Operational Review

Members will be receiving the 2018 SATSA membership invoice, reflecting the 5.5% increase, by early December. This will be followed by an annual review email by middle January 2018. This fully online review is designed to speed up the process for you and at the same time provide SATSA with the required documents to vouch for your credibility.

As per our newly adopted Memorandum of Incorporation (MOI), all membership payments and reviews must be completed by end March 2018 in order to receive the annual SATSA certificate. The MOI has been published on the SATSA website and can be viewed here. We are also encouraging all members to submit their B-BBEE verification and levels if they have this, to assist SASTA to lobby better on your behalf.

An issue that recently made headlines, and for which various queries have been received by SATSA, is the rise in cyber piracy. We certainly do not see this as ethical behaviour and will investigate complaints received. We will also update our Code of Conduct, for ratification at the SATSA AGM 2018, to include clarity on this matter.

Another issue on the rise is the illegal use of the highly regarded SATSA logo. Thank you to those members who are reporting these cases which we are actioning immediately. Please can we encourage all members to continue such reports so that we safeguard our credibility and industry.

With regards to assisting with Operating Licence applications, we are now able to commence. Members wanting to accredit or renew licences can contact Tintswalo Mashale at SATSA on 011 886 9996 or reception@satsa.co.za. Our assistance takes the form of verifying the correctness of all required documentation and providing an endorsement letter from SATSA, which you can then submit directly to the NPTR. We also have a current tracking list with all members who have already sent in applications and are experiencing challenges. This is being updated regularly and submitted to NPTR for feedback. If you are experiencing problems and haven’t submitted your details yet, please feel free to do so, again to Tintswalo. It is a slow and frustrating process and concerns around the damage it does to the industry have officially been raised at MEC level.

Just a heads-up, according to the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) it is illegal to accept a manually updated passport. We recently had an incident like this where the traveller even received a visa for South Africa but was then turned away at OR Tambo International.

Negotiations are forging ahead for SATSA pavilions at WTM Africa and Indaba 2018. Please keep your eye on our newsletter and emails as well as our social media pages for more information on this in the coming weeks.

Talking about social media – if you have not done so yet, then please like us on Facebook and Twitter for instant updates.

That’s it from me folks. Good luck with putting this year to bed

SATSA seeks development service providers

To prepare for possible development projects in 2018, SATSA would like to hear from service providers who are able to assist with capacitating, mentoring and supporting new entrants (businesses and individuals) in the tourism industry.

Examples of such projects include the Gauteng SME Indaba (2016) and SME National Market Access Project (2017).

These projects align with SATSA’s objectives of facilitating the development of emerging entrepreneurs within the Industry in order to qualify for SATSA Membership and educating the industry by means of training, seminars and workshops.

Expression of Interest (EOI):

Development Service Providers to be included in the SATSA Database for 2018-2020 (3 years)

Service Providers are hereby invited to submit:

• A comprehensive CV
• Geographic work location availability
• Hourly rate excluding VAT

Requirement Expectations:

• At least 10 years’ experience in the tourism industry, although strong motivations from less experienced individuals could be considered
• Postgraduate qualification and/or equivalent experience
• Experience in developing business models, evaluating companies, product development, marketing, pricing, packaging, etc.
• Extensive networks in the local and international tourism industry
• Entrepreneurially minded

Service Providers will be loaded on the SASTA Database and will be contacted should projects be successfully negotiated.

All EOI’s to reach SATSA by 8 December 2017 on Hannelie@satsa.co.za

Fair Trade Tourism to welcome SATSA tour operators on board

SATSA has recently entered into an exciting partnership with Fair Trade Tourism to promote sustainable tourism and Fair Trade Tourism to inbound tour operators in South Africa.

With this new initiative, SATSA tour operators will be able to become part of the Fair Trade Tourism process by simply including and promoting Fair Trade approved products. “With more travellers looking towards sustainable and responsible tourism, designing your itinerary around businesses and activities that are Fair Trade Tourism certified will ensure you have the edge – this is the driving force behind the SATSA – Fair Trade Partnershipm,” states David Frost, SATSA CEO.

“We are thrilled that SATSA has taken this concrete step to support the growth of sustainable and responsible tourism and look forward to an enduring association with SATSA and its members,” says Jane Edge, Fair Trade Tourism MD.

For more information on how your tour operating business can begin the approval process, please contact:

Shona Macdonald
Marketing Manager
Tel: +27 84 807 6990
Email: shona@fairtrade.travel

Meet the Tourism Conservation Fund CEO!

