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networking receptions for buyers and exhibitors to discuss deals.
How do buyers find out if they are eligible for WTM Buyers’ Club Membership?
Buyers can register at wtmlondon.com/register as a visitor. The application will then be reviewed to see if they qualify for WTM Buyers’ Club status. Buyers will be emailed to confirm their status.
What will the event programme look like at WTM 2013?
There will be sessions on a wide range of sectors including aviation, hotels, social media and responsible tourism. Last year more than 15,000 delegates attended 127 sessions.
Reed Travel Exhibitions, Director, World Travel Market, Simon Press previews WTM 2013. Press discusses WTM’s vital role in facilitating travel industry business and new initiatives at this year’s event.
What will WTM 2013 look like?
WTM 2013 will be the biggest and best yet with three new initiatives taking place. Firstly, the Travel Tech Show at WTM is launched as a travel technology focused event alongside WTM; A Taste of ILTM at WTM will increase the amount of luxury business taking place on the show floor as WTM joins forces with fellow Reed Travel Exhibition’s event International Luxury Travel Market taking place on Monday 4 and Tuesday 5 November; fellow Reed Travel Exhibition’s event Business Travel Market is co-locating at ExCeL – London on Wednesday 6 and Thursday 7 November.
Why must African exhibitors, buyers and visitors attend WTM 2013?
World Travel Market, the leading global event for the travel industry, is the event where the industry conducts its business deals. WTM 2012 will generate a massive £1,8bn ($2.7bn) in business deals for all exhibitors, in contracts signed at the
event or generated from WTM 2012 before WTM 2013, with the industry’s senior buyers from WTM Buyers’ Club. WTM 2013 is poised to facilitate even more business.
How much business can African exhibitors expect to conduct?
African exhibitors can expect to conduct a great deal of business at WTM 2013. Last year WTM experienced a massive 73% increase in buyers attending the event to strike deals with African exhibitors in 2012. An impressive 3,951 buyers attended WTM 2012 with the intention of signing deals with African exhibitors, compared to 2,283 for WTM 2011. We welcome Sao Tome e Principe, Neptune Hotels, Pearlsun Hotels & Resorts and Egyptian Resorts as new exhibitors to this year’s WTM.
REGISTER NOW wtmlondon.com
WTM. Means business 02
Tourism Tattler Trade Journal
Tell me more about WTM Buyers’ Club?
WTM Buyers’ Club - the leading global business network: making contacts, concluding deals - is the original buyers club for the global industry’s senior buyers. For the past 21 years it was called WTM Meridian Club.
What opportunities are there for exhibitors and WTM Buyers’ Club members to negotiate and conduct business at WTM 2013? There is a whole portfolio of business and networking opportunities across the four days of WTM, starting with WTM Speed Networking before the exhibition opens on Monday 4 November. On the final morning there is the Networking Breakfast followed by a second WTM Speed Networking event to initiate post-WTM 2013 deals. Last year 310 buyers and 867 exhibitors started negotiations at WTM Speed Networking events. On the second and third evenings there are informal
WTM Official Premier Partner
“WTM is the event where the travel industry conducts its business deals. WTM 2012’s exhibitors will sign deals with WTM Buyers’ Club (formerly WTM Meridian Club) members worth £1.8bn ($2.7bn). WTM 2013 is poised to facilitate even more business for the industry.”
SIMON PRESS WTM
Where canAfrican visitors register for WTM 2013? Visit wtmlondon.com/register
Where can people interested in attending WTM 2013 get further information?
Visit wtmlondon.com or download the WTM app available on all major smartphones.
WTM Official Media Partner
Contents Issue 8 (August) 2013 PUBLISHER Tourism Tattler (Pty) Ltd. PO Box 891, Umhlanga Rocks, 4320 KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. Company Reg.No.: 2006/015252/07 Website: www.tourismtattler.co.za MANAGING EDITOR Des Langkilde Tel: +27 (0)87 727 8631 Cell: +27 (0)82 374 7260 Fax: +27 (0)86 651 8080 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Skype: tourismtattler EDITOR Marjorie Dean Tel: +27 (0)11 886 9996 Fax: +27 (0)11 886 7557 E-mail: email@example.com Skype: satsa-comms ADVERTISING MANAGER Bev Langkilde Tel: +27 (0)87 727 8643 Fax: +27 (0)86 656 3860 Cell: +27 (0)71 224 9971 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Skype: bevtourismtattler SUBSCRIPTIONS Email: email@example.com Skype: subscribetourismtattler Official Media Partner to:
Competition: 3 Nights in Mozambique
Aviation: Safety Inforgraphic
Business: Traffic Cops vs Tourism
Property Review: Ndumu River Lodge
Marketing: Social Media Marketing
Transport: Mercedes Sprinter Crosses Africa
IN THIS ISSUE
Official Travel Trade Journal of:
The Regional Tourism Organisation of Southern Africa (RETOSA) Tel: +2711 315 2420/1 Fax: +2711 315 2422 Webite: www.retosa.co.za
The Southern Africa Tourism Services Association (SATSA) Tel: +2786 127 2872 Fax: +2711 886 755 Webite: www.satsa.com
National Accommodation Association of South Africa (NAA-SA) Tel: +2786 186 2272 Fax: +2786 225 9858 Website: www.naa-sa.co.za
EDITORIAL 05 From the Editors Desk / Cover Story 06 Article Discussions AVIATION 08 Is flying safer now? BUSINESS 10 SA traffic cops damaging tourism CONSERVATION 12 Rhino Knights Update 13 Experiment with rhinos? COMPETITION 15 Dugong Beach Lodge - Mozambique DESTINATIONS 16 Scotland and Turkey 18 Kenya Rankings ENVIRONMENT 20 Birdlife and wind energy 21 Environmental Tourism Adv. Louis Nel Des Langkilde Beveley Langkilde Fanie van Zyl
Seychelles Hospitality & Tourism Association Tel: +248 432 5560 Fax: +248 422 5718 Website: www.shta.sc
SATSA PROUD SPONSOR
EVENTS 24 RETOSA Events Calendar for August 25 SAACI Convention HOSPITALITY 26 Property Review - Ndumu River Lodge LEGAL 29 ‘POPI’ Act - Part 4 MARKETING 30 Tourism Business Index - South Africa 31 SATSA Market Intelligence Report 32 Social Media Marketing - Part 1 RISK 34 Wildlife mortality insurance NICHE TOURISM 36 Ecotourism TRANSPORT 37 Raw deal for luxury ground transport 38 17 Year old Sprinter’s epic journey
EDITORIAL CONTRIBUTORS Isabel Wolf-Gillespie Marjorie Dean Jason Bell Martin Jansen van Vuuren Julian Freimond Pieter Philipse Kagiso Mosue
MAGAZINE SPONSORS 04 White Shark Projects 02 World Travel Market (London) 07 Mercedes-Benz Commercial Vehicles 04 Avis 07 Kenya Tourism 04 Globe Lotter Tours 29 Savage Jooste & Adams Attorneys 04 Heritage Clothing 33 Kondwana Marketing 04 Neil’s Transfers 35 SATIB Insurance Brokers 04 Sports & Events Tourism Exchange 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.
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From the Editor’s Desk We are now into August, and so far the winter over most of South Africa has been blessedly mild. Many domestic travellers have taken advantage of the weather to take short breaks around the country – which is only good for tourism. In this edition we look at various issues around transport, and their effect on our industry.
not augur well for the future, as, after the huge boost given to the coach fleet by the Soccer World Cup in 2010, these vehicles are now starting to age, and require more and more maintenance to keep them safe and comfortable. However, on the positive side, it’s interesting to read how, with a lot of TLC, a 17-year old Mercedes Sprinter has made an astonishing journey across Africa. (see page 38). We also look at the huge strides made in aviation safety (see page 08) over the past 60 years.
One of the most worrying is the analysis of the havoc wreaked by South Africa’s traffic officers, (see page 10) either through poor training, ignorance of the law, or, unfortunately through the desire to make a quick buck out of the unsuspecting driver. Sadly, one of the easy targets turns out to be the tour vehicle, which requires a fistful of paperwork to operate, and is easy to target.
This will be the last edition of Tourism Tattler on which I act as Editor in my capacity of Communications Officer for SATSA. I shall be leaving SATSA at the end of this month, after eight years, during which time the Tattler has made huge strides, and is now very definitely a 21st century publication. I bid all our readers good bye, and thank all my colleagues at SATSA, and our SATSA members for their assistance and friendship.
Another category of tour vehicles that has its own set of problems is the luxury coach business (see page 37) as costs mount, mainly due to the fall in value of the SA Rand, and tour operators desperately strive to their keep costs to customer down. This does
Yours in tourism, Marjorie
Cover Story When people think of tourism, images of resorts, hotels, golden beaches, historic buildings, markets and much more come to mind. But not many give much thought to the transport that gets them there. Transport of all kinds is a vital, and somewhat unsung, component of tourism. After all, no matter how exciting and beautiful a place is, if you can’t get there comfortably and on time, then your holiday is all but ruined. And transport more than any other sector is subject to huge interference and regulation by governments. One can understand this, as safety of passengers has to be a paramount consideration. But too often, as several of the articles in this issue illustrate, the regulations and legislation go way beyond this, putting a crippling amount of red tape as a burden on transport operators. Legislation is drafted by civil servants with very little knowledge of just how transport businesses operate. And once drafted, it is often misinterpreted by agents of law enforcement, leading to huge problems for tour operators of all kinds (see page 10). Another issue that causes problems is the necessary maintenance. This has to be scheduled in, whatever the bookings look like. And failure to maintain vehicles of any kind properly leads to breakdowns, and loss of company reputation, whether the reputation is that of the vehicle owner, or that of the tour operator who has chartered the vehicle.
Local manufacturers of tourism vehicles do a great job in offering quality vehicles that are “fit for purpose.” We salute them all, specifically Mercedes-Benz, whose commitment to manufacturing quality commercial vehicles ensures that tourists are transported in safety, comfort and style. And as our story on the incredible journey across Africa in a 1996 MercedesBenz Sprinter van goes to show, their vehicles are built to last. South Africa is fortunate in that since the World Cup in 2010, we have a pretty modern fleet of vehicles and new public transport modes of travel, such as the Gautrain, which has made commuting between ORTIA, Sandton and Pretoria an absolute pleasure. But costs escalate all the time, for new vehicles, fuel and because of the much touted falling rand. It’s good for tourism in some ways, but not in all. At SATSA we are proud of the record of our members in operating vehicles of all kinds that are well maintained and looked after. I gives us a thrill of pride when we are out and about to see tourists travelling the country and beyond in immaculate vehicles, especially those bearing the SATSA logo with pride. But we understand the problems the industry faces, and SATSA is working hard with all levels of the South African government to try and ensure that rules and regulations are fair, and that they are properly applied. AUGUST 2013
Tourism Tattler Trade Journal
Article Comments Article Comments - July CONSERVATION Anti-Poaching: To Rescue or to Shoot injured wildlife? (www.tourismtattler.co.za/?p=5251) Submitted on 2013/07/05 at 7:56 am As a journalist and a qualified game ranger who lives on an operational game farm, I must say that I agree with the conservation manager that it would be too expensive to dart the impala. Our own farm is close to veterinary assistance but it would cost at least R1500 to dart the impala and if the impala died due to the stress it would have to be buried due to very toxic nature of M99 that spoils the meat and is deadly to scavengers. I would have also put down the wildebeest as it was clearly far too badly injured to survive. At our farm, which is a residential estate, we shoot injured animals using a rifle fitted with a silencer. The general public get upset by hearing gunshots, but as I have witnessed both capture and culling on the farm, I really do believe that capture is far more stressful than culling. Wildlife management is a far harsher situation than what is depicted on Animal Planet or NatGeo Wild for example. Jill Masterton CONSERVATION Greed beats logic: why a legal rhino horn trade won’t workl (www.tourismtattler.co.za/?p=5105)
Submitted on 2013/07/05 at 1:48 pm NO, NO, NO, NOOOOOOO!!! SA GOVERNMENT is considering a one-off auction of stockpiled rhino horn in an effort to raise funds for conservation and find a way to reduce poaching of the endangered animal. “The model we have so far is that for the auction of elephant ivory.” the Environmental Affairs deputy director-general for biodiversity Fundisile Mketeni said. THANKS TO THAT MODEL THOUSANDS AND THOUSANDS OF ELEPHANTS HAVE BEEN POACHED!!!!! Also to sell something as a medicine that has no medicinal value is a crime. China and Vietnam
have to do their duty to stop the demand and to jail the traders. If rhino horn trade is allowed, the demand will be fueled ad infinitum and the illegal market will be always be alongside the “legal” one. (Comment shortened due to space constraints - read more via the link above - Editor). Xavier Surinyach Mateu Submitted on 2013/07/09 at 7:47 pm The pro-rhino trade lobby has done a wonderful PR job to promote the trading of rhino horn as the solution to curb rhino poaching. Sadly the mathematical modelling that underpins their “economics 101” argument is flawed and does not take into account what would happen if the number of rhino horn consumers had to significantly increase if rhino horn was to become legal and freely available. New mathematical modelling now being conducted at UCT suggest that rhinos could become extinct in the wild within 5 to 10 years if rhino horn trade was legalised and that increased the number of rhino horn consumers. South Africa needs to relook at its pro-rhino horn trade stance. Colin Bell GUIDING Tourist Guides in South Africa (www.tourismtattler.co.za/?p=2474) Submitted on 2013/08/03 at 10:17 pm I have completed a level 1 field guide course. Why is it so difficult to get work? And so expensive to continue studying. Is there a learnership/ apprenticeship programme for us that cannot afford the fees, but are passionate about getting into this field of work? Cezanne Stevens TRADE NEWS Tsogo Sun’s Hotel Complex brings new cullinary hotspot to Durban (www.tourismtattler.co.za/?p=5586) Submitted on 2013/08/03 at 10:17 pm This is another reason why you should be able to visit South Africa, new culinary hotspot in Durban, it’s something you would love to discover while you are enjoying your travel get away to South Africa. Michael Rodrigues
The winning comment posted on the Tattler website during the month of August 2013 will receive Two Stainless Steel Wine Goblets with the compliments of Livingstones Supply Co – Suppliers of the Finest Products to the Hospitality Industry.
2x STAINLESS STEEL WINE GOBLET 200ML Ideal for any game drive or picnic outing. www.livingstonessupplyco.co.za/ catering/lq-stainless-steel-winegoblet-200ml.html
Tourism Tattler Trade Journal
For more information visit: www.livingstonessupplyco.co.za
Congratulations to Jill Masterton Your comment has been chosen as the prize winner for June. Your prize, a ‘Relentless Enemies’ DVD will be delivered to you with the compliments of Livingstones Supply Co – suppliers of the finest products to the hospitality Industry. Editor.
