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SME market access whl consulting

.....professional digital content, online payment gateways, multiple channels to market, booking systems, allotment management, commissioning, product quality, sustainability ......

The Approach Market access should not be the last step in a tourism development project. It should be the first. The market will ultimately be the prime driver of business success, so building market access early and using market signals to inform the rest of the development process is the only way to ensure the long term success of a tourism project. Most tourism development projects start with the premise that the expert consultants know what the market is looking for, so all you need to do is follow or build what the experts say, and the tourists will come. The problem is that in many cases they don’t come, or they come with different expectations.....and the project fails to deliver the benefits hoped for. The fact is that the only way to really know if you are on the right track is to build your project with the customers integrated into the process. These customers may be tour companies interested in selling packages to the region or, increasingly, they are independent travellers using the Internet to plan and book their travel directly. When it comes to SME accommodation, tour companies will normally select a limited number of suppliers whom they work with closely to build and refine a product meeting their specific needs. The Internet on the other hand allows all categories and sizes of accommodation provider equal market access possibilities provided they have the basic resources and skills to participate. For this reason, WHL Consulting, whilst working closely with tour operators, has focussed on using the Internet as a channel to market.

Š WHL Consulting Limited 2009

Zambia Case Study In April 2008 WHLC commenced a project for the Government of Zambia funded by the World Bank. This project provides a good case study for how to set up and execute a comprehensive market access project in an emerging economy. The total project costs covering 143 SME travel product providers in Livingstone was under US$1,000 per provider.

Project Timeline Market Access Program Phase

Apr 2008

May 2008

June 2008

July 2008

Stakeholder Consultation and Project Inception MSME Market Readiness Assessments WHL Livingstone Portal Implementation Content Collection Exercise Market Access Training Seminars Official Public Launch and Project Closeout Š WHL Consulting Limited 2009

Aug 2008

Sept 2008

Oct 2008

Nov 2008

Zambia Case Study Objectives Strengthen the marketing outreach of local tourism service providers and build their capacity to deliver the service efficiently Empower local tourism enterprises to access the global tourism economy To provide a professional online e-marketing and accommodation booking service to a large number of MSME accommodation and activity providers who, until now, have not been able to participate effectively on the Internet To create a commercially viable, locally owned and operated e-marketplace which can continue to grow and develop beyond the project completion.

Phase 1 Short Term Phase 2 Short to Medium Phase 3 Medium to Long

oEstablishment of online booking portal oDatabase of SMMEs oDigital Content Collection oCreate business linkages oFeedback and Content to SMMEs oCapacity Development oImproved returns to SMMEs oTraveller feedback to SMMEs oBusiness Sector Reform Š WHL Consulting Limited 2009

WHL Consulting Zambia Case Study  

Market access study

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