SATSA and Peace Parks Foundation recently launched and founded the Tourism Conservation Fund, a new initiative that aims to encourage and support large-scale and long-term projects that deliver durable socio-economic benefits to rural communities surrounding South Africa’s protected areas. Four of SATSA’s own already sit on the board of directors for the fund: David Frost (SATSA CEO), and members Martin Wiest (Tourvest Destination Management), Sean Kritzinger (Giltedge), and Colin Bell (Natural Selection).

With an ambitious development vision, the fund needed someone equally determined to head it up as CEO. We are happy to announce the newly appointed CEO whose experience, skill and passion speak directly to the needs of the Tourism Conservation Fund – Paul Zille.

Paul currently works as an independent consultant and currently runs a diverse economics and development advisory practice.  He will take up the role of CEO from 1 January 2018.

His work as a development economist is rooted in the use of concessionary finance to unlock opportunity, incentivise investment and leverage sustainable development at scale.

Paul is no stranger to the tourism and conservation sectors and has diverse experience in the design and management of development funds, programmes and incentives across a number of sectors, including tourism and conservation. From 2001 up until 2005, Paul led the ComMark Trust, which pursued a number of initiatives to leverage the development impact of the region’s diverse tourism assets.  One such involved the design, along with national authorities and international donors, of a financing arrangement to capitalise high value community-private partnerships located in community conservancies across Namibia. The project blended concessionary with commercial bank finance to enable these partnerships and to provide for long-term organisational support and technical training required by participating communities.

Asked about his first months as the man in charge, Paul’s excitement is obvious as he describes his plans to meet the key players across the tourism and conservation value chain, to learn about and explore existing initiatives and ideas from the industry itself, and to introduce his vision for the fund.

And what exactly is his vision? He is careful to emphasise the need for this to be informed by ideas and experience on the ground, but he wants to use the fund to catalyse co-investment and activity by private sector tourism players in business models that combine profitability with high social impact. Generically, this refers to ‘inclusive business’ or ‘shared value’ approaches that enterprises, both large and small, can adopt in meeting their commercial goals and in fulfilling their obligations to their shareholders.

Paul is keen to learn about and inspire innovative ideas that the fund can help deliver, replicate and scale. This might involve existing supply chain or community partnership initiatives that companies have already explored and tested, for which they need co-funding to help leverage and scale.  It may involve good ideas that need to be piloted and tested to establish their feasibility before being expanded and replicated.

The ultimate aim of any initiatives pursued by the fund will be to incentivise and leverage partnerships based on good ideas which combine commercial objectives with demonstrable social and conservation impact – and in this way maximise the tourism industry’s socio-economic relevance and sustainability. “If something is profitable, it will be sustainable…… We will be looking for innovative ideas which are rooted in community-public-private partnerships, are ready to be implemented and have a clear vision of long-term impact and sustainability – without the need for ongoing funding support.”

Needless to say, Paul is a keen traveller.  He is a regular visitor to SA’s national parks and derives as much pleasure from being with and learning from communities in and around conservation areas, as he does from the wildlife and the wilderness experience itself.  He has two sons and lives in Johannesburg together with his wife.

Welcome on board, Paul!

SAT and SATSA members to showcase SA to Nordics

South African Tourism is embarking on a pilot project in March 2018 where 80 tourism trade participants from the Nordic region will be hosted in South Africa on a mega-familiarisation trip that will expose them to a range of local travel products across all nine provinces – including small businesses.

South African Tourism has selected 10 DMCs already servicing the Nordic market to take part in the familiarisation trip. The identification and selection of the DMCs was done in collaboration with the SATSA.

DMCs that are being signed up to participate in this pilot project will have to stipulate and demonstrate how they will use South African small, medium and micro enterprises (SMMEs) in their proposed itineraries. One of the key benefits of this collaboration is that the DMCs will be required to employ a 60/40 split in the proportion of mainstream versus small businesses that will be showcased during the trip. SAT CEO, Sisa Ntshona says this “will forge meaningful business connections and encourage sustainable tourism growth”.

South Africa welcomed more than 100 000 travellers from Sweden, Denmark, Norway and Finland in 2016, and the region has been identified as one that is ripe for further tourism growth.

The participating DMCs operating per province are:

•Gauteng, Limpopo and Mpumalanga

SW Africa and Royal African Discoveries

•KwaZulu-Natal and Free State

Inspirations Travel and Tours and & Beyond

•Eastern Cape and North West province

Thompsons Africa and Tourvest DMC

•Northern Cape and Western Cape

Propel Africa, GiltEdge, Get Africa Travel and Southern Africa 360◦ Luxury Holidays

Both mainstream and small businesses are welcome to get involved in the project by contacting the relevant DMC for their province.

