Category Archives: SATSA News

Season’s Greetings and SATSA Office Closure

It is that time of the year again and SATSA wishes each and every member the warmest of holiday cheer!

Please note that the SATSA office will close on Friday 21 December 2018 and we will reopen on Wednesday 9 January 2019. Should you encounter an emergency during this period you can contact SATSA COO, Hannelie du Toit, on 083 600 3555.

Be safe and we look forward to reconnecting in 2019.

Update: NPTR Operating license

Following an article published by Southern and East African Tourism Update on 15 November – Progress made in tourism vehicle licensing backlog – SATSA remains aware of the continued concerns with applications, specifically with regards to slow processing (some more than two years), changing and unannounced requirements and issues around route authority.

In an effort to assist industry, SATSA created a tracking sheet consisting of applications verified through SATSA (as a value-add service – please note that we do not issue invoices on behalf of NPTR and don’t submit applications on behalf of members) and those submitted directly to NPTR. SATSA currently has 77 application in process with 19 having been concluded successfully.

One of the changes recently implemented is that only the owner of the vehicle can apply for the Operating Licence. Previously a lease document was accepted, but due to specific regulations in the Act this is no longer acceptable. The impact of this on operators would be to ensure that rented vehicles have valid Operating Licences. SATSA is currently seeking clarification from the NPTR on whether the driver of the vehicle needs to be employed by the owner of the vehicle. The amendment bill in process might affect some changes to the ownership regulation, but this is expected to be a long process.

A number of concerns were raised with SATSA regarding route authority specifying the pick-up point at the operators depot/office. The NTPR clarified that the pick-up point should be read as the point from where the vehicle departs – in other words where the vehicle is parked overnight.

Continuing with route authority issues, it became clear very early on that the initially promised national route authority was not going to transpire. Authority is now based on the strength of the application, specifically the reference letters. Members are encouraged to obtain reference letters from each province they wish to conduct tours in and these letters should reference the routes requested in the application. For those members whose route authority has changed, you have the option to apply for amendment of the route now providing greater motivation or you can make an appeal through the Transport Appeal Tribunal. The cost for an amendment to routes will be R300 per vehicle and an application through the Transport Appeal Tribunal will cost R1000.

The NPTR clarified that they often request additional supporting documents to assist the board in identifying authentic tourism applicants. Due to certain public-service taxi routes being oversubscribed, the NPTR have received applications from taxis operators who are now applying under the guise of  tourist providers. SATSA strongly advises that all the documentation is completed as thoroughly and in as much detail as possible.

It has been a frustrating process and has had a huge economic impact on the industry, hence SATSA has not stopped lobbying. The latest movement is that David Frost again raised the issue with the Minister of Tourism during the Ministerial Leadership Forum where the Minister promised to take the issue up with the Minister of Transport. SATSA will continue to keep members updated on this.

The time of year has rolled around again to start the SATSA 2019 Annual Review

A BIG thank you to all our fabulous SATSA members for the continued support in 2018!

A quick heads-up on the review requirements…

The annual review process comprises two simple steps 1) membership fee payment, 2) online review including supporting documents. Once both steps are completed you will receive your SATSA 2019 certificate and will be publicised as a member in good standing on the SATSA website. Please remember that only members in good standing will be eligible for SATSA value-adds.

To make payment easier for you we have created an online payment gateway, through our partnership with Bidvest Bank, which allows for credit card payments.

When you receive the online review link, your form would already be populated with the information received from you last year. All you need to do is update any changes to the business, add staff members who would like to receive communication from SATSA, upload the required supporting documents and sign electronically that the information provided is correct.

As ratified at our AGM in August 2018, we have added a whole new list of categories to the system. Please, can we ask that you specifically look at the categories that have been autoloaded by the system. You are welcome to make changes to this to correctly reflect your type of business.

You are also reminded to add any divisions and/or subsidiaries that you might have – free of charge. These should include those in neighbouring countries. Subsidiaries and divisions will receive their own SATSA certificate and only those listed will be covered for SATSA Bonding.

All reviews are due no later than 31 March 2019. Non-renewal will result in membership suspension.

As an association, we have gone from strength to strength in the past couple of years and will do our very best to continue bringing value to you in 2019.

Love Limpopo even more...

Love Limpopo is the story of a province..,.. an epic love story of wild open spaces, unique experiences and responsible accommodation, ranging from Rural Home Stays and campsites to five-star Safari Lodges.  This innovative new online platform, conceived of by the Traveling Circus team, is inspiring new ways of connection to the most incredible province in South Africa. Acting as an online hub to access Limpopo, we celebrate travel experiences found only in Limpopo.