Showing visitors our great country is my passion. I need a van that’s a great ambassador. My Van. The new Vito. Fast forward to tomorrow: For Mercedes-Benz, responsibly shaping the long-term future of sustainable mobility is both an aspiration and a duty. The way forward is called BlueEFFICIENCY – a package of intelligently combined, innovative technologies that help to signiﬁcantly cut fuel consumption and pollutant emissions. You can experience the positive effects of this package ﬁrst hand in the new Vito. The Vito’s standard-ﬁt efﬁciency package features, among other things, new diesel engines, ECO Gear manual transmission and the ECO start/stop function.
A Daimler Brand
For more information regarding the new Vito and to book a test drive visit www.mercedes-benz.co.za/vito. To locate your nearest dealership contact 0800 133 355.
Vehicle speciﬁcations may vary for South African market
Tourism Tattler Trade Journal
Is Flying Safer Now?
According to the Aviation Safety Network, 2012 was the safest year in terms of aviation accidents across the world since 1945. Of the 23 fatal airlines accidents, 511 people died. This is well below the annual average of 34 commercial aviation accidents and 773 fatalities in the past decade. And yet, the recent crash of the Asiana Airlines Flight 214 after a 10 hour flight from Seoul in South Korea, at San Francisco International Airport on July 6, 2013 has raised a number of pertinent questions about the safety of air travel and civil aviation security across the world. According to the International Air Transport Association (IATA) about 3 billion people flew safely on 37.5 million flights in 2012 while there were six crashes and 75 accidents. According to a 2011 study, flying in the US is 23 times safer than driving and is about as risky as riding an escalator. The fear of flying is greatly perception based. The Asiana Airlines Flight 214 itself was survived by 305 of the 307 on board.
Why Planes Crash Apart from sabotage or intentional harm, air accidents are generally due to:
Cause Pilot Error
1950s 1960s 1970s 1980s 1990s 2000s All 41 34 24 26 27 30 29
Pilot Error (weather related) 10 17 14 18 19 19 16 Pilot Error (mechanical related)
Total Pilot Error
Other Human Error
02 09 09 06 09 05 07
16 09 14 14 10 08 12
21 19 20 20 18 24 22
05 05 13 13 11 09 09
Other Causes 00 02 01 01 01 00 01 • Environmental Factors Weather plays a key role in flight safety. Poor visibility, lightning, cloudbursts, and other inimical weather conditions hike up the risks of an aviation Worst Crashes In Civil Aviation accident. Bird hits may also cause damage to the craft and the Tenerife, Canary Islands (Spain) - March 27, 1977 - 583 people airofoil. A number of airports across the world are deficient in bird- died when two Boeing 747s collided on the runway in Tenerife. In what is deemed the worst accident in the history of commercial search radar and do not deploy audiovisual aids to scare birds. • Technical Factors Technical factors contributing to a crash could aviation, KLM Flight 4805 and Pan Am Flight 1736 collided due include lack of adequate radio-navigational aids, mechanical to bad weather conditions, lack of radar capabilities and other problems with the engine/avionics, or parts malfunctioning during miscommunications. Most of these have now been rectified. flight. Technical errors include system issues. The Boeing 787 Dreamliner suffered from a number of fires on board related to its lithium-ion batteries. In January 2013, the FAA grounded all 787s in the US. The EASA, Japanese Transport Ministry, India’s Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), and Chile’s Dirección General de Aeronautica Civil (DGAC) also grounded all Dreamliners in their airspace. The ban was lifted by FAA in April 2013 after Boeing revised the battery design completely. • Human Error Factors The human error factor is the most poignant and important among all the causes for crashes. Pilot/ground crew fatigue, experience (or lack of it), mental-physical strength are all contributing factors. Competent air traffic controllers and pilots with adequate English language skills are imperative for effective radio communication as well. According to statistics from planecrashinfo.com, pilot error has been the leading cause of aviation accidents through all time. 08
Tourism Tattler Trade Journal
Mount Osutaka (Japan) - August 12, 1985 - A total of 520 people (15 crew and 505 passengers) died when Japan Airlines Flight 123 left Tokyo en route to Osaka but a failure of the Boeing 747SR’s rear pressure led to a crash into Mount Takamagahara. Charkhi Dadri, New Delhi (India) - November 12, 1996 - Saudi Arabian Airlines Flight 763 and Kazakhstan Airlines Flight 1907 collided mid-air over the village of Charkhi Dadri in India killing all 349 passengers on both flights. The Kazakhstani pilots were found to be deficient in English language skills and the New Delhi airport was found to lack secondary surveillance radar. Paris (France) – March 3, 1974 – 346 people died when a Turkish Airlines Flight 981 crashed outside the French capital. The rear cargo hatch of the McDonnell Douglas DC-10 had blown off, causing the cables to split and leaving the pilots with no control. Riyadh (Saudi Arabia) - August 19, 1980 - 287 passengers and 14 crew members on board Saudi Arabian Flight 163 caught fire right after takeoff from Riyadh International Airport on a flight to Jeddah.
The Lockheed L-1011-200 TriStar made an emergency landing but evacuation was delayed leading to the high causality count. Chicago (USA) – May 25, 1979 – 271 people (258 passengers and 13 crew members) died when the engine on the left wing of the McDonnell Douglas DC-10 fell off and damaged the craft of the American Airlines Flight 191 in one of the worst aviation disasters in the US. New York (USA) - November 12, 2001 - 260 passengers and 5 people on the ground were killed when American Airlines Flight 587 (Airbus A300) crashed into the Belle Harbor neighborhood of Queens. The accident was attributed to the first officer’s overuse of rudder controls to balance out turbulence from a flight that had taken off a few minutes prior. Komaki (Japan) - April 26, 1994 - A total of 264 crew and passengers died when the first officer of the China Airlines Flight 140 made an error just before landing at the Nagoya Airport in Japan. The Airbus A300 malfunctioned when the pilot accidentally pressed a take-off button while landing. Jeddah (Saudi Arabia) - July 11, 1991 - 261 people, most of whom were pilgrims travelling to Mecca died on board the Nigeria Airways Flight 2120 when the McDonnell Douglas DC-8 caught fire and the craft crashed at a distance of about 19 kilometers from the King Abdulaziz International Airport. Mount Erebus, Ross Island (Antarctica) - November 9, 1979 257 people died when a McDonnell-Douglas DC-10 operated by Air New Zealand crashed during a sightseeing tour. The Air New Zealand Flight 901 crash was the reason the sightseeing tour was abandoned.
Safest Airlines In January 2013, the Jet Airliner Crash Data Evaluation Centre (JACDEC) released its rankings of the safest airlines in the world based on a compilation of data going back to 1983. According to the JACDEC, the top 15 safe airlines of the world are:
Sabotage And Security
Sabotage and security are among the major concerns faced by airlines through the years. The first known episode of a commercial airplane hijack was on July 16, 1948 when hijackers attempted to gain control of a Cathay Pacific seaplane causing it to crash into the sea between Macau and Hong Kong. Some of the most notorious hijacking cases include: • Northwest Orient Airlines Flight 305 (1971) [D. B. Cooper case] • Pan Am Flight 73 (1986) • Ethiopian Airlines Flight 961 (1996) • Indian Airlines Flight 814 (1999)
What Are The Odds? According to a study by the Valk Foundation, a joint project of the University of Leiden, KLM, and the Amsterdam Schiphol Airport, about 40% of people experience some anxiety about flying. Most of the anxiety and fear surrounding flying come from the perception that flying is not safe or that chances of surviving a crash are slim. Contrary to popular perception, the odds of a plane accident are about 1 in 1.2 million. Also being in a plane crash need not necessarily be fatal. Among the 568 plane crashes in the US between 1980 and 2000, over 90% of crash victims survived. An average American’s chances of being killed in a plane crash are one in 14 million. The survival rate in even one of the major crashes is about 76%.
The best chances of surviving an air crash also depends on the seats you may choose. Airline Country Fatalities Years Since Last Those seated in the first five rows have a Since 1983 Hull Loss much higher chance of surviving a crash than those seated elsewhere. Knowledge Finnair Finland 0 30 of safety procedures, awareness of Air New Zealand New Zealand 0 30 exits and preparedness adds 35%-40% Cathay Pacific Hong Kong (China) 0 30 chances to a person’s ability to safely evacuate a craft in trouble. In the past Emirates UAE 0 27 decade, airline passengers were 10 times Etihad Airways UAE 0 9 more likely to die in air accidents than EVA Air Taiwan 0 21 they are now. Studies also suggest that TAP Portugal Portugal 0 30 passenger alertness in the first three minutes and the last eight minutes of a Hainan Airlines China 0 19 flight could be a major factor in surviving Virgin Australia Australia 0 12 crashes since over 80% flight accidents British Airways UK 0 4 occur during this time. It is suggested that Lufthansa Germany 2 19 passengers avoid alcohol, stay alert and remove earphones during this time. All Nippon Airways Japan 0 30 Qantas
Australia 0 30
Virgin Atlantic Airways
Tips To Surviving A Plane Crash
JetBlue 14 United 31
• Take a seat in the first five rows • Pick an aisle seat • Take off headphones and follow safety instructions closely • Make a note of the nearest exits when you board a plane • Stay alert during landing and take off.
View this Infographic at:
The top North American airlines by safety are: Airline
Tourism Tattler Trade Journal
South Africa’s Traffic Officers Damaging Tourism
Irregular, inconsistent and often blatently corrupt policing by South Africa’s traffic officials is damaging the country’s tourism industry, writes Des Langkilde. Tour operators, tourist coaches and self-drive international tourists alike are being harassed, incorrectly fined and even having their vehicles impounded. And it all boils down to traffic officials being ignorant of the transport laws and regulations, as they apply to tourism.
for the conversion. Seeing the incorrect definition on the vehicle’s COR license disc, traffic police fine the driver and even impound the vehicle at road blocks, causing the driver to off-load his passengers to a replacement vehicle at significant cost in terms of both money and time lost on the tourist’s itinerary.
The vehicle owner has no choice in the selection of the vehicle definition - he has to accept the COR disks that are issued by the municipal licensing official, while the traffic police have no option but to fine for the infringement.
Many of South Africa’s provincial vehicle Operating Licensing Boards (OLB) have different criteria and conditions that apply to a particular province and are written on the back of the Operating License Permit (OLP). National Tour Operators and Intercity Coach Operators need only carry the OLP from the province in which they are registered but traffic officials seem ignorant of this fact, and issue fines if the vehicles do not comply with the conditions of the particular province through which they are driving at the time. For example, some provinces require that original insurance documents be carried in the vehicle at all times. The Western Cape OLB has no such requirement. A recent incident where a coach registered in the Western Cape was stopped in the Free State and fined for not possessing insurance documents illustrates the point. Not only were the passengers inconvenienced and unnecessarily delayed, but the coach operator had to pay a cash fine as an admission of guilt without the right to a court hearing, in order to proceed with the journey.
Displaying the correct ‘Minibus’ licence disk is also confused with the NLTA definition of ‘minibus taxi type’ of service, which according to the Commuter Taxi re-Cap regulations requires that the vehicle has yellow stripes and South African flag decals, seats with an aisle down the centre and specific entrance and exit doors. Clearly an Open Safari Vehicle has none of these and becomes fair game to uninformed traffic officers. Even roadworthy testing stations get the definitions confused and refuse to issue COR certificates to vehicles with 10 to 16 seats that will be used for tourism services.
Commuter Taxi versus Tour Vehicle
Professional Drivers Permit
The Road Traffic Regulations definition of a ‘minibus’ (a vehicle with 10 to 16 seats) for Certificate Of Roadworthy (COR) purposes and the National Land Transport Act (NLTA) definition of ‘minibus taxi type’ of service (which refers to a specific type of commercial service that requires a Permit / Operating License that carries commuters only on defined routes), creates significant confusion in the minds of traffic officials.
We all know that any driver of a vehicle that is transporting farepaying passengers has to obtain a Professional Road Driving Permit (PrDP) and have his or her driver’s licence endorsed as such. However, traffic officers don’t seem to be able to discern the difference between a private driver with family or friends going on holiday in a ‘kombi’ type of vehicle with nine or ten seats and a commuter taxi with sixteen seats.
Open Safari Vehicles
A recent incident involving a group of women who hired a ten-seater minibus for a holiday trip to the Kruger National Park, and were detained at the roadside for six hours, comes to mind. Not only did the traffic officer incorrectly assume that a minibus full of people must be operating an illegal taxi service, he promptly proceeded to confiscate the driver’s driving licence, vehicle keys and cell phone. The group of women finally ended up at a police station, while the
Municipal vehicle licensing staff incorrectly classify Open Safari Vehicles (game drive vehicles) under all manner of eNatis definitions, from Light Delivery Vehicle (LDV), to coupe, station-wagon, dropside and even jeep instead of ‘Minibus’ as they should because these vehicles have been legally modified to contain 10 to 16 seats. Inspectors only see the ‘bakkie’ or LDV that was used as the basis 10
Conversely, vehicles that correctly have their licence disk defined as ‘Minibus’ are also fined and impounded. The traffic official sees the vehicle as an LDV and accuses the operator of illegally using the wrong definition.
Tourism Tattler Trade Journal
car-hire company had to arrange for the delivery of a cash spotfine before the vehicle was released. This incident clearly indicates that said officer had no clue that the law does not require a private individual to have an OL or PrDP to hire or own a minibus for personal use. These are only required when transport is being provided professionally for reward. Cross Border Permit A similar incident occurred at the Golela border post between South Africa and Swaziland recently. A SAPS inspector refused to let a German family proceed through the border post into South Africa until they had paid a hefty fine. The supposed offence was that the car (an eight-seater Toyota Quantum) required a cross-border permit. The vehicle was a hire car, and on the documents provided by the car hire company for the purpose of cross-border travel, the inspector picked up that the car hire booking had been made in Germany and wrongly assumed that this was either a tour group or that foreign tourists require a Cross Border Permit (a temporary permit that vehicles with Operating Licenses require to operate temporarily in foreign countries). Not only were these tourists unnecessarily detained and fined but their negative experience certainly diminished their holiday and perception of the country. International Drivers Licence Car hire companies frequently report that their international clients are harassed by traffic officials at road blocks, who state that International Drivers Licences are not valid as an International Driving Permit is required. Clearly these allegations are aimed at eliciting spot fines or bribes, as section 23 read with Regulation 110 of the Road Traffic Act, 93 of 1996 states that if a foreign drivers license is (i) valid for the class of vehicle being driven, and (ii) the time period, and (iii) written in English, then it is acceptable. Vehicle Accident Clean-up Charges Car hire companies also frequently report that when one of their vehicles is involved in an accident that requires emergency services to be called to the scene, they are invoiced for the cost of the road clean up. One can understand this being the case for a commercial vehicle carrying hazardous chemicals, where the company should be held responsible for the spillage and possible impact on the road surface and surrounding environment, but not in the case of a passenger vehicle. Tour Operator Permits In the past, Tour Operator Permits (TOP) were attached to the vehicle itself and administered by the Department of Transport (DoT). Tour vehicles were considered, and hence inspected, and the paper work processed in the same manner as commuter taxis, which resulted in lengthy permit issue delays. One could only apply for a TOP when in possession of the vehicle, which meant that a Tour Operator would incur vehicle finance charges on the purchase for several months, before the vehicle could legally be operated, due to lengthy delays and backlogs in the issuing of permits. After years of lobbying by associations, government finally saw the light and a new accreditation process was written into the Public Transport Act. The accreditation process now attaches the TOP to the tour or transport operator rather than to the vehicle itself, which makes logical sense. The onus is now placed on the operator to ensure that adequate maintenance facilities, or at least a vehicle maintenance service contract, is in place to ensure that all of the operator’s vehicles are kept in roadworthy condition. But therein lies the catch. The Public Transport (Amendment) Act stipulates that TOPs are to be administered by a yet-to-be-formed National Public Transport Regulator (NPTR).