For more information, please contact:

Abby Swartz

South African Tourism

Marketing and Promotion Manager: Nordic Region


Drought unlikely to negatively impact Cape Town tourism in December - Grant Thornton

SATSA Treasurer, Martin Jansen van Vuuren, outlines the context of the Cape Town water crisis, and how it is unlikely to negatively affect the tourism sector.

The Western Cape – and the City of Cape Town in particular – are in the midst of the region’s most acute water crisis to date, but it is not likely to negatively affect the region’s tourism in the traditionally busy year-end period.

Martin Jansen van Vuuren, Director: Tourism, Hospitality and Leisure at Grant Thornton, acknowledges the severity of the water shortage, but believes context is crucial.

“December is undoubtedly the busiest time of the year for the Western Cape – especially for Cape Town – and it would appear that tourists descend on the area in their droves, but once we take a closer look at the numbers, we can gain a better perspective on their impact.”

He explains: “Cape Town receives approximately 1.5 million foreign tourists per year. About 10% of these – around 150 000 – visit the city in December. For a city with a population of around four million, a 4% increase due to foreign tourists is not really a significant increase.”

He adds that foreign tourists stay anything between five and 14 days, and that arrivals are not only concentrated around Christmas and New Year but also reasonably spaced over the entire month.

Domestic tourism has buoyed the sector over the past few years, and in keeping with this, there is a greater number of local visitors that flock to the Western Cape over the festive season.

“During December approximately 250 000 domestic tourists travel to Cape Town, but our data shows that around 290 000 Capetonians leave the city – often to go elsewhere in the Western Cape, such as to the Garden Route or to Overberg. This means that the impact of domestic tourists to the city is not as big as we may believe,” he says.

Those who live in the City of Cape Town may well believe differently, given additional traffic in the main tourism areas.

“We have to be reminded that December is also the time when locals – who may spend most of their time in the suburbs otherwise – descend on the tourism areas in greater numbers, either to show visiting friends and family around, or to enjoy the festive season attractions themselves. This leads to congestion in these areas and it also gives the impression that the city is busier than it may actually be.”

According to Jansen van Vuuren, hospitality establishments have employed measures to contain the usage of resources.

“Even before the drought, many hotels and guest houses have taken steps to reduce water consumption as this leads to cost savings. These measures include low-flow shower heads and the implementation of prominent tourist awareness campaigns which encourage showers instead of baths.  Some establishments have utilised unused bottled water from guest’s rooms to water their gardens instead of it being wasted. Some bigger establishments have even replaced their swimming pool’s fresh water with seawater.”

He does not believe the crisis is at the point yet to warrant foreign visitors to change their travel plans.

“For most foreign tourists, visiting South Africa is a once-in-a-lifetime experience, and they would have planned and paid for the trip well in advance. They may thus not be in a position to change their plans.  Even if they could change their plans, I believe that there is generally an awareness among tourists about any resource scarcity which may exist in the regions where they visit, and this does not act as a deterrent to travel” he says.

Jansen van Vuuren adds that some domestic tourists may be tempted to change their plans, as their arrangements are likely to be more flexible.

“Much of the domestic tourism is centred around visits to friends and family, and these plans can be changed more easily. Domestic tourists may also opt to travel elsewhere in the Western Cape, to areas that do not have such strict water restrictions as the City of Cape Town.”

He believes business tourism over the rest of the summer is also unlikely to be affected significantly from their regular travel pattern and seasonality.

“The majority of business tourists stay for one to two days, and spend their time in hospitality establishments where many steps have been taken to reduce water wastage. Business tourists also tend to stop travelling during the school holiday periods when the holiday tourists arrive.  Conferences are often organised months in advance, and these are not likely to change on short notice.”

He concludes: “The key to managing the crucial tourism sector through this crisis is constant awareness and strict monitoring of wastage where it is in our control. The hospitality sector has done a lot in this regard and as long as we continue to use our resources wisely, Cape Town should continue to welcome and host tourists.”

CapeNature calls for proposals

CapeNature has identified two opportunities for growth: adventure tourism and green conferencing.

Adventure tourism has the potential for income generation, promotion of access, potential partnerships with industry specialist and role players.