“A long time ago, Limpopo wrote us a love letter and called us to the wild, unexplored spaces… to the starry nights… to the warm-hearted faces.  We have explored the hidden places of Limpopo… we have experienced her wild spirit.

From a birds-eye view on mountain peaks to the most secret centre of deep gorges… at a fireside where drums beat a true African rhythm telling tales of a thousand years in one moment….

We fell in love with the pulse… the rhythm.  We listened to the storytellers and connected to the tales told through African art.  We are in love with the people, the way life unfolds and the path comes up to meet you, creating connections and rediscovering your own rhythm and song in the beauty of Limpopo.”

Lisa Martus, Deon Pienaar and Neil Shaw, the directors of The Traveling Circus started Love Limpopo in 2017, because they felt that Limpopo wasn’t getting the kind of attention it deserves.  Since then, the followers on Facebook have rocketed and there is significant reach with the right people, because of the evocative content and inspiring stories about the province.

Love Limpopo is a platform connecting visitors to the inspiring people, immersive experiences and amazing spaces of Limpopo… inviting responsible, youthful and impact travelers to come to Limpopo and meet the music-makers, guides, conservationists, the wanderers, crafters, traditional healers, the artists, Do-ers and dreamers… to explore, discover and connect to the most beautiful province in South Africa.

Lisa says, “Love Limpopo is an online community, a collective of people who share a passion for the culture, wildlife, traditions, flavours, wild spaces and friendly faces of Limpopo.  It is a celebration of the rhythm, the true spirit of the Limpopo Province.’

Deon elaborates…’We want to create a space for all to thrive, a travel ecosystem bringing together the most incredible people within the province.  Taking a holistic approach allows the industry in Limpopo to grow; enables our communities to flourish and entices our travelers to fall in love with our beautiful province.’

Love Limpopo offers its members evocative content; significant reach to the right domestic markets via a dynamic online platform; access to the country’s top Tourism Trade Shows; support with responsible practices and training with a difference, as well as access to our network of responsible tour operators looking for lodges with heart and authentic, immersive experiences to create unique itineraries for their clients.

Love Limpopo comes from the passionate heart of The Traveling Circus, an organisation which is finding innovative solutions for the tourism  industry throughout Southern Africa.  ‘Tourism is evolving daily as trends adapt to global concerns. Travellers and businesses are more socially conscious and looking for connection; ways to participate in global sustainability. We saw a demand for impact-tourism and an opportunity to bring communities into that thriving ecosystem.  We believe in connections, community and collaboration,’ says Neil

We live in a modern paradox where we are more connected than ever before, but have never felt more isolated. The Traveling Circus operates as a connector within the tourism industry to create ecosystems that thrive, finding links and synergies in real time.

We are passionate about innovation with social impact – creating opportunities for emerging entrepreneurs, artists, guides and communities around tourism hubs and conservation areas to tap into the tourism value chain, leading to a long-term transformation of the social landscape within communities.

Neil believes that ‘with our diverse skills and experience in tourism, community-development and marketing, we are working towards a better world by actively connecting all role-players and by emphasising empowerment, inclusivity and sustainability.’  The  founders of the Traveling Circus have been active in the Limpopo tourism landscape for more than twenty years and have built relationships with a large network of tourism product owners across the province as well as numerous local communities, artists, crafters, local guides, and also the various entities and organisations involved in the public sector.

‘We want to actively connect ‘powerhouse’ organisations like SATSA and SAYTC with NGOs, micro-enterprises, domestic and international travellers, permaculture projects, recycling / up-cycling projects and training centres into a holistic social hive, a place for change. We believe that by working to grow resilient communities, that are healthy, educated, and have access to opportunities, we can break the poverty cycle, mitigate against the feeling of disconnect that is occurring within our rural communities, and build a more sustainable local economy  to create a better future,’ says Deon.

Lisa is passionate about the potential for the dynamic people within the tourism industry in Limpopo to collaborate to tell their incredible stories so that visitors can make the best travel decisions enabling them to make meaningful connections, have authentic, immersive experiences and life-changing adventures.  She says, ’we know you love this province as much as we do. Let’s work together.  Let’s love Limpopo.’

 

www.lovelimpopo.com  Follow us on Facebook and Instagram or Connect with Lisa on 082 200 4596 / 011 083 8280 or connect@lovelimpopo.com

 

If you want to become part of the Traveling Circus ecosystem, contact Deon, Lisa or Neil

+27 11 083  8280

connect@travelingcircus.co.za

“Scrap UBCs outright. Amended regulations change nothing!”