National Public Transport Regulator The Department of Transport (DoT) has been tasked with setting up the NPTR vehicle accreditation process, and the DoT want this to be based in Pretoria, despite the private sector trade associations having voiced there collective objection to this decision. The DoT should learn from past mistakes, the trade associations argue, citing their concern that the previous models of the OLB and the Permit Boards before them - all of which were not accreditationbased process - were centrally situated in Pretoria and all were a total failure and admitted as such by the DoT predecessors themselves. The lesson that the DoT should have learnt is that tourism and interprovincial services cannot be served from one central location alone, and need to be regionally located. In essence the NPTR has three separate functions, namely: 1. the administration function and its national oversight role, 2. the licensing of tourism transport, and 3. the licensing of interprovincial transport. The first function can logically be handled from a central location such as a Pretoria-based head office, but the other two functions would need to be regionally based to allow the operators easier access to the NPTR. If the DoT’s concern is that the two sub-sectors would not provide enough work to justify regional offices, then why not add similar sub-sectors, such as courtesy vehicles and car-hire / chauffer-drive service operators into the accreditation process as well? These subsectors are broadly similar and share a common trait in that they are substantially different from commuter (taxi and public bus) transport services. In terms of accommodating these sub-sectors, section 21 (1)b,(iii) of the NLTA allows for the Minister of Transport to designate any other services into the accreditation process by notice in the Government Gazette, so the process to enable this change is already in place. Speaking of Ministers, another land transport debacle that needs to be addressed is the issue of waivers. Road Traffic Regulation Waivers In the past, transport licencing waivers were applied for to the relevant MEC responsible for transport. This has now changed, and the National Minister of Transport has to issue the waiver. For example, open-top buses are proving to be very popular in major city centres for guided city tours. However, these open-top buses need a waiver from Road Traffic Regulations 251 (for not having a waterproof roof) and 258 (for not having a row of windows down each side). A clearly defined process and designated officials to process these waiver applications, with a defined set of procedures and response times is needed as some of these operators have waited months for permits. Other Land Transport Issues Annual vehicle licencing tables - the ridiculous fees that tourism vehicles (buses and coaches in particular) have to pay - need revision. Barriers to entry for SME’s - the cost of vehicles, inability to claim back import duties and VAT, insufficient driver training and a lack of sufficiently skilled drivers, also need government intervention. Conclusion The South African tourism industry (in both private and public sectors) works exceedingly hard to provide tourists with the best possible service and memory of their visit to the country. However the reputation damage caused by uninformed traffic officials and inappropriate transport legislation, processes and procedures erodes the industry’s best efforts and needs to be addressed as a matter of urgently. AUGUST 2013
Tourism Tattler Trade Journal
Rhino Knights Update After traversing South Africa and Namibia Isabel Wolf-Gillespie reports on her progress from Botswana, since departing on her arduous 10,000km journey in May to raise awareness of the plight of Africa’s dwindling rhino population. Namibia has taken a very special place in my heart. It is hard to explain but the land resonates with me in a way that I can’t put into words. The land feels authentic, true and free and the beauty can only take your breath away. The time travelling through this land and meeting its people was memorable and it is clear to me that we will return one day. Ten days ago Rhino Knights took a drive to Victoria Falls so that I could participate in the Vic Falls marathon as part of the awareness drive for Rhino. The organizers Wild Frontiers, Wild Horizon and Adventure Zone kindly sponsored my entry and SuperSport filmed the marathon and is doing an insert on the campaign for much needed awareness! It was my very first 42km ever and somehow I managed to come in as 10th woman in the race! This actually was a little miracle because the evening before the race I drew money from the ATM for food and the machine gave me U$ 50 short…!! Looking at the exchange rate U$ - ZAR this is a fortune and it really upset me deeply. I didn’t know, but the 10th woman won a cash price of U$50 and balance had been restored again. Somehow I was expecting the Botswana border to arrive with a “BANG, YOU MADE IT” but to be honest it was just like any other day. We got to the Tsumkwe border post which is one of the smallest border posts I have ever crossed an international boundary through. There was a building with one office and two officials each seated on their own little desk. As we approached the gate/fence the few people that live in huts there came running to greet us! The Botswana government is taking precautions against Foot-and-Mouth disease all over so we had to step in between the fences and my bikes and the vehicles tyre´s were sprayed with some kind of smelly chemical. The border post building on the Botswana side was literally one quarter the size of a garage and crossing was not much more than a formality! The Tswanas welcomed us warmly into their country and we left the border in great spirits…. only to be thrown into the deep end 200 metres thereafter! The road was thick with heavy, deep sand and my spirits plummeted… It was impossible to get through this with the bicycle and after 500m of struggle and the seemingly endless sand road ahead I burst into tears… “I can´t carry on like that! I am going backwards here… I’d rather run all day, every day than this..!” So after a short break that’s what I did, I put my running shoes on and started running through the sand… it was slow going but it least I was moving forward… After about 7km we came to a cross roads 12
Tourism Tattler Trade Journal
and to our excitement that’s where the road turned into a gravel road! Back onto the bicycle with wings attached to the side, that’s how fast I felt I was going! As we entered Botswana, it showed its warm, friendly side but also its harshness. The villages we passed through were filled with poverty but the people greeted us with such a warm and hearty smile as if we had met before. We were en route to the Delta and elephant and lion tracks and signs were clearly visible all around us. Wild animals live amongst the people and their herds of cattle, donkeys and goats that roam the land freely. I am writing this from Maun where we will spend two days for school talks, re-stocking our supplies and connecting with conservation groups and organisations for our survey. A few days ago a hurdle that has been a challenge for the success of the campaign from the start has raised its head again. 90% of Rhino Knights is funded by ourselves and financially we don’t know how we are going to make to the end it at this stage. We have even been talking about choosing a more direct route to shorten the campaign by three weeks. Call for help! If anyone is able to and would like to sponsor Rhino Knights to stay on the road, please get in touch with us on firstname.lastname@example.org ! Our banking details are also viewable on our website www.earthawareness.co.za. We are determined to complete this campaign as we believe in it and stand to 100% behind it! Where there is a will, there is a way, we just have to keep at it and something will come up! As always –Stay well and happy! Isabel, Lloyd, Raphaela and Mr P. Information on dates for fun runs and the proposed route can be found at www.earthawareness.co.za. If you would like to get involved in the campaign, become a sponsor, or to show your support email email@example.com Or follow on FaceBook at www.facebook.com/RhinoKnights Donations for as little as R10 ($1.13USD) can be sent via SMS to 48716 with the words RHINOKNIGHTS in the text field.
Can we afford to experiment with rhinos? The recent announcement by the South African Minster of Environment, expressing the South African Government’s endorsement of a proposal to sell rhino horn, is disconcerting, albeit not surprising, writes Jason Bell. The government’s international lobby started at the 16th meeting of the Conference of the Parties (CoP16) to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) where there was a directed lobby to try and sensitise other governments around their intent to request a rhino horn stockpile sale and subsequent regulated trade at the next CITES CoP(17), which South Africa will be hosting in 2016. In a nutshell, the South African government argues legalising trade will allow markets to be flooded with horn and will stem the tide of poaching. A fallacious argument and a very dangerous experiment indeed! The most disturbing thing about this proposal is in its naïve economic simplicity. Selling stockpiled horn might make financial sense in the short-term, but is left wanting, and significantly so, when you dig deeper and when you consider biological and animal welfare consequences. Even from an economic perspective, arguments are seriously flawed. The reality is that no one understands the nature and extent of potential demand for rhino horn, especially where China is a significant player. How can we even begin to talk about satisfying demand, let alone flooding markets, when we have absolutely no idea of what demand is, especially given recent trends in consumption as well as the fact that rhino horn is being stockpiled in China for future investment purposes? Essentially, the illegal trade alone is hedging rhinos to extinction, let alone the potential impact of further market stimulation through legalised trade.
And then there is this (again fallacious) notion that a legal trade will be able to be controlled/regulated. The experimental trade in stockpiled ivory as sanctioned by CITES, in which South Africa was also a player and which saw a large amount of “legal” ivory enter the Chinese market, should be proof enough of just how impossible it is to control the legal trade in the Chinese market. When it is impossible to regulate trade in a country that has one of the best regulatory regimes in the world, all I can say is, Pretoria, we have a problem. What the South African government has to realise is that we have passed the tipping point with rhinos – numbers continue to decline year on year and demand for horn continues to escalate. When populations begin declining, we will have a very serious problem at hand. A failed experiment could result in the decimation of rhino populations – is it worth it? Or, do we value quick economic returns more than we do live rhinos? For more information on our efforts to combat wildlife trafficking, visit our campaign pages at www.ifaw.org/united-states/our-work/ fighting-wildlife-trade
About the Author: Jason Bell is the Programme Director, Elephants Regional Director, South Africa. In his dual role as Regional Director Southern Africa and of the Elephant Programme, Jason is responsible for developing, monitoring and evaluating International Federation for Animal Welfate (IFAW’ campaigns and programmes within his region and providing leadership for IFAW’s global elephant conservation activities. Since joining IFAW, Jason has worked on a range of animal welfare issues including ending the ivory trade, unethical “canned” hunting, boat-based whale watching, lobbying against wildlife trade at CITES, ending commercial whaling, wildlife habitat expansion, and government relations. IFAW Southern Africa also supports the efforts of SANCCOB to save South Africa’s endangered penguins and operates the Community-Led Animal Welfare (CLAW) project in the townships around Johannesburg and Cape Town veterinarian clinics, programmes that save dogs, cats, and other companion animals from cruelty and neglect. Under Jason’s leadership, the elephant programme team has worked to secure habitat for elephants in South Africa, India, China and Kenya and has been involved in several translocation projects, in one case moving an entire herd of 83 elephants from an area in the Phirilongwe region where they were in constant violent conflict with local villages. Where translocation is not feasible, Jason leads the team in developing practical, humane solutions to humanelephant conflict situations. IFAW’s collaboration with the University of Pretoria on research regarding the dynamics of elephant populations helped convince the government of South Africa to set aside millions of dollars to pursue an ethical and science-based approach to managing elephant populations rather than accept culling proposals which are based on politics instead of science. Jason’s Elephant team also works closely with park rangers, supporting and training anti-poaching teams in elephant range states. As a campaigner, Jason has been a regular attendee at CITES Conventions of the Parties, with a particular focus on ending the ivory trade. AUGUST 2013
Tourism Tattler Trade Journal
Find a Business Travel Partner Fast
Download the SATSA Desktop Widget www.satsa.com/widget/widget.html Whether you are looking for a Destination Management Company, a Professional Conference and Event Organiser, an Airline, a Shuttle Service, Car Hire or City and Safari Lodge Accommodation, SATSA members are just a click away - right on your desktop in fact. Besides the member search function, the SATSA Widget will also keep you updated on local travel trade news, events and topical information relating to the region. By doing business with a SATSA member, youâ€™ll have peace of mind knowing that your selected travel trade partner in southern Africa adheres to strict annual compliance criteria in terms of legal, financial and insurance credibility. And youâ€™ll find it reassuring to know that our members are Bonded* to cover advance deposits against your booking.
For more information visit: www.satsa.com or contact: 086 12 SATSA (72872) E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org * The Southern Africa Tourism Services Association (SATSA) is the only inbound tourism NGO to have established a Lost Advances Fund whereby members, and clients of members, have access to a measure of financial protection to cover forward booking deposits in case of the involuntary liquidation of a member. We call this SATSA Bonded (Terms and conditions apply).
Your Credible Tourism Partners in Southern Africa
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A 3 Night Fully Inclusive Package in Mozambique
To enter this competition, simply find the answer to the following question (the answer can be found in the text below) and subscribe to the free Tourism Tattler Newsletter by clicking HERE to enter. (URL: www.tourismtattler.co.za/?p=5947). “What is the name of the Coastal Wildlife Sanctuary in which Dugong Beach Lodge is located?” The first correct entry drawn after the closing date of 30 August 2013 will win a three-night fully inclusive stay for two adults sharing at Dugong Beach Lodge. The prize, which is valued at R30,000 includes accommodation, all meals and selected beverages during dinner but excludes flights and transfers. Situated along the Southern Mozambique Coast within 30 000 hectares of pristine marine and wildlife territory in the Vilanculos Coastal Wildlife Sanctuary, Dugong Beach Lodge combines two biospheres which make for a unique wilderness and beach experience. Kick off your shoes, get the sea sand between your toes, relax and enjoy the endless, unprecedented beauty of Dugong Beach Lodge. Experience a delightful picnic on a deserted island, enjoy leisurely walks on a perfect white-sand beach with translucent waters, marvel at the spectacular vistas at Worlds View or sip cocktails in the interflowing pool with an island-style bar and martini seats offering spectacular views of the ocean. Accommodation The Lodge offers 12 luxuriously appointed, air-conditioned chalets with direct access to the beach via individual walkways (14 bedrooms, as two units are villas consisting of 2 bedrooms with separate entrances rooms do not have interleading doors). Each Villa has 2 bedrooms and a plunge pool. All rooms have outdoor showers and twin beds can be converted to double beds. Each chalet has a private deck furnished with day beds for relaxation and where private dinners can be enjoyed. There is an interflowing swimming pool with an island-style bar and martini seats with spectacular views of the ocean.
