product that is sold in isolation but rather a Free value-added service that is provided to all SATIB Clients. It is another way that SATIB is seeking to provide real risk solutions to their clients' needs. Emergencies in the tourism industry are a serious problem and SATIB24 Crisis Call provides real help when you need it most. For more information contact visit


Tourism Tattler Trade Journal


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Tourism Tattler Trade Journal


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