Similarly, environmental education centres present opportunities for the tourism sector, most notably for the centres to be used as Green Conferencing Venues for income generation, promotion of access, and potential partnerships with industry specialist. CapeNature has the infrastructure and seeks ways to partner will industry professionals to best utilize these facilities by way of hosting educational programmes, conferences, weddings, and corporate events and any other potential use.

To this end, CapeNature is calling for proposals for adventure tourism projects and initiatives and the growth of Environmental Education Centres at selected nature reserves.

Adventure Tourism

The following nature reserves has been identified for potential partnerships in the adventure tourism sector:

• Cederberg Nature Reserve
• Hottentot’s Holland Nature Reserve
• Anysberg Nature Reserve
• Kogelberg Nature Reserve
• Goukamma Nature Reserve
• Swartberg Nature Reserve
• Limietberg Nature Reserve
• Walkerbay Nature Reserve
• Robberg Nature Reserve


Applicants must:

• have an environmentally conscious business model
• operate an existing Adventure Company
• be operating current primary business for no less than 3 years
• have a minimum of 3 years Adventure Tourism experience, with a proven track record
• provide own staff and operational model
• be willing to market the proposed activity independently
• have all relevant accreditation and insurances in place


Proposals must include:

• background of primary business
• background of business owner
• proposed activity/initiative
• operational model, including staff and infrastructure requirements
• financial model exemplifying sound and sustainable financial planning
• marketing strategy and initiatives
• job creation and local community benefit
• location of sites on the respective reserves

Green Conferencing

The following nature reserves has been identified for potential partnerships in the conferencing sector:

• Kogelberg Nature Reserve
• Grootvadersbosch Nature Reserve
• Vrolijkheid Nature Reserve
• De Hoop Nature Reserve


Applicants must:

• have an environmentally conscious business model
• operate an existing events company, registered NGO or registered educational institution
• have a minimum of 3 years relevant experience, with a proven track record
• provide own staff and operational model
• be willing to market the proposed activity independently
• have all relevant accreditation and insurances in place.


Proposals must include:

• background of primary business
• background of business owner
• proposed event, initiative and/ environmental programme
• operational model, including staff
• financial model exemplifying sustainability
• marketing strategy and initiatives
• job creation and local community benefit
• infrastructure requirements

Site visits are highly recommended in order for interested companies to gain a better understanding of the respective nature reserve.

For all enquiries please contact:

Wilfred Williams
021 483 0071


Lee-Xavier Schoonraad

021 483 0092

Proposal delivery and closing date:

All proposals are to be delivered by no later than Friday, 9 March 2018 at 12h00 for the attention of Wilfred Williams via:

Postal Address: Private Bag X29, Gatesville, 7766

Physical Address: CapeNature Head Office, PGWC Shared Service 3rd Floor, Corner of Volstruis & Bosduif Streets, Bridgetown, 7764

Your NDT Guide to Going Green

The National Department of Tourism in collaboration with the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC), has recently introduced an incentive programme to encourage privately-owned tourism enterprises to move towards cleaner and renewable energy sources and more energy efficient operations. We want all of our qualifying members to take advantage of this opportunity. Here’s what you need to know about the Green Tourism Incentive Programme:

Programme background

In 2015 the Department of Tourism chose to focus on driving responsible tourism and investigated the idea of an incentive programme. A pilot project was launched which looked at installing solar powered projects at key tourism attraction sites and accommodation establishments. Robben Island was one of eight sites selected to be part of the pilot with the installation of a solar photovoltaic (PV) power plant will reduce the Island’s diesel consumption by 50% with an expected return of investment to materialise within 5 – 7 years.

Based on the success of the pilot, the Green Tourism Incentive Programme (GTIP) was officially launched to the private sector on 19 October 2017 by the Minister of Tourism, Tokozile Xasa.

How the programme works

Managed and administered by the Industrial Development Corporation, the programme will provide grant funding on a sliding scale from 30% to 90% (capped at R1 million) to qualifying small and micro tourism enterprises to implement interventions that will improve energy efficiency and reduce operational costs. The incentive is available to privately owned tourism specific establishments. A TGCSA star grading is required where applicable. Eligible applicants will either be an exempt micro enterprise with a total annual revenue of below R5 million or a qualifying small enterprise with a total annual revenue of between R5 million and R45 million.