Meetings & Events Why not hold your next small meeting or romantic getaway in the relaxing environment of the Dugong Beach Lodge? Situated on the Indian Ocean coastline of Mozambique, within one of the most unique marine and wildlife sanctuaries in the world - “The Vilanculos Coastal Wildlife Sanctuary”; this really is a truly inspirational place to stay. About the Legend Lodges, Hotels & Resorts group The Legend portfolio encompasses the rich diversity of Southern Africa: her people, culture, breathtaking scenery and abundant bird, marine and animal life. Legend Lodges, Hotels & Resorts, with its head office based in Midrand, features resorts, game and safari lodges, country lodges, coastal hotels & lodges, and cultural villages and shebeens. The group operates throughout South Africa and in Mozambique. Central Reservations Office Tel : +27 (0) 11 729 6700 Fax : +27 (0) 11 729 6790 Email : email@example.com Website : www.legendlodges.co.za Note: Read the Terms and Conditions of this competition, which can be downloaded at: www.tourismtattler.co.za/downloads/LegendLodgesDugong-Competition-TermsConditions.pdf
WINNER OF THE WHALESONG HOTEL & HYDRO COMPETITION FROM THE JULY 2013 EDITåION CONGRATULATIONS to Brian Scheepers of BAS Accounting in Cape Town, South Africa whose competition entry was the first to be drawn. Brian has won a four-night stay for two adults sharing a room at Whalesong Hotel & Hydo. The prize is inclusive of breakfasts and is valued at R6000.00 www.legendlodges.co.za AUGUST 2013
Tourism Tattler Trade Journal
Scotland and Turkey Tattler editor Marjorie Dean is just back from a holiday in Europe. On trend, she decided to mark a special occasion by taking her whole immediate family of children and grandchildren on a holiday together. Then she and her husband Colin, enjoyed a short break in Istanbul. So what does the tourism view look like from the other side of the fence? Our family holiday was a hugely successful experience. In today’s world where parents often have neither time not money to take their children travelling, we were determined to share our love for travel with the younger generation. In that aim, we were successful, as both children and grandchildren have promised themselves they will travel again – and soon! Mission accomplished! However, not being a travel agent, organising the complex itineraries involved in collecting family together in one small Scottish village from different parts of the globe was going to be a challenge. So we made a crucial decision. We would not try to be clever, do it all online or otherwise sidestep the professionals. We got ourselves a travel agent. And a gem! Martine Brown works for Pentravel at their Cresta branch on Johannesburg. She had organised some fairly simple trips for us before, so I went to see her, explained what we wanted and asked for her help. And we got it, in spades! Both from Martine and from her colleagues. A big Thank You to them. Nothing was too much trouble. Airfares, tours, accommodation and car hire were scrutinised carefully for both price and convenience. It was decided that we would use Turkish Airlines from South Africa and British Airways from the USA. As we booked early, excellent fares were obtained. Now both of these carriers are excellent airlines, with good records, but I would be less than honest if I did not say straight out that the flights were the worst part of everyone’s holiday. Flights Air travel today is to be endured rather than enjoyed if, as most tourists do, you travel Economy Class. Cabins are seriously crowded,
Tourism Tattler Trade Journal
Images courtesy of Colin Dean and cabin staff is stressed almost beyond endurance. There is basic service – and no more. If you are elderly, disabled or travelling with small children, forget any extra help – the cabin staff don’t have time. Airports are crowded, the security palaver is uncomfortable at best, and downright intrusive at worst. Immigration officials are hassled and can’t wait to process you. Airport food is very expensive – and mostly very ordinary. On the whole it is not a pleasant experience. So dear tour operators, when you pick passengers up at the airport after long international flights, be kind to them! A little kindness is much appreciated after a long and basically stressful flight. And very few flights are not stressful nowadays. Car hire Car hire was another unexpected stress. Although all bookings had emphasised that we wanted, and had paid for, cars with automatic transmission, this was quite a mission at each car hire desk. Each of our three groups was given keys for a manual vehicle - and had to traipse back to the desk and wait until an automatic was found. And we picked up vehicles from large, internationally known car hire companies at large airports in the UK, so there was really no excuse. But staff were trained to handle such matters politely and efficiently, all our paperwork was in good order, and eventually, with many apologies, we got what we had paid for. Scotland In Scotland, we stayed in a huge self-catering house – and it was wonderful – well maintained, everything worked, lots of space, exactly what had been promised. What a joy to find that!
We checked into a couple of Scottish hotels, had excellent service throughout, as well as great food. Our special family dinner was handled superbly by a small restaurant in a tiny village. It’s a small business that has built itself a great reputation, based on value and service, as well as some clever PR. The village itself has revamped to meet the needs of modern holidaymakers, and thrives year round, while retaining its old-fashioned charm. No fast food outlets or supermarkets, but well run local shops, that stocked what visitors need. Some of our local small tourism towns could learn from that. Attractions We had not expected the UK to be cheap, but the cost of visiting attractions was huge. (This is now also true in South Africa.) Even the smallest place seemed to cost over £10 (R150)per person, concessions were not great for older and younger people, and in many cases over £20 (R300) per person was charged, quite an outlay for a party of nine people. But what we saw was well looked after, and everything was clean and well maintained. Often there were guides at no charge where we did not expect them, and they were very knowledgeable about their subjects, and put across their information clearly and well. Queues at top attractions were long (it was July, peak season) but the situation was well handled from the point of view of how the numbers were dealt with. At Edinburgh Castle, one of busiest tourist sites in Britain, we managed to short-circuit long queues, after an observant staff members realised we had a partially disabled person in our party. Special lifts were available and seats offered during the tour. It made a huge difference. Turkey From Scotland we flew back to Istanbul were we had booked to spend a few days stopover. Istanbul was an interesting look at a top destination that manages its tourism well. The city has been hard hit by recent negative exposure of the demonstrations in June in Taksim Square – in peak season it was relatively quiet when we visited. On a Bosphorus boat cruise it was sad to find only 40 passengers in a boat that could easily accommodate 200. But we still got the full package and services. However, it is a warning that even small pockets of unruly behaviour, justified or not, are highlighted by saturation news coverage, and the effect on tourism is dire. In a few short days we had experience only of a tiny area, but were very impressed by what we saw. Al the city’s historical treasures were being well maintained – ahead we guessed of the city’s bid for the Olympic Games in 2020. Pentravel had booked a superb ground handler company and a tour guide, who not only told us about the places we visited, but placed them in the context of the country’s history, geography and politics. Our hotel was basic three-star place, but clean and comfortable.
It was very noticeable that the ubiquitous hawkers were restrained in their approach – we found out as we went along that a visible presence of Tourism Police in uniform, on foot, in cars and on Segway scooters, was the main reason. Walking around in obviously “tourist” areas felt very safe. The visible (and vocal) tourism police presence made a huge difference. The issue of a special tourism police force at top tourist spots has been discussed in South Africa, but the jury remains out. Given the overseas perception of high crime rates in South Africa, justified or not, it would be a way to show that we take the issue seriously, and, well done, is most effective. Local people in shops and restaurants were all friendly and helpful, gave directions clearly, and the city was spotless for pedestrians. Cleaning crews came around several times a day, and did a thorough job. Markets were patrolled regularly, and there was little evidence of petty crime. All in all, Turkey came across as a destination that takes its tourism industry seriously, and is making a good job of positioning itself as a welcoming destination. It now ranks sixth in the world. Turkey is no longer a cheap destination, but everywhere we felt we got value for what we spent, and as tourists, that was what counted. So, what was it like being a tourist? On the whole an enjoyable experience. We enjoyed, with some few exceptions, great service and that made all the difference. What mattered most was that, genuine or not, the people we met who worked in tourism took pains to ensure we had the best experience possible. They went the extra mile – sent out for a takeaway meal at our Istanbul hotel when we arrived tired and hungry late at night when their own kitchen was closed because of Ramadan; called the airline to confirm flight times and pickups so that we arrived in good time for our flight home when we had to query the arrangements that had been made; always gave more than just the “minimum required.” Staff were well trained and competent to handle whatever happened. Tips were received with thanks, and not expected as a right. The tourist experience In short, a lot of our enjoyable experience in both countries was down to the attitude of the people in tourism. Where it was great, it was down to great attitude. “Give us a couple of minutes and we’ll sort it out.” was the order of the day; service was good and polite, but also friendly. We, a very ordinary family, were their guests, and we were treated as important, as valued, as people who were there to be cared for. Not everything went smoothly, it never does, but if the glitches are sorted out in a friendly manner, one forgives. We came home with great memories to last a lifetime. And that, after all, is what being a tourist is all about.
Tourism Tattler Trade Journal
Kenya ranks second in Africa in MICE tourism Conference tourism is emerging as Kenya’s new growth frontier, earning the country second position after South Africa last year in the number of conferences held on the continent. The placement in the Country & City Rankings 2012 by the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA) — a worldwide umbrella body for international conferences and conventions is a boost to the sector. Kenya is ranked 58th globally in conference tourism, beating some nations that receive twice as many tourists. America is ranked first, after hosting 833 conferences, Germany second with 649, and Spain third with 550. For investors in Naivasha, the ranking is a boost as the town appeared in ICCA rankings for the first time after hosting two international conferences. Mombasa, associated mostly with leisure and beach tourism, also hosted two conferences last year. The country hosted 29 international association conferences, with the Kenyatta International Conference Centre (KICC) hosting most of them. “Kenya is easy to access from all parts of the continent, thanks mainly to Kenya Airways. It is also easy to connect to any Europe destination. The recent upgrading of the United Nations headquarters to the status of other UN bases worldwide has also led to an increase in meetings held in Kenya. This will help increase traffic to hotels and boost tourism,” said Kenya Association of Hotel and Caterers boss Mike Macharia.
Hemingways Nairobi - www.hemingways-nairobi.com
“We have to benchmark and this is why we want to spread convention facilities. We are starting with Mombasa, Kisumu, and Isiolo,” KICC says. Land has been secured in Bamburi, Mombasa, to construct a green convention centre. The Ministry of Tourism is sourcing investors to partner with the industry on the project. Feasibility studies have been conducted in Kisumu and Isiolo and the two have been identified as potential destinations of conference tourism.
Nairobi, which hosted 22 conferences, improved its position to 100th best city destination for international association conferences globally, up from the 104th position it held in 2011. It was also ranked second best city in Africa after Cape Town in South Africa.
To meet the increasing demand for conference accommodation, numerous International hotel groups are also expanding in Kenya, these include Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts, the Conrad Hotels & Resorts and Hilton Hotels & Resorts, which includes the Double Tree and Garden Inn hotels.
“We are keen on having regional convention centres in the country as we transition to the county government system. KICC, the state corporation mandated to spearhead conference tourism in the country through the Ministry of Tourism, has already received commitment from some counties to fund them in line with the country’s meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions (MICE) strategy,” said the KICC communications office. This is among the strategies the country has adopted to catch up with leader South Africa that has its conventions spread in eight of the nation’s major cities. 18
Tourism Tattler Trade Journal
In preparing for the growth in conference tourism, the Kenyan government has invested 24 Billion Kenya Shillings in road expansion projects. These include expanding Thika Road from a four to a eight-lane superhighway and several other projects within Nairobi. For more information visit: www.magicalkenya.com Kenyatta International Conference Centre in Nairobi - www.kicc.co.ke
For a comprehensive list of conference venues in Kenya visit: www.micekenya.co.ke
BirdLife South Africa welcomes code of conduct for wind energy
BirdLife South Africa has welcomed the recent launch of the South African Wind Energy Association’s (SAWEA) recommended Code of Conduct for Wind Energy Development. It is often suggested that birds and wind energy are not compatible. While it is true that poorly located wind farms can impact on birds (through causing injury or mortality if birds collide with the turbines, or by displacing sensitive species), bird conservationists and wind farm developers are working towards the same goal: a greener future for all. The code of conduct is an important step towards this goal and aims to promote the sustainable development of an environmentally and socially conscious wind energy industry in South Africa. While the code of conduct does not explicitly deal with birds, it does require SAWEA members to follow international best practice during project development, implementation and operation, and to exercise due care to reduce the risk of negative impacts on the environment. Duncan Ayling, South African Wind Energy Association Environmental Working Group chairperson said “This code aims to promote the sustainable development of an environmentally and socially conscious wind energy industry in South Africa. We hope it will demonstrate the positive, responsible contribution that SAWEA is making.” “It is important that we follow international best practice” said Samantha Ralston, Birds and Renewable Energy Manager for BirdLife South Africa. “Wind farms are new to South Africa, but we are in a fortunate position that we can learn from our international partners who have years of experience in assessing, monitoring and mitigating the impacts of wind energy on birds. With the right approach conflicts between birds and wind farms can, to a large extent, be avoided” she said. With sponsorship from Investec Corporate and Institutional Banking, BirdLife South Africa works with government and industry to support the responsible development of a renewable energy industry 20
Tourism Tattler Trade Journal
in South Africa. BirdLife South Africa, in partnership with the Endangered Wildlife Trust, has developed Best Practice Guidelines for Avian Monitoring and Impact Mitigation at Proposed Wind Energy Development Sites. These guidelines are based on international best practice and are a key resource used to help minimise the impact of renewable energy developments on birds and their habitats. BirdLife South Africa, the Endangered Wildlife Trust and the South African Wind Energy Association came together to celebrate the launch of the Code of Conduct on World Environment Day (8 June) and Global Wind Day (15 June) by hosting an afternoon of birdwatching. They visited sites in and around Cape Town, including Black River and Rietvlei, where magnificent birds such as flamingos and pelicans could be seen. Keeping the event green, transport was provided by the Green Cab, Cape Town’s only carbon neutral transport service. For more information visit: www.birdlife.org.za
Environmental Tourism - Part 1 -
This series on Environmental Tourism will be published in three parts. Part 1, which has been extracted with acknowledgement to the United Nations Environment Programme, deals with the main impact areas of Environmental Tourism, writes Des Langkilde. Environmental Tourism, which is also referred to as Ecotourism, Sustainable Tourism and Responsible Tourism, are terms rooted in the concept of development that “meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs” (Bruntland Commission, 1987). [For further information on Ecotourism, read more under the Niche Tourism section on page 36]. Environmental Impacts The quality of the environment, both natural and man-made, is essential to tourism. However, tourism’s relationship with the environment is complex. It involves many activities that can have adverse environmental effects. Many of these impacts are linked with the construction of general infrastructure such as roads and airports, and of tourism facilities, including resorts, hotels, restaurants, shops, golf courses and marinas. The negative impacts of tourism development can gradually destroy the environmental resources on which it depends. On the other hand, tourism has the potential to create beneficial effects on the environment by contributing to environmental protection and conservation. It is a way to raise awareness of environmental values and it can serve as a tool to finance protection of natural areas and increase their economic importance. Tourism’s Three Main Impact Areas Negative impacts from tourism occur when the level of visitor use is greater than the environment’s ability to cope with this use within the acceptable limits of change. Uncontrolled conventional tourism poses potential threats to many natural areas around the world. It can put enormous pressure on an area and lead to impacts such as soil erosion, increased pollution, discharges into the sea, natural habitat loss, increased pressure on endangered species and heightened vulnerability to forest fires. It often puts a strain on water resources, and it can force local populations to compete for the use of critical resources.