The amended regulations published in Government Gazette No. 10177 (dated 29 November 2018) around the requirement foreign minors to carry Unabridged Birth Certificates (UBCs) do nothing yet again to help South Africa market itself as a family-friendly destination and help claw back this lucrative lost segment.

As you are aware, the Government Gazette was issued a month late, following announcements made by former Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba in September that changes would be announced in October’s Gazette for foreign visitors travelling to South Africa in terms of improved visa regulations and the requirement to carry an Unabridged Birth Certificate.

We believe the amended regulations are still confusing and remain a deterrent to family tourism to South Africa. In fact, amending the wording has done nothing but provide an obfuscated message to our overseas tourism partners and travelling consumers.

According to the amended regulation, where a child presents a passport containing the details of his or her parent or parents, an immigration officer shall not require the child to produce a birth certificate. Our key source markets typically do not issue passports including the names of both parents, so this amendment will not ease their access in any way.

The Gazetted regulations also state that children who are foreign nationals and who are visa exempt are strongly advised to carry supporting documents as stipulated in the advisory since they may be requested to produce them when travelling through a port of entry of South Africa. It is up to the immigration official at that port of entry to request the documentation if they deem it necessary and if these documents are not submitted within 24 hours, admission will be refused.

We now want to know in practical terms, for example, what the process will be when families arrive and are refused entry for the 24 hours in which they are sourcing the documentation? Will they be allowed entry into the country?  Will they be allowed to make a phone call while waiting in the immigration area?

Our position remains that these regulations were promulgated without any meaningful data on the extent of child trafficking, no economic impact study as to the damage it would do to the tourism sector and without any consultation with organised tourism.  Furthermore, after three and half years, no data has been produced by Home Affairs to indicate how these draconian regulations have reduced child trafficking.

We turned away 13,000 passengers with pre-paid holidays in the first year alone. It is an anathema to suggest simply that these regulations now mean that South Africa is in line with other countries, such as Canada and Australia.

SATSA members are now also required to provide detailed clarity on what this means in practice for tourists coming to South Africa and, at this stage, there are more questions than answers.

It is our view that maintaining any requirement to produce an Unabridged Birth Certificate, even in certain circumstances, places a further obstacle to families coming to South Africa and the industry’s ability to support President Cyril Ramaphosa’s attempts to stimulate the economy.

If the President truly wants to see the tourism sector deliver the numbers and associated economic growth and jobs, he needs to intervene and scrap these regulations outright.  A separate discussion based on international policing best practice should address any concerns around child trafficking.

We are urging all SATSA members to bring their voice to bear on public platforms such as the press and to state categorically and specifically how the immigration regulations have impacted their business, and in turn South Africa’s economy.

SATSA is also compiling a Q&A for its members on the newly drafted regulations. Should you have any questions to add, please email communications@satsa.co.za.

To view the full Government Gazette, click here.

Save the date! Book the following dates in your calendar for 2019

To prepare for all the events and opportunities that 2019 will bring, we are pleased to offer you a user-friendly Excel Spreadsheet featuring tourism and industry events and other need to know dates for 2019.

Most importantly for SATSA of course is the announcement of the proposed dates for the SATSA Annual Conference and AGM, being 10 and 11 July 2019. Please save these important dates in your diary and join us as we celebrate 50 YEARS of SATSA!

For easy and convenient access please click through to our events calendar. All events will be listed on the SATSA website. However, should you wish to add any events, you can do so through the SATSA website or you can email details of the event to Hannelie@satsa.co.za.

SATSA’s Chapter Meetings and Tour Operator Training, as well as speed-marketing in association with South African Tourism, are scheduled on an ad-hoc basis and will be communicated closer to the time.

Please keep in mind that events and dates are subject to change, so please keep an eye on our website and newsletter for updated information on the events listed.

Take a hike to Mpumalanga this Christmas

With more and more day- and overnight-trails opening every week, hiking is rapidly becoming one of Mpumalanga’s major drawcards for visitors. There are literally hundreds of spectacular hiking trails on offer, lasting anything from several hours to several days.

Examples include day hikes at Mpumalanga Tourism and Parks Agency (MTPA) sites, such as the Belvedere Day Hike from Bourke’s Luck. This full-day trail takes in some hefty gradients and leads down to the Dientjie Falls in the foot of the Blyde River Canyon, where buck abound, baboon calls echo and eagles and ibises soar overhead. The Bourke’s Luck area also offers a number of other day trails and a 30-kilometre three-day overnight trail. All are self-guided.

Another option is the newly-reinvented Jock of the Bushveld Day Hike, running along the edge of the escarpment, taking in Paradise Camp from the book Jock of the Bushveld and offering great grassland bird sightings along the banks of the many streams. It even has its own geocache site.