Application guidelines

  1. To apply for GTIP eligible applicants need to visit the IDC website.
  2. It’s important to note that all supporting documents must accompany the application form, and all annexures must be complete. All applicants who pass the initial eligibility assessment will be requested to provide supporting documents such as proof of address and certification of copies of additional supporting documents. These should not be older than 3 months.
  3. Applicants are not expected to be experts in sustainable energy operations, despite the application form requesting details of these. Once the application form along with all relevant supporting documents has been submitted, the National Cleaner Production Centre (NCPC) of South Africa will conduct an energy audit to identify energy efficiency solutions that the business can implement. The fund covers 90% of the cost of a new audit, with the business having to source the balance of the payment. If your business has just recently undergone an energy efficiency audit, 100% of the costs for the review of the audit will be covered.
  4. The audit is an essential part of the incentive programme process, where trained individuals are able to identify gaps and can agree on solutions, together with the business owner, designed to have an impact on reducing operational costs.
  5. Once the audit is complete, results will be made available to you. Qualifying businesses will move onto the next phase of determining the extent of funding to be granted based on three criteria, namely:• the extent of the savings achieved through the solution – the higher the better
    • the level of transformation of the business
    • the size of the enterprise
  1. Since the programme will not cover the full cost of the solution, if your application has been successful, you will be required to inject your portion of funding first and provide proof thereof before any grant funding is disbursed. This is not money that necessarily needs to be in pocket. IDC is looking at ways to fund certain shortfalls through a loan agreement, or alternatively you will be referred to sefa. Loan funding for the balance is not only limited within these two institutions but successful applicants can approach any funder of their choice.

Points to remember

The first application window for GTIP will run from 1 November – 1 January 2018. Subsequent windows will be opened in the coming months where applicants can apply should they have missed the preceding application window/s.

The Green Tourism Incentive Programme is currently set to run for three years.

If you’re an accommodation and/or meeting establishment interested in applying for the incentive programme but are not yet graded, you can apply for the Tourism Grading Support Programme through the Tourism Grading Council of South Africa (TGCSA) which is an incentive scheme that assists with the alleviating the costs of being graded.

For more information on the Green Tourism Incentive Programme, please email gtip@idc.co.za

Events not to miss

Rounding out the busy year, here are a few industry events you should be looking to attend to network, celebrate, and learn from.

Fair Trade Tourism Conference ‘No Time to Waste’

27 November 2017
Spier, Stellenbosch
Registration is from 08h30

SATSA Eastern Cape Year-End Chapter Meeting

28 November 2017
Bridge Street Brewery
16h00 – 19h00

SATSA Gauteng Chapter AGM

29 November 2017
Faircity Quatermain Hotel
14h30 – 18h00

SATSA KwaZulu-Natal Year-End Chapter Meeting

1 December 2017
Southern Sun Elangeni and Maharani
12h00 – 16h00

SAYTC Year-End Bash

15 December 2017
HomeBase Cape Town Backpackers
18h30 for 19h00 – late

Tourist Safety: SATSA works behind the scenes

Dear Members

SATSA has been working behind the scenes to explore solutions to the recent spike in robberies involving tourist vehicles in Gauteng. SATSA convened a workshop attended by all major tourism transport providers, leading DMCs, SA Tourism and senior SAPS officials.  We have also drawn in the largest private sector security company, Fidelity.  Three immediate actionable outcomes were identified and SATSA was charged with operationalising these. A work plan is being developed which will incorporate pre-, during and post-incident support.

  1. Training

Develop training sessions that specifically address security issues in the tourism industry. This training will be made available to tourism staff, guides and drivers to avoid crime when possible and to manage a crises situation when it occurs, including emergency/crises protocol. We are also exploring links to formal accreditation in this respect.

  1. Joint Operations Centre (JOC)

Establishing a dedicated tourism specific JOC that will be operational 24/7 to centralise all systems, processes and response teams. This will include immediate emergency, medical and security response and post-incident management such as trauma counselling, media management, police statements, embassy assistance, etc.

  1. SATSA App

SATSA has been in the process of developing a general communications APP independent of the security concerns. This APP will be open to all staff of SATSA members and will improve our ability to drive real time communications with members on a host of key issues.  A tourism safety functionality will now be included in the app design. Consultation with various existing safety APP developers will take place to choose the best solution or potentially incorporate a combination of these. An important functionality that we hope to include is real-time alerts and communication of crime hotspots, industrial action, etc.

I am always more comfortable reporting on what has been done, as opposed to what is planned. It is however important that SATSA members are aware that your association is working on finding ways and means of mitigating the massive risk this poses to our sector. We are in consultation with various stakeholders and hope to, in addition to the above, also offer our members some value-adds in the security space.

We will keep you updated on these issues.