1. Depletion of Natural Resources Tourism development can put pressure on natural resources when it increases consumption in areas where resources are already scarce. 1a) Water resources Water, and especially fresh water, is one of the most critical natural resources. The tourism industry generally overuses water resources for hotels, swimming pools, golf courses and personal use of water by tourists. This can result in water shortages and degradation of water supplies, as well as generating a greater volume of waste water. In drier regions like the Mediterranean, the issue of water scarcity is of particular concern. Because of the hot climate and the tendency of tourists to consume more water when on holiday than they do at home, the amount used can run up to 440 liters a day. This is almost double what the inhabitants of an average Spanish city use. Golf course maintenance can also deplete fresh water resources. In recent years golf tourism has increased in popularity and the number of golf courses has grown rapidly. Golf courses require an enormous amount of water every day and, as with other causes of excessive extraction of water, this can result in water scarcity. If the water comes from wells, overpumping can cause saline intrusion into groundwater. Golf resorts are more and more often situated in or near protected areas or areas where resources are limited, exacerbating their impacts. An average golf course in a tropical country such as Thailand needs 1500kg of chemical fertilizers, pesticides and herbicides per year and uses as much water as 60,000 rural villagers. (Source: Tourism Concern). 1b) Local resources Tourism can create great pressure on local resources like energy, food, and other raw materials that may already be in short supply. Greater extraction and transport of these resources exacerbates the physical impacts associated with their exploitation. Because of the AUGUST 2013
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seasonal character of the industry, many destinations have ten times more inhabitants in the high season than in the low season. A high demand is placed upon these resources to meet the high expectations tourists often have (proper heating, hot water, etc.). 1c) Land degradation Important land resources include minerals, fossil fuels, fertile soil, forests, wetland and wildlife. Increased construction of tourism and recreational facilities has increased the pressure on these resources and on scenic landscapes. Direct impact on natural resources, both renewable and nonrenewable, in the provision of tourist facilities can be caused by the use of land for accommodation and other infrastructure provision, and the use of building materials. Forests often suffer negative impacts of tourism in the form of deforestation caused by fuel wood collection and land clearing. For example, one trekking tourist in Nepal - and area already suffering the effects of deforestation - can use four to five kilogrammes of wood a day. 2. Pollution Tourism can cause the same forms of pollution as any other industry: air emissions, noise, solid waste and littering, releases of sewage, oil and chemicals, even architectural/visual pollution. 2a) Air pollution and noise Transport by air, road, and rail is continuously increasing in response to the rising number of tourists and their greater mobility. To give an indication, the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) reported that the number of international air passengers worldwide rose from 88 million in 1972 to 344 million in 1994. One consequence of this increase in air transport is that tourism now accounts for more than 60% of air travel and is therefore responsible for an important share of air emissions. One study estimated that a single transatlantic return flight emits almost half the CO2 emissions produced by all other sources (lighting, heating, car use, etc.) consumed by an average person yearly. (Mayer Hillman, Town & Country Planning magazine, September 1996. Source: MFOE ). Transport emissions and emissions from energy production and use are linked to acid rain, global warming and photochemical pollution. Air pollution from tourist transportation has impacts on the global level, especially from carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions related to transportation energy use. And it can contribute to severe local air pollution. Some of these impacts are quite specific to tourist activities. For example, especially in very hot or cold countries, tour buses often leave their motors running for hours while the tourists go out for an excursion because they want to return to a comfortably air-conditioned bus. Noise pollution from airplanes, cars, and buses, as well as recreational vehicles such as snowmobiles and jet skis, is an ever-growing problem of modern life. In addition to causing annoyance, stress, and even hearing loss for it humans, it causes distress to wildlife, especially in 22
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sensitive areas. For instance, noise generated by snowmobiles can cause animals to alter their natural activity patterns. 2b) Solid waste and littering In areas with high concentrations of tourist activities and appealing natural attractions, waste disposal is a serious problem and improper disposal can be a major despoiler of the natural environment rivers, scenic areas, and roadsides. For example, cruise ships in the Caribbean are estimated to produce more than 70,000 tons of waste each year. Today some cruise lines are actively working to reduce waste-related impacts (Refer: Cruise Lines International Association). Solid waste and littering can degrade the physical appearance of the water and shoreline and cause the death of marine animals. In mountain areas, trekking tourists generate a great deal of waste. Tourists on expedition leave behind their garbage, oxygen cylinders and even camping equipment. Such practices degrade the environment with all the detritus typical of the developed world, in remote areas that have few garbage collection or disposal facilities. Some trails in the Peruvian Andes and in Nepal frequently visited by tourists have been nicknamed “Coca-Cola trail” and “Toilet paper trail”. 2c) Sewage Construction of hotels, recreation and other facilities often leads to increased sewage pollution. Wastewater has polluted seas and lakes surrounding tourist attractions, damaging the flora and fauna. Sewage runoff causes serious damage to coral reefs because it stimulates the growth of algae, which cover the filter-feeding corals, hindering their ability to survive. Changes in salinity and siltation can have wide-ranging impacts on coastal environments. And sewage pollution can threaten the health of humans and animals. 2d) Aesthetic Pollution Often tourism fails to integrate its structures with the natural features and indigenous architectural of the destination. Large, dominating resorts of disparate design can look out of place in any natural environment and may clash with the indigenous structural design. A lack of land-use planning and building regulations in many destinations has facilitated sprawling developments along coastlines, valleys and scenic routes. The sprawl includes tourism facilities themselves and supporting infrastructure such as roads, employee housing, parking, service areas, and waste disposal. 3. Physical Impacts Attractive landscape sites, such as sandy beaches, lakes, riversides, and mountain tops and slopes, are often transitional zones, characterized by species-rich ecosystems. Typical physical impacts include the degradation of such ecosystems. An ecosystem is a geographic area including all the living organisms (people, plants, animals, and microorganisms), their physical surroundings (such as soil, water, and air), and the natural cycles that
sustain them. The ecosystems most threatened with degradation are ecologically fragile areas such as alpine regions, rain forests, wetlands, mangroves, coral reefs and sea grass beds. The threats to, and pressures on, these ecosystems are often severe because such places are very attractive to both tourists and developers. In industrial countries, mass tourism and recreation are now fast overtaking the extractive industries as the largest threat to mountain communities and environments. Since 1945, visits to the 10 most popular mountainous national parks in the United States have increased twelve-fold. In the European Alps, tourism now exceeds 100 million visitor-days. Every year in the Indian Himalayas, more than 250,000 Hindu pilgrims, 25,000 trekkers, and 75 mountaineering expeditions climb to the sacred source of the Ganges River, the Gangotri Glacier. They deplete local forests for firewood, trample riparian vegetation, and strew litter. Even worse, this tourism frequently induces poorly planned, land-intensive development. Source: People & the Planet Physical impacts are caused not only by tourism-related land clearing and construction, but by continuing tourist activities and long-term changes in local economies and ecologies. 3a) Physical impacts of tourism development 3ai) Construction activities and infrastructure development. The development of tourism facilities such as accommodation, water supplies, restaurants and recreation facilities can involve sand mining, beach and sand dune erosion, soil erosion and extensive paving. In addition, road and airport construction can lead to land degradation and loss of wildlife habitats and deterioration of scenery. In Yosemite National Park (US), for instance, the number of roads and facilities have been increased to keep pace with the growing visitor numbers and to supply amenities, infrastructure and parking lots for all these tourists. These actions have caused habitat loss in the park and are accompanied by various forms of pollution including air pollution from automobile emissions; the Sierra Club has reported “smog so thick that Yosemite Valley could not be seen from airplanes”. (Source:Trade and Environment Database) 3aii) Deforestation and intensified or unsustainable use of land. Construction of ski resort accommodation and facilities frequently requires clearing forested land. Coastal wetlands are often drained and filled due to lack of more suitable sites for construction of tourism facilities and infrastructure. These activities can cause severe disturbance and erosion of the local ecosystem, even destruction in the long term. 3aiii) Marina development. Development of marinas and breakwaters can cause changes in currents and coastlines. Furthermore, extraction of building materials such as sand affects coral reefs, mangroves, and hinterland forests, leading to erosion and destruction of habitats. In the Philippines and the Maldives, dynamiting and mining of coral for resort building materials has damaged fragile coral reefs and depleted the fisheries that sustain local people and attract tourists. Overbuilding and extensive paving of shorelines can result in destruction of habitats and disruption of land-sea connections
Coral reefs are especially fragile marine ecosystems and are suffering worldwide from reef-based tourism developments. Evidence suggests a variety of impacts to coral result from shoreline development, increased sediments in the water, trampling by tourists and divers, ship groundings, pollution from sewage, overfishing, and fishing with poisons and explosives that destroy coral habitat. 3b) Physical impacts from tourist activities 3bi) Trampling: Tourists using the same trail over and over again trample the vegetation and soil, eventually causing damage that can lead to loss of biodiversity and other impacts. Such damage can be even more extensive when visitors frequently stray off established trails. 3bii) Anchoring and other marine activities. In marine areas (around coastal waters, reefs, beach and shoreline, offshore waters, uplands and lagoons) many tourist activities occur in or around fragile ecosystems. Anchoring, snorkeling, sport fishing and scuba diving, yachting, and cruising are some of the activities that can cause direct degradation of marine ecosystems such as coral reefs, and subsequent impacts on coastal protection and fisheries. 3biii) Alteration of ecosystems by tourist activities. Habitat can be degraded by tourism leisure activities. For example, wildlife viewing can bring about stress for the animals and alter their natural behavior when tourists come too close. Safaris and wildlife watching activities have a degrading effect on habitat as they often are accompanied by the noise and commotion created by tourists as they chase wild animals in their trucks and aircraft. This puts high pressure on animal habits and behaviors and tends to bring about behavioral changes. In some cases, as in Kenya, it has led to animals becoming so disturbed that at times they neglect their young or fail to mate. There are 109 countries with coral reefs. In 90 of them reefs are being damaged by cruise ship anchors and sewage, by tourists breaking off chunks of coral, and by commercial harvesting for sale to tourists. One study of a cruise ship anchor dropped in a coral reef for one day found an area about half the size of a football field completely destroyed, and half again as much covered by rubble that died later. It was estimated that coral recovery would take fifty years. (Source: Ocean Planet). The Wider Caribbean Region, stretching from Florida to French Guiana, receives 63,000 port calls from ships each year, and they generate 82,000 tons of garbage. About 77% of all ship waste comes from cruise vessels. The average cruise ship carries 600 crewmembers and 1,400 passengers. On average, passengers on a cruise ship each account for 3.5 kilograms of garbage daily - compared with the 0.8 kilograms each generated by the less well-endowed folk on shore. (Source: Our Planet).
This article has been published with acknowledgement to the United Nations Environment Programme www.unep.org
About the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) Tourism and Environment Programme. Aware of and concerned about the negative environmental and social impacts of tourism, as well as the opportunities it offers, Ministers of the Environment have decided to give due consideration to this major issue with the aim of creating the adequate policy context to make the tourism industry sustainable. To that end, UNEP has been appointed by the Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD) as the Interagency Coordinator or lead agency responsible for implementation of Agenda 21 issues on tourism. Together with the World Tourism Organization, UNEP is the main focal point on sustainable tourism for CSD and the Convention on Biological Diversity.
Tourism Tattler Trade Journal
RETOSA EVENTS CALENDAR - AUGUST 2013 Date
BOTSWANA 31 August to 01 September
Dithubaruba Cultural Festival
Dithubaruba Cultural Festival
MALAWI End of August
Kulamba Chewa Ceremony
The Kulamba ceremony is held in Mkaika, the headquarters of the Chewa people.
Marimbeiros de Zavala’s Festival
This group of men are well known for playing the “timbila”ylophone made from a special wood found only in Inhambane.
SWAZILAND 27 August – 03 September TBC
Maidens Reed Dance
30 August – 10 September
Swaziland International Trade Fair- SITF
Young maidens attend the annual Reed Dance to celebrate their purity or virginity.
Ludzidzini Royal Residence
This is an annual event that takes place during the last week of August and the first week of September. SITF encourages trade locally and regionally. www.sift.biz
Mavuso Trade & Exhibition Centre
TANZANIA 08 August
Nane Nane Day
Annual Charity Goat Race
Farmers’ Day. A vibrant agricultural show and exhibitions that lasts for a week.
A fun day out for families for goat racing, fancy dressing, live music, arts and crafts, fabulous food and millions of shillings are raised for charity.
Dar es Salaam
ZAMBIA 24 – 29 August
United Nations World Tourism Organisation General Assembly
Livingstone – Southern Province
Chimanimani Arts Festival
17 – 20 August
Tour De Tuli
A two day showcase event of performing artists displaying their arts and crafts such as music, poetry, acrobats and dancers.
A cyling tournament where cyclist from all over the world tour the Tuli area, near Beitbridge.
RETOSA Annual Events Calendar
RETOSA has launched an annual events calendar aimed at keeping the travel trade informed on forthcoming events in each of the 14 RETOSA member countries, namely: Angola, Botswana, DR Congo, Lesotho, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Seychelles, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe. Each month’s events will be published in the Tourism Tattler and the full year’s events for each country can be downloaded at: www.tourismtattler.co.za/downloads/retosa2013calendarofevents.pdf 24
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Conventions The South African National Convention Bureau (SANCB) invited Tourism Tattler to participate in a two-day trip to showcase Nelson Mandela Bay’s business events capabilities and facilities and to attend the annual South African Association of the Conference Industry (SAACI) Congress, writes Beverley Langkilde. And what an event it turned out to be! Arriving at Sun International’s new Boardwalk Hotel, Convention Centre and Spa in Port Elizabeth, set the tone for 5-star service excellence, which is obviously why SAACI selected this venue for their 2013 annual convention and exhibition, which took place from 28 to 30 July 2013. My observation was borne out by the SAACI National Chairperson Nina-Freysen-Pretorius during her official welcome speech to delegates when she said “Our customers – the national and international associations, corporate clients and not for profit organisations - have to adapt to the new economic environment. With international grants, funding and sponsorship being cut to the bone, they have to be creative and more careful with their expenditure. Therefore, when looking for a conference destination and services, they are much more selective and demanding.” Nina’s statement was underpinned by the Minister of Tourism, Marthinus van Schalkwyk’s keynote address. “Even in world regions characterised by low or no economic growth, we can still look forward to another period of moderate expansion in meetings, events and business travel. That applies equally to volume and spends in 2013. Most indicators point to at least a modest increase in demand and prices in 2013, while in those world regions with fast-expanding economies, such as ours, much greater growth can be expected” he said. South Africa is ranked number one in Africa having hosted 97 meetings, Kenya number two with 29 meetings and Morocco number three with 23 meetings respectively. From a global perspective, the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA) ranks South Africa as 37th in the world with 97 meetings. Africa hosted a total of 302 meetings, which equates to 2,7 percent of the 11 000 international meetings held globally in 2012. “It is only through hosting conferences that can rotate on the African continent that we can become more competitive in the ICCA ranking” said Minister van Schalkwyk.
— Par Excellence
Beverley Langkilde at the SAACI Gala Dinner with Clifford Ngakane, General Manager at Meropa Casino and Entertainment World and Tracey Rivington, Marketing Plan Co-ordinator of the Port Elizabeth Hotel Group. Addressing delegates during day two of the convention, SA Tourism CEO Thulani Nzima said that the National Convention Bureau had been set up with a mandate to sell and market South Africa as a business events destination but not to dictate to the industry. “There is now a formal partnership between cities and provincial convention bureaux, provincial tourism organisations and the business events supplier community for the purpose of working collaboratively on the development of the industry. “The Business Events Coordinating Council was formed in September 2012 and includes as members, heads of all cities and provincial convention bureaus and business events units. Its role is to ensure that we work together and not against each other when attracting events to the country so that everyone wins.” He said the role of the NCB marketing sub-committee was to ensure an enhanced industry presence in the workings of the bureau. They will also provide a platform for industry input into the organisation and operation of Meetings Africa, which will be held from 24 to 26 February 2014 at the Sandton Convention Centre. SAACI Green Congress The importance of event greening has grown over the last few years and become an intergral part of the planning and implementation of events in South Africa. For the SAACI 2013 conferemce, the organisation committee appointed Stead-fast Greening to do an independant eco audit to showcase the success stories and lessons learnt. Some of the initiatives implemented at the congress included: • Delegate bags made from recycled materials; • No plastic bottled waters handed out to delegates; • Re-useing last years banner frames and inserting new prints; • Invoicing and correspondence sent via email; • The programme committee held teleconferences rather than inperson meetings (members based in CPT and JNB and PE). The choice of the Boardwalk as the venue, which opened up in December 2012, and has been built in line with Sun International’s sustainability principles also had an impact. All the standard practices were audited during the event, including waste management, energy efficiency, water conservation and eco procurement. SA Tourism CEO Thulani Nzima with Tourism Tattler Director Beverley Langkilde attending the Welcome Function at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium. AUGUST 2013
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HOSPITALITY - PROPERTY REVIEW
Ndumu River Lodge Ideally positioned along KwaZulu-Natal’s Route 22, between the village of Jozini and the Mozambique border, Ndumu River Lodge provides an ideal wilderness retreat for business travellers, incentive groups, wedding functions or just a long-weekend away, writes Des Langkilde Researching the Ndumu River Lodge website prior to departing on the 4.5 hour drive from Ballito to Jozini, I left with a feeling of trepidation about what to expect. Thankfully, the website does not do justice to this 3-star TGCSA rated lodge but they are in the process of re-doing their website. Route 22 Ndumu River Lodge lies midway on the far North Eastern edge of Route 22. An initiative of the Umhlosinga Development Agency, Route 22 extends from the iMfolozi River to the borders of Swaziland and Mozambique. Seven days on Route 22 offers: The Big 5 in the Hluhluwe-Imfolozi Park and other private game reserves in the district; the “Small 5” and “ugly 5”; water adventure activities along the shores of South Africa’s first World Heritage Site, iSimangaliso; a world-renowned diving site in Sodwana; over 500 bird species in Ndumo Game Reserve and surrounds; unique beadware and a wide range of authentic craft and last but not least, home-made pineapple juice and dried pineapples for which the district’s agricultural industry is renowned. Route 22’s luring attractions flashed by as we drove along the N2, took the Jozini turnoff and paused briefly to admire the sunset over the Pongolapoort Dam from the elevated height of the pass. Warm Welcome The old saying “Some people look for a beautiful place, others make a place beautiful” came to mind as my wife Beverley and I were welcomed on arrival by Ndumu River Lodge’s management couple, Mark and Karen Kotze accompanied by a couple of Great Danes and a energetic Labrador pup. The warm welcome, coupled with the well maintained ambiance of the reception area, with its terracotta facade and grandiose thatch roof was a pleasant surprise, which melted away my preconceived notion derived from their website. Climbing the railway sleeper stairs (there is a wheel-chair ramp to the side of the stairs) leading from the gravel parking lot to the reception building, we could see a cosy boma styled braai area to the left and wooden stairs on the right leading up to the bar and lounge set above the open plan dining room area. Mark’s natural flair for hospitality and his humorous bantering is 26
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infectious and, although having just met, we felt as if we were among long lost friends as the stress of driving slowly seeped away while sitting on the verandah, watching the night cloak the surrounding bush, and sipping on complimentary Lala Palm wine, which is locally brewed. Mark and Karen, we discovered, had only taken over as resident lodge managers in November last year and their personal touches are evident in the recently upgraded facilities and amenities, due I’m sure to Karen’s flair for interior design, as she also runs her own business; KiDeco Design, the slogan for which is rather aptly ‘Making Sense of Design.’ The couple make a perfect hospitality pair considering Mark’s extensive experience at renowned properties such as the Drakensberg Gardens Resort, Glen Garry (in London, UK), the Gardens Hotel in Port Harcourt, Nigeria and even an exclusive lodge in Tanzania’s Mafia Island marine conservancy called Kanasi. Activities After a sumptuous three course à la carte dinner and a restful night’s sleep, I arose early for breakfast to meet Brent McDougall, the
PROPERTY REVIEW - HOSPITALITY
Twinspot, Lemon-breasted Canary and Neergard’s Sunbird. Being a keen beginner birder and photographer, Karen catalogues a record of birdlife spotted on the estate for guests to reference at reception. Fishing A short walk outside the estate’s fenced-in perimeter leads down to the Pongola river, where guests can enjoy a picnic and cast a line. The Pongola River is home to a staggering fifty species of fish, making it the most diverse freshwater ecosystems in South Africa. Over 40 of these species are found in the Pongola Floodplain below Lake Jozini, king of which is the mighty Tiger Fish (Hydrocynus Vittatis) offering arguably the best freshwater sport fishing on the African continent.
resident gap-year guide, for a walk around the five hectare property. Brent proudly guided me along a network of pathways, which he and his team have purposely hacked through the bush and thorn scrub to enable visitors an opportunity to view some of the unique flora and plentiful birdlife. Quaint water features and rustic benches have been built at strategic points along the pathways for visitors to rest while soaking up the sound of birds twittering in the surrounding bush. Birdlife The indigenous Sweet Lowveld Bushveld, the only example of this flora in the KwaZulu-Natal province, supports a vast array of bird species, including some that are rare in other parts of Zululand. These include Burchell’s Starling, Bennett’s Woodpecker, Levaillant’s Cuckoo, Purple Roller, Magpie Shrike and Red-headed Weaver. The area also contains eastern coastal plain endemics such as Rudd’s Apalis, Pink-throated
The Pongola River has its source in the Mpumalanga Province exiting the Lebombo Mountain range below Lake Jozini. Here the river encounters the flat Mozambique coastal plain and seems to stretch out and put up its feet as it meanders casually between the ninety odd pans that make up the Pongola Floodplain - South Africa’s largest and most diverse freshwater ecosystem and a nature lover’s paradise. Sundowner Cruise For sundowners aboard the lodge’s rustic boat, Brent will happily hitch-up and drive guests a short distance to a nearby freshwater pan. Seeing how the local rural residents live and fish on the pan is an experience in itself. Bird spotting on our trip included a wonderful Pink-backed Pelican, African Jacana’s walking on the water lilies, Purple Heron, a Fish Eagle, African Darter, White breasted and Reed Cormorants. Other birds that excite Twitters and can be spotted in the area include the African Finfoot, Pell’s Fishing Owl, Pygmy Goose, Black Coucal, Narina Trogon, Half collared Kingfisher and Southern Banded Snake Eagle. Excursions Self-drive day trips in the area offer a wide array of excursions. Border Cave near Swaziland on the western scarp of the Lebombo Mountains has a remarkably continuous record of occupation spanning about 200,000 years. The cave was made famous by the discovery of the “Lebombo Bone”, the oldest known artefact showing a counting tally. Dated back 35,000 years, it is a small piece of baboon fibula incised with 29 notches, similar to the calendar sticks used by the San of Namibia. The Hlatikulu Crane & Wetland Sanctuary is a rescue, rehabilitation, and captive breeding facility for all three of South Africa’s crane species. There are 15 crane species from around the world and all of them are endangered or under threat to some degree. The main reason for this is that cranes are intimately linked to the grassland biome – often limited to wetlands – and this biome is the most threatened by agriculture and other human activities. We often hear about the destruction of the rainforests, but grasslands have been AUGUST 2013
Tourism Tattler Trade Journal
HOSPITALITY - PROPERTY REVIEW
decimated by agricultural activities since our species first developed farming 10,000 years ago. Game Viewing Elephants are prolific at the nearby Big 5 Tembe Elephant Park, located 17km from the lodge. Tembe was established in 1983 to protect elephants which used to migrate between Maputuland and Southern Mozambique. These elephants were traumatised by poaching during the civil war in Mozambique so the park was only opened to the public in 1991. The park is now home to 250 elephants and lucky visitors just might catch a glimpse of ISILO who has the largest tusks in the Southern Hemisphere, or the wild dogs or lions.
Conferences and Weddings Ndumu River Lodge caters for weddings, product launches and company conferences, which can also be hired for celebratory functions. The lodge grounds provide the perfect setting for wedding photo shoots that will leave the bridal couple and entourage with lasting memories and lingering hang-overs. Future Plans
Ndumo Game Reserve is a 19km drive from the lodge in the opposite direction and is stocked with game including huge Nile crocodiles, hippopotamus, red duiker, nyala, impala, giraffe and cape buffalo. Ndumu River Lodge is renowned for its prolific birdkife, and the lodge is a birder friendly establishment and is registered as such by Birdlife South Africa.
As with most new hospitality management couples, Mark and Karen have already made their personal mark in the upgrading of facilities at Ndumu River Lodge. “The owner, Gary Nel also owns Pipeline Engineering and a construction company, which is just as well as we have a long list of projects that we’d like to implement” says Mark. They are in the process of completing another block of four executive rooms, which is due for completion by the year-end.
Ndumu River Lodge offers air conditioned en-suite and self-catering rooms as well as camp sites with power points, braais and communal ablution facilities.
I asked Mark what environmental sustainability initiatives the lodge has in place to attract, or at least appease eco-tourists. “We separate and recycle our solid and wet waste. Our used cooking oil is collected for bio-fuel recycling, while wet waste is collected by a local piggery. We drop off our used office print cartridges and alkaline batteries at the local Pick ‘n Pay recycling depot. We also use linseed oil to maintain our outdoor wood constructions instead of varnish” he said.
The suites are arranged in a series of single-story buildings with private front-facing balconies. Units are available in either double bed or twin bed configurations and include an en-suite toilet and shower with changing area. Each unit is equipped with a writing desk, tea / coffee facilities, TV, ceiling fans, air-conditioning and a wall safe for valuables. A wheelchair-friendly unit is also available. A total of four self-catering chalets cater to single couples or larger families with one single bedroom chalet, two four sleepers and one six sleeper chalet, each fully equipped with kitchen appliances and cutlery. Bedroom linen is included in each chalet and all rooms are serviced by the cleaning staff daily. The Ndumu River Lodge restaurant serves a varied à la carte menu for breakfasts, light lunches and dinner. On occasion, a boma style braai
around a roaring fire pit is provided. Situated above the restaurant overlooking the salt water swimming pool is a comfortable lounge and bar with big screen TV for rugby fans.
Tourism Tattler Trade Journal
From a community upliftment perspective, Gary Nel has donated numerous amenities to the local community, including school class rooms and a local church near Kosi Bay mouth. For more information visit: www.ndumu.com
NDUMU RIVER LODGE FACT SHEET AT A GLANCE Location: Jozini, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. 450km from Durban. Coordinates: Latitude = 27°03.432”S : Longitude = 32°26.110”E Type: River Lodge Star rating: 3 (TGCSA) Accreditation: Birdlife South Africa Eco Certification: No TOMSA registered: No Wheelchair friendly: Yes Accommodation: 12 x Suites, 4 x Chalets and 4 x camp sites Capacity: 38 beds in 28 Rooms STO Rates: Available on application Facilities: 24 Hour security, Salt water swimming pool, Bird paths, Fully equipped self-catering units Services: Tours and Transfers by arrangement Activities: Evening Boma Fire, Walking Trails, Guided Excursions Spa: No Gym: No Parking: Secure on-site parking WiFi: Wireless Internet available Restaurants / Bars: 1 x Bar and 1 x Restaurant Conference facilities: Yes. Maximum 40 Wedding facilities: Cater to parties from 20 to 40 guests in either the Conference Venue. Accommodation packages available at special rates.
The NEW ‘POPI’ aka PROTECTION
OF PERSONAL INFORMATION ACT – PART 4 – PRINCIPLE #2 – PROCESSING LIMITATION: PART 2
Personal Information (‘PI’) must at all times be collected directly from the Data Subject (‘DS’) except in following cases:
If it is contained in a public record: ‘accessible in public domain and under control of public body’ i.e. department of state … provincial … or any municipality’
If it has been made public by DS – clearly the present use of social media by many, many people creates a bit of a conundrum as unwittingly such users are waiving this obligation/right pertaining to information and often photos placed on Facebook, Twitter, etc;
DS has consented to it being collected from another source – given the focus of POPI it is suggested that such consent should be informed and explicit;
If the collection from another source ‘will not prejudice the legitimate interests of the DS’;
It is in order to enforce a law, collection in terms of SARS Act, a court order or in ‘interests of national security’ – one fears that certain institutions and government, given the hullabaloo around the recent secrecy act (Protection of State Information Act), could infringe or threaten the rights of the general public;
If compliance would ‘prejudice a lawful purpose of the collection’;
If compliance is ‘not reasonably practicable in the circumstances’ – this exception may well also be open to abuse and one feels that there should be a heavy burden/onus on the party relying on this exception to prove the justification.
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, BENCHMARK, August 2013.
Debt collection. Cashflow is the lifeblood of any business - bad debts threaten viability. SJA assists, from issueing summonses to executing judgements. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Commercial. Registration of companies, trademarks & searches. Drawing up of contracts - leases, sales of business, joint ventures, partnerships & franchises. Contact: email@example.com
Liabilities. Specialising in Professional Indemnity, Insurance Law, Travel and Tourism liability. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Commercial. Corporate Advisory Services, Liquidations, Commercial Contracts, Company Registrations and Intellectual Property Law. Contact: email@example.com Labour and Administrative Law. Specialising in Labour Law as well as public and private partnerships in the environmental context. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Personal Injury. SJA’s specialist departments have many years of experience with the Road Accident Fund and this area of the law. Contact: email@example.com Property. Specialising in Sectional Title and Game Lodge development conveyancing matters. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Johannesburg: Pretoria: (011) 325 0830 (012) 452 8200 E-mail: email@example.com
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Q2 Tourism Business Index According to results of the TBCSA FNB Tourism Business Index (TBI) for the second quarter of 2013, it’s business as usual for the travel and tourism sector with comfortable trading overall, writes Kagiso Mosue. At the moment the sector is performing in the normal range. However, it must be acknowledged that there seems to be some uncertainty on the horizon. Last quarter marked three consecutive quarters of performance topping normal, with Q1 2013 being the most positive, whereas Q2 has now reversed that trend slightly by dropping to 98,2. “98,2 is close enough to 100 for comfort so it is important to stress that performance remains in the range. That said, we are keeping a watching brief that there isn’t a negative trend developing,” said Gillian Saunders, Principal and Head: Advisory Services, Grant Thornton Johannesburg. 2013 Q3 expectation at 97,0 is close to Q2 actual performance of 98,2. Although the industry is less optimistic than before, the fact is that operations are close to normal levels. The overall tourism index includes responses from two sub-indices: Accommodation and Other Tourism Businesses (which includes tour and coach operators, vehicle rental, airlines, travel agents, retail outlets, forex traders, conference venues and attractions). The index for the Accommodation Sector in Q2 2013 was slightly higher than normal at 101,7 but much lower than Q1 2013 when it came in at 120,9. Other Tourism Businesses recorded a Q2 index of 95,1 which is also lower than the Q1 2013 performance of 103,1. Both the Accommodation and Other Tourism Businesses performed worse than expected in Q2: 101,7 compared to 107,8 for Accommodation and 95,4 compared to 98,4 for Other Tourism Businesses. It is in the forward projection to looking at performance for the next year that the difference between the two sub-sectors is most stark. On balance, accommodation respondents have a negative outlook of -12,7%, a significant decrease from the positive 13,1% expected in the last edition. However, this level is still well above the lowest levels experienced throughout 2011. Other Tourism Businesses are – on balance – positive about the outlook for the next year at +15,2%, which is, however, a decline from the previous annual outlook of +29,7% in the last edition. In the Accommodation Sector there is a negative balance of - 15,6% regarding capacity expansion for Q3 2013. This is the lowest level since the first official TBI in 2011 and indicates a move back to decreasing capacity in the industry.
When it comes to employment creation in the sector for the next quarter, the Accommodation Sector is slightly negative on balance in Q2 at -0,2%, a slight decrease from the +0,9% balance statistic expected by them. Other Tourism Businesses have gone from a stronger positive outlook in Q1 of +12,5% to a neutral outlook of 0,0% for Q3 2013, with the majority still indicating that their employment levels will remain unchanged. The outlook for any increases in employment in the sector is therefore bleak for the 3rd quarter. Negative Factors Negative factors that impacted on tourism businesses in Q2 include cost of inputs such as utilities, municipal rates and fuel. Insufficiency in demand was also cited as a negative factor in this quarter, both domestically and internationally and in both the leisure and business markets. It seems that uncertainty has reduced the overall positive outlook and this is not expected to change much in the next quarter. “With consumers’ disposable income under pressure these figures are actually positive,” says economist Mike Schussler, founder and owner of Economists.co.za. “Locals are still spending money on tourism and furthermore, the weaker rand should encourage increased foreign visits. The next few surveys should give further positive direction for the tourism industry.” Positive Factors The weak exchange rate is cited as a significant positive contributing factor by both sub-indices. As the currency weakens, so South Africa becomes a cheaper destination for international business and leisure tourists, with the knock-on effect of higher spend by these tourists and/or trading up of accommodation and other services. The TBI recorded a performance index of 98,2 against 100 for the second quarter of 2013, while the Quarterly RMB/BER Business Confidence Index recorded 48 against a normal of 50 in Q2 2013. This indicates that the tourism industry is largely in line with the business confidence levels generally in the South African marketplace at the moment.
“There is no real explanation of why this balance is low but it doesn’t necessarily indicate a worrying trend,” said Saunders. “I suspect the industry is simply levelling out to a comfortable capacity. Any more building of accommodation could result in over-capacity and it’s good that the industry is avoiding that.”
“The weakening confidence in the industry is in line with the prevailing moderating of consumer demand in SA and key foreign source markets. The cost of inputs and weak overseas business travel has affected the tourism industry. However, the silver lining is that there’s an improving demand in both domestic leisure and corporate travel. Moving forward there are still hurdles that the industry must overcome against the improving but fragile domestic and global environment” concludes Wiza Nyondo, FNB Head of Tourism Banking.
Other Tourism Businesses contrast with Accommodation in capacity too, showing a strong positive balance of +22,4%.
The full Q2 report can be downloaded at www.tourismtattler.co.za/ downloads/TBI-Report-Q2-2013.pdf
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Market Intelligence Report The information below was extracted from data available as at 25 July 2013, by Martin Jansen van Vuuren of Grant Thornton.
ARRIVALS The latest available data from Statistics South Africa is for January to March 2013: Current period
Change over same period last year
Overseas Arrivals (excl same day visitors)
1 684 139
Total Foreign Arrivals
2 381 603
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.
HOTEL STATS The latest available data from STR Global is for January to May 2013: Current period
Average Room Occupancy (ARO)
Average Room Rate (ARR)
Revenue Per Available Room (RevPAR)
All Hotels in SA
All 5-star hotels in SA
R 1 739
R 1 100
All 4-star hotels in SA
All 3-star hotels in SA
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
Passengers arriving on Regional Flights
Passengers arriving on Domestic Flights
Cape Town International
King Shaka International
The latest available data from ACSA is for January to June 2013:
Change over same period last year Passengers arriving on International Flights OR Tambo International
WHAT THIS MEANS FOR MY BUSINESS Note: No new data was available from STR Global since the last MIR. Data from Statistics South Africa shows that foreign arrivals continue to grow. Apart from arrivals from the UK, South Africa has achieved growth in its main overseas source markets. Strong growth from the BRICS countries is from a low base, but the growth of over 7% in overseas arrivals is encouraging. This optimism is countered by a decline in passengers arriving on domestic flights at the three main airports. The decline could be attributed to the increase in the cost of domestic flights since the demise of 1Time. Cape Town has also suffered a decline in passengers arriving on international flights since the termination of direct flights between Cape Town and London. The decline of the Rand against major international currencies will assist tourism enterprises in attracting the foreign market but the tourism industry is cautioned to build value in their product offering rather than become dependent on a declining Rand to remain profitable. For more information contact Martin at Grant Thornton on +27 (0)21 417 8838 or visit: http://www.gt.co.za AUGUST 2013
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– PART 1 –
SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING In this new E-Marketing series we will help you to become a Social Business. We will show you what influences people’s social behaviour (how to go viral) how to automate on line communications, how to position your brand, and how to advertise and sell your products. Ultimately from this you will gain enough ideas to start building your own successful Social Media Strategy, writes Pieter Philipse. Social Media History Unlike what many of us believe, on line social media have been around a lot longer than expected. In 1969 Compuserve was started. It was the first to offer on line connectivity, with hundreds of thousands of users visiting it’s thousands of moderated forums. Another early form of on line social interaction in the late seventies was made possible through the Bulletin Board System known as BBS. Both these systems relied on phone modem dial-ups. Compuserve’s connectivity model was based on offering people time based connectivity, anyone could purchase x amount of hours in advance. America Online, Usenet, and Prodigy began on line services several years before the INTERNET was started. In 1997 only 4 years after INTERNET technology was donated by CERN to the world and the first Browser Mosaic had been introduced, Sixdegrees.com already let users create profiles and list friends on their website. From 1994 to the year 2000 the INTERNET grew from as little as 1500 web-servers in existence to seventy million on line connected computers. Friendster, this millennium’s first social media website, started in 2002 and grew to an audience of 3 million within the first 3 months. The biggest social networking sites were soon to follow. In 2003 MySpace was started as a Friendster clone and during the same year LinkedIn began. In 2004 Facebook was launched, it called itself the college version of Friendster and was originally intended for Harvard students. That same year saw the beginning of podcasting and the emergence of two other social media giants, Flickr the image hosting website, and Digg a social platform where people shared stories from across the INTERNET. In 2005 Youtube started storing and displaying videos and in 2006 Twitter was born. 32
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From it’s early days in 2004 to 2010 Facebook grew steadily to more then 400 million users. Within the space of three years from 2010 to 2013, due to more and more people connecting to the INTERNET, the Facebook user total was raised to a staggering 1.11 billion users. This year Youtube topped a massive 1 billion users, Twitter now has 500 million registered users and LinkedIn the social business website 225 million. In turn Google the search-engine giant had 343 million users on their networking platform Google+, and Wordpress the blogging platform has hosted 74 million blogs. New parties to the Social scene like Pinterest showed a total of 48.7 million users. The immense growth enjoyed by the social media industry confirms that social network users have adopted en masse. Present trends also show that the top social sites are pulling visitors away from smaller niche sites in which users share common interests. This can be compared in some extent to the rise of the supermarket chains in the 20th century that resulted in taking business away from the smaller retail outlets (less effort equals more result). Maturity in the social media sector means that companies can invest in social media marketing confidently using dependable indicators. But that is really half the story. Equally important is that it remains up to people’s creative marketing vision and application of social marketing methods to formulate the strategies, which create brand popularity and profitable returns on investment. Continued in next month’s Tourism Tattler: Social Media Marketing, Part 2 - Where To Start.
Tourism Tattler Trade Journal
For tourism organisations who want to tap into the growing ecotourism niche, the International Ecotourism Society provides the answers, writes Des Langkilde. The International Ecotourism Society (TIES) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting ecotourism. Founded in 1990, TIES has been on the forefront of the development of ecotourism, providing guidelines and standards, training, technical assistance, and educational resources. TIES’ global network of ecotourism professionals and travellers is leading the efforts to make tourism a viable tool for conservation, protection of bio-cultural diversity, and sustainable community development.
pro-poor tourism, and responsible tourism, all of which encompass the concept that tourism can and should benefit conservation and host communities. An important trend within the development of sustainable tourism is initiatives to mainstream sustainability within travel and tourism, by taking the principles and good practices of ecotourism and applying them to wider swath of the market, e.g. hotel chains, urban tourist attractions, ski resorts, golf courses, and beach resorts.
Through membership services, industry outreach and educational programmes, TIES is committed to helping organizations, communities and individuals promote and practice the principles of ecotourism. TIES currently has members in more than 120 countries, representing various professional fields and industry segments including: academics, consultants, conservation professionals and organizations, governments, architects, tour operators, lodge owners and managers, general development experts, and ecotourists.
Who are eco-tourists?
How is ecotourism different from environmental tourism, nature tourism, sustainable tourism or responsible tourism? Ecotourism is defined as “responsible travel to natural areas that conserves the environment and improves the well-being of local people.” While “environmental or nature-based tourism” simply describes travel to natural places, “ecotourism” is a type of naturebased tourism that benefits local communities and destinations environmentally, culturally and economically. Ecotourism represents a set of principles that have been successfully implemented in various global communities, and are supported by extensive industry and academic research. Ecotourism, when properly executed based on these principles, exemplifies the benefits of socially and environmentally sound tourism development.
Ecotourism appeals to a wide range of travellers, of all ages and interests. Travellers who choose ecotourism are responsible consumers interested in social, economic and environmental sustainability. Seeking authentic local experiences and opportunities to give back to the communities they visit, many eco-tourists participate in voluntourism activities. Increasingly, eco-tourists are also seeking to minimize the carbon footprint of their travel. Why is ecotourism important? By increasing capacity-building opportunities, ecotourism is an effective vehicle for empowering local communities around the world to fight against poverty and to achieve sustainable development. Furthermore, ecotourism has provided an impetus to assist in greening the tourism industry on many fronts. Why should I become involved in ecotourism?
How has ecotourism evolved over the years?
Ecotourism is a tool that provides opportunities - a financially viable tool that provides sustainable solutions to economic challenges and conservation needs of local people; an alternative means of supporting rural economies to help revitalize and sustain local heritage; and a market-linked force connecting and empowering stakeholders.
Ecotourism first grew out of the global environmental movement in the late 1970s. While the development and growth of ecotourism took various paths in different parts of the world, by the early 1990s, ecotourism, along with nature-based, cultural, heritage and adventure tourism, had become among the fastest growing sectors of the tourism industry worldwide. More recently, ecotourism has helped to spawn a variety of new terms, such as sustainable tourism,
The TIES website (www.ecotourism.org) offers information and resources for travellers, professionals and media. From the TIES eLibrary, visitors can view and download their publications and link to relevant resources on various topics - sustainable tourism certification, volunteer vacations, parks and protected areas, community-based ecotourism, among others.
Tourism Tattler Trade Journal
Where can I find more information about ecotourism?
Luxury Ground Transport gets a raw deal The luxury ground transport sector in South Africa is battling to survive in the current economic climate and if tour buyers continue to squeeze coach hire prices, many operators will fall by the wayside, writes Fanie van Zyl. The luxury ground transport sector, and by that I mean Tour Coach and Bus operators, is still getting a raw deal when it comes to prioritising prices during trip planning and budgeting. Ground transport should be considered as one of the first and most important factors when compiling an itinerary, especially when considering the passenger’s safety and comfort, yet this aspect appears to be left as the last item on the list. The perception of ground transport in tour and itinerary planning, is that it is not as important as flights or accommodation or attractions. Many ground transport operators have experienced that just about everyone involved in tour planning does not realise that Tour Coaches are very expensive commodities to purchase, operate and maintain. It’s clear from a price parity point of view, that buyers do not have a clue or understanding why coach operators charge, what buyers perceive to be, exorbitant prices. Buyers are not aware of the fact that a Luxury 48 to 52 seater tour coach costs around R3.2 million to purchase, which incurs monthly instalments of approximately R70,000. Add the coach driver at R10,000 and insurance at R9,000 and it’s clear to see that a coach operator has incurred R89,000 in fixed expenses alone. Add to this the cost of fuel, which can be as high as 25% of the tour price, vehicle maintenance costs, permit costs, road toll costs and the costs associated with running a legally compliant business. Example: To illustrate the point, let’s take a 21 day round trip overland tour at an average travelling distance of 250km per day. Fuel expenses excluding toll fees would equate to approximately R37,500. Add the fixed expenses, inclusive of depot and cleaning fees, and we are looking at R126,500. Thus, in a 21 day recovery month the price that a coach operator should charge is R7,500 per day inclusive of a marginal 20% mark-up. This does not even cover operational
expenses like maintenance and tyres and repairs. If the operator were to add the latter, a price of up to R9,500 would need to be quoted, which the market cannot support at the moment. Here is the sad part! For a passenger to travel in comfort, safety and style the going rate is only R156.25 per day - much less than the price of a 1-star rated room and probably equal to a dinner bill at an average restaurant. Passengers travel in a R3.2 million super luxury vehicle, with passenger liability of R100 million included in the deal. Is that fair? It’s no wonder that only a few operators can afford to upgrade their fleet of coaches and the going rates certainly make it very difficult for anyone to enter the market as a novice. Only a few new BEE operators can enter the market unless they are able to secure funding from a Government Agency or through a BEE Empowerment Deal. Or unless one has won the lottery or inherited a fortune, which if that were the case the fortunate entrepreneur would certainly not be investing in the luxury ground transport sector! In addition to the above, one should also consider that the Luxury Coach fleets in South Africa are ageing rapidly. Even the large Coach Operators are finding it difficult to upgrade or acquire new vehicles. We therefore see that the average ‘Full Luxury Coach’ fleets are already 4-5 years old. Thus all coaches acquired by Government for the 2010 Soccer World Cup are already three years old with high mileage. So if Tour Operators prefer to book the latest and newest model vehicles they can expect to fork out more than on the older generation vehicles. So what do they offer their travellers? A Full Luxury Coach of five years and older or the latest and most modern vehicles? Maybe the Coach and Bus fraternity through the Coach Operators’ Association of South Africa should introduce a Grading system for motor coaches as well as a Service Maintenance Manual similar to the Aircraft industry to keep track of the maintenance and service records of vehicles as we take the lives of travellers into our hands. About the Author: Fanie van Zyl is the Managing Director of SA Coach Charters & Bus Rentals. For more information visit: www.sacoachcharters.co.za AUGUST 2013
Tourism Tattler Trade Journal
Wildlife Mortality Insurance Possibly the highest risk in terms of animal well-being, can be apportioned to animals that are captured and held in bomas awaiting sale at an auction, writes Julian Freimond. Stress and injury followed by exposure resulting in mortality in the short term, are the major contributors in this case.This would however be determined by many factors all critical to the outcome of this exercise and insurance rates are determined on the following basis:1.Species – some species of animals are ‘’hardier’’ than others and adapt better to captivity and boma conditions, therefore less risk. An example is roan antelope which do not adapt well to boma confinement whereas rhino and buffalo generally do.
polices available in the market are generally all encompassing, there are certain underwriters who exclude some perils and these need to be explained to any interested insurer – ‘’upfront’’ so that there is no misunderstanding.
2.Veterinarian and capture team – the handling of the animals at capture, loading and off-loading as well as transport conditions are critical to their well-being.
3.Travelling distance and weather conditions – obviously major factors such as unfavourable temperatures and rain, as well as long periods standing and lack of bedding, feed, water and space are sure to reduce chances of survival. 4.Boma conditions – are critical and factors to be considered when rating and considering a risk are – size and design of the holding pens as well as shade, protection from the elements and duration the animals are held in confinement. Strangely enough, and depending on species involved, it is sometimes advantageous to house animals for longer periods in bomas prior to sale and relocation, than for shorter periods which can be unsettling. A good example of this would be rhino which become habituated to boma conditions both pre and post-delivery and often then settle better in their new environment if held in bomas for longer periods before being sold and relocated. Having consideration for all the above mentioned however, it still is generally considered less ‘’risky’’ for all species in terms of relocation, to be captured and relocated to their new environment directly, rather than to endure boma confinement between capture and delivery, even though in some cases, holding bomas are used at final destination to acclimatise the animals to their new surroundings before being released directly from the holding pens, into the veld. Auction sales which offer animals for sale on ‘’catalogue’’, are almost always viewed by insurers as a better risk, and mortality insurance rates will always be more favourable if cover is required for capture and transport to the buyer’s property directly, than for the whole procedure of capture, transport to auction site, boma cover, reloading and transport to final destination at the buyer’s property. However prices attained for animals on catalogue at sales are generally considered to be lower than those achieved for live sales where the animals can be viewed by the public/buyers, but there is obviously greater risk of mortality hence the higher rate charged. Options When consideration is given to the risk at hand by insurers, there are a few options that are on offer. For full all risks cover which is sometimes subject to certain exclusions, depending on the underwriter and their policy wording a specific rate would apply and this would hopefully be ‘’all encompassing’’ as far as the owner of the animal is concerned. Buyers often just want to know that if the animal thay are insuring dies, there is cover and insurance will be paid. Although the 36
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Exclusions in cover in terms of this class of insurance need to be clearly defined, explained and understood by the insured prior to the contract being concluded. Alternatives to the above could be transportation risks only, capture risks only, cover while animals are in boma only, and cover from loading from the auction bomas to final destination or a combination of the above. Most wildlife insurance policies available are flexible and will tailor-make cover to suite the owner’s requirements. There is a growing tendency lately for the hosts of wildlife auctions to offer insurance for all animals sold on auction. This generally seems to include cover from fall of hammer, when the risk passes to the buyer, transport to the buyer’s property as well as a short period (7 or 14 days) on veld after delivery. This is advertised as ‘’free insurance’’ which should be catered for between insurer and seller, and, if advertised as such, should not involve any premium payment from the buyer. If however insurance is advertised as free or included with purchase, then no ‘’top up’’ or any additional payment should be requested by the seller in this regard. Some misunderstandings in this regard have led to disgruntled buyers who feel they were misled. Additional Insurance The financial impact of adding insurance premium to the purchase price of an animal can be further influenced by offers of additional voluntary excess, no claim bonus discounts, monthly payment for long term contracts and stop loss or limited loss cover which pegs insured limits to an agreed value of the total sum insured. For example if a total herd was valued at R10Million and the insured felt he had potential to lose a maximum during any one period of insurance, of say R2 Million worth of game, then the risk could be rated by most insurers on the R2 Million and not the total R10 Million value at risk. Reinsurance Finally, it is worth bearing in mind for any readers of this article who may be owners of high value and exotic species of game, that it is sometimes necessary for brokers and underwriters to seek reinsurance for animals with excessive values beyond normal mandates. These amounts or limits differ from company to company but usually around R10 Million in sum insured would necessitate additional participation from either an international or local insurer to take on risk exposure in excess of the mandated amount agreed to between intermediary and client. This can sometimes take a day or two to negotiate, so timeous notice is required if cover is anticipated prior to purchase of the animal. For more information visit: www.satib.co.za
17 Year Old Mercedes Sprinter Criss Crosses Africa A SERIOUS case of travel fever is what motivated Charlie Grzelak and Adrianna Wolkska from Poland to complete an adventure road trip from Scotland to Cape Town in a revamped 1996 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter van (Sprinter 208). What many may consider to be a completely crazy journey, the two explorers have been on the long road for the past ten months after converting their Sprinter into a mobile home.
“Once bitten by the travel bug, it never quite lets go. No one believed we made it all the way in this vehicle or that we stood any chance of making it to Cape Town. But we did!” they said. “We wanted to explore the East Coast of Africa, its famous national parks and beautiful Indian Ocean coast. We achieved our journey’s goal to cross the continent to its southernmost point. We also visited friends in Zimbabwe, and decided to leave our van there.” Although the 17 year old ex-builder’s Mercedes-Benz Sprinter van is not a 4x4, it has missioned through rocky and muddy terrain, deserts and rivers. The van was nicknamed Rusty, due to the antique, rusty appearance of the vehicle. “Old Rusty doesn’t have air-conditioning or any other luxuries, although the 79 horsepower engine is as strong and tireless as an ox,” Charlie added. A few creature comforts include a bed with under-bed storage, laminated flooring, a kitchen cabinet and a second battery system that enables them to charge their camera, phone and laptop. Rusty was bought for equivalent of R10 000 in Edinburgh in Scotland. It has already driven through 27 countries, 40 000 kilometres to Cape Town and the southernmost point of Africa, Cape Aghulas. Charlie says that while Rusty was a little cramped, he is astonishingly comfortable. “In some countries when bush-camping was not possible and campsites were not available, we actually rented a room just so that we could get a safe overnight parking and we would prefer to stay in the vehicle, rather than the room.” Eco Friendly Their Sprinter mobile home was built out of recyclable and ecofriendly materials that were reclaimed and re-used items. “Everyone finds it fascinating that such a vehicle, that was not designed for this purpose, would make a long distance voyage through Africa. What we felt we needed most was mechanical simplicity, ruggedness, good ground clearance and ample space inside. “We have achieved this without any sponsorship, grants or any outside support, except the kindness and hospitality of people met en-route.” Vehicle breakdowns, say Charlie and Adrianna are part of the fun that has offered them ample opportunities to explore Africa and experience the friendliness of its people. They recalled their most hair-raising experience to be a lioness in Zimbabwe that charged after 38
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them, as she was protecting her prey - a waterbuck that she had killed. “We also got stuck in mud in the same national park and had to dig ourselves out. It took us an hour of digging the mud away by hand. As soon as we got out a 4x4 pulled up and asked if we’d seen the lions yet. They were not even 500 metres away, there were six of them walking right in our direction – 10 more minutes and we could have ended up as supper.” Their travels have taken them to 49 countries in Europe, Asia, East and North-West Africa, mostly by car over the past decade. “We first travelled all around Europe and backpacked our way through Asia when we ran out of countries to visit. One of our projects was a 14 000 kilometre journey by a standard Ford Mondeo from Edinburgh (Scotland) to the Sahara Desert, to raise funds and to deliver donated items for the Eve Branson Foundation. “We also wanted to raise awareness, educate and teach new skills to women living in the Moroccan Atlas mountains to empower themselves so that they could support their families once the men left for the cities to start new lives there, forgetting what they left behind.” Charlie related that the image of Africa in the western media was rather skewed. “Africa is generally in the news when there’s a famine, war or a dictatorship is committing some atrocities. Otherwise there is what you see on National Geographic – amazing wildlife and natural wonders.” The Goal He said that he and Adrianna had a burning need to sink their teeth into the real Africa. “Our goal was to simply explore and experience this unbelievably beautiful, amazing and diverse continent on our own, meet the people who live there and travel through it. “We are originally Polish but moved to Scotland to pursue university studies and work at the same time. We raised funds for this journey over a space of three years by working part-time and saving on commodities.” This meant no coffees, dates with friends, parties and home cooked meals instead of eating out. The trip involved another three years of research and preparation. “We are passionate about exploring new places and sharing experiences with others. We would like to continue living the dream by working in the travel and tourism industry.” They added that this fascinating
journey was not without its sacrifices. Charlie and Adrianna had to quit their jobs, packed up their rented flat in Scotland and sold most of their belongings that had been left in Poland with their families. “It also meant getting stuck a few times in the mud and sand but changing to all-terrain tyres helped a lot.” The two adventurers who are far from basic amenities carry a portable shower but usually use a bucket and a jug to bath. Their DIY washing machine was designed from a 10 kilogram dog food container that serves as the washing drum. “What really does the trick is soaking the dirty laundry in water and washing suds. The cleanest wash is as a result of a long drive on a bumpy road!” Their laundry is then hung out to dry on a piece of string. Their cooking appliances initially consisted of a small camping gas stove that was later traded in for a bigger version, although it proved to be more expensive and resulted in the added complication of having to connect it to different gas connections in different countries. “A hand-made charcoal stove for R30 that we bought in Uganda ended our fuel problems.” Charlie said that they had visited the Kruger Park, Kalahari Desert, Blyde River Canyon and experienced the true spirit of bushveld hospitality in many places from Graskop through Pretoria to Cape Town. “We plan our distances each day according to points of interest and depending on the hospitality of our hosts, who accommodate us in their homes, normally we stay one to three days at specific spots.” He added that their journey was in no way an attempt to break a world record. “If we do manage to break one, we will pay for the damages,” he mused. Adrianna remembered the eagerness of people along the way who had assisted them whenever old Rusty experienced some engine trouble. “In Kenya we firstly broke one of the pulleys driving the belt in the engine, In the middle of a national park. We were towed to their in-house garage, spent three nights camping there until Charlie went to Nairobi 150 kilometres away to source the part accompanied by the head mechanic. They never charged us a cent for helping us.” A Major Repair She added that after a spring in the rear suspension snapped they were unable to find a replacement and had to attempt a bush repair.
“We found another spring in a scrap yard and got a blacksmith to shorten it and adjust it in an open fire, like he would do with a horseshoe. The whole process took three days, for which we ere taken back home by our mechanic. We parked in the front yard of a tiny building that housed five families. “Although they all did not have much they shared everything with us and made us feel like celebrities and part of their families at the very same time.” The shoe-string repair got them as far as Kampala, Uganda where an attempt was made to repair the spring properly. It was not completed until a designated “finder/fixer” found a crashed van like ours in order to repair it. It took two weeks during which time we were being absolutely and utterly spoiled by our Italian-Ugandan mechanics and their family, pizzas and tiramisu included. When we were unable to find replacement shock absorbers in Zimbabwe, we managed to find the right ones on Gumtree, about 2 500 kilometres away in Cape Town. We could not believe our luck and the kindness of people who brought them to us for free as they were flying to Zimbabwe for Christmas.” Their next quest on their incredible journey is to circumvent the world, in a car. “We are already planning our next adventure – crossing the Americas, North, Central and South by car, but first we have to raise funds,” they added. Mercedes Comments Nicolette Lambrechts, Mercedes-Benz Vans Brand Manager says: “The amazing story of Charlie and Adrianna is testament to the robustness, toughness and durability of the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter. It is indeed a phenomenal product that continues to push the boundaries of the large vans segment even beyond its life expectancy.” Lambrechts adds that although Rusty is well into his teenage years, he has demonstrated reliability. “The Mercedes-Benz Sprinter Freight-Carrier and Panel Van are definitely ideal vans for motor-home conversion. The chassis are well suited for medium to large custom designed motorhomes.” Mercedes-Benz recommended body-builders maximize Sprinter’s intelligent, robust and quality design when crafting the motorhomes. They also ensure that safety, comfort and reliability standards are not compromised. AUGUST 2013
Tourism Tattler Trade Journal
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The August edition of Africa's official travel trade journal features transport plus our usual subjects on business, conservation, destinati...