Sabie offers the popular Bridal Veil hike, a gentle wander along the Sabi River to this popular waterful, with some challenging detours for the more adventurous, and the walk to the Forest Falls. known for being the only falls in Mpumalanga to be wider than they are high. Hazyview offers the popular Matumi Trail, a shady wander along the Mac Mac River, from its confluence with the Sabaan and Sabi Rivers. Cool off in the forest, chase butterflies and find a rare Narina Trogon or a red duiker among the manifold matumi trees.

Situated in the Nelshoogte Forest Reserve between Barberton and eManzana (Badplaas), the Queen Rose Trail is arguably one of the most scenic hiking trails in South Africa. The two-day, 26km hike takes adventurers through indigenous forest, over mountain passes, through the Montrose timber plantation and along the Queens River.  Spectacular scenery and rich in wildlife, including over 350 bird species.

The hike includes 20 river crossings, some with suspension bridges to keep boots and kit dry, as well as several natural pools where hikers can take a break and cool down.

Alternatively, the Num-Num Hiking Trail is a self-guided 3-5 day hiking trail situated between eManzana (Badplaas) and eNtokozweni (Machadodorp), in the Skurweberg Mountains, Mpumalanga. This trail has been rated by Green Flag as moderate-to-difficult, meaning hikers have to be of reasonable fitness and agility. Along the route, hikers may encounter suspension bridges, ladders and steep up- and down-hills to get into stunning gorges. The route winds through a spectacular variety of Highveld Escarpment terrains including indigenous forests, sandstone mazes, ancient grasslands, waterfalls and panoramic views of the Komati River Gorge.

Overnight accommodation is in five unique and comfortable camps that have equipped kitchens and hot showers.

The Kruger National Park offers numerous trails with possibly the most exciting being the opportunity to backpack the length of the park in a rigorous hike broken up into 100-kilometre sections. The SANParks Honorary Rangers are offering this as a chance to ‘Follow in the Footsteps of the Giants’.

As a further indication of the increasing popularity of hiking in the province, passionate hiker Kevin Ruthven’s has also founded Lowveld Hikers. This innovative institution is more of a hiking club than an established hiking trail, whereby Kevin manages to find obscure trails and walks, predominantly along the Mpumalanga escarpment but sometimes further afield, and invites members (and visitors) to join him in appreciating the natural beauty that the region has to offer.  He has access to properties that very few could obtain permission to hike without him. A least two hikes are organised every month.  Check the events calendar on the Facebook page for forthcoming hikes.

The Mpumalanga Highveld also offers a broad range of challenging walks, including the Ama Poot-Poot trail near Dullstroom with both day-trail and overnight options and taking in lovely views, ravines and mountain streams. Nearer Middelburg, day routes include the Slagthoek Trails, with longer options following the Olifants River Gorge, through open grassland, up steep climbs and down wooded gorges.

With more and more trails opening every day and with the launch last week of the first phase of The Marula Route, a cultural trail running through the rural communities along the western border of the Kruger National Park between the Paul Kruger and Orpen gates, Mpumalanga is definitely the space to watch for hikers.

For more information, check out the following websites:

http://www.safcol.co.za/ecotourism/

http://www.mpumalanga.com/things-to-do/adventure-sports/hiking

http://www.thenum-numtrail.co.za/

http://www.sanparksvolunteers.org/camps_trails.php

https://www.facebook.com/lowveldhikers/ 

Introducing: I and M Futureneer Advisor Pty

I and M Futureneer Advisor Pty Ltd is a newly established advisory firm consisting of Martin Jansen van Vuuren and Ian Bartes.

I and M Futureneer Advisors Pty Ltd provides a range of advisory services to help build your future. These include, but are not limited to, feasibility studies, economic impact assessments, strategy development, marketing strategies, financial projections, valuations, market research and transactional advice including Public Private Partnerships.

Ian BartesIan holds an MBA from UCT and a postgraduate diploma in Futures Studies from USB. Ian is a Senior Manager: Service Standards at Cape Town International Airport (ACSA) where he has worked for 20 years. Ian has previously held the position of Executive: Finance and IT at Rennies Group T/A Saftainer. Ian is a creative strategic thinker and analytical problem solver, with a proven track record of building networks, relationships and people. He has experience of working at the top levels of provincial and local government, and business, and engaging senior officials and experts in projects and initiatives.

Ian’s specialities include Provincial and Local Government Liaison, tourism, business development, financial management, customer satisfaction surveys, systems design, coaching and mentoring. Ian is a past board member and Chairman of Cape Town Tourism and a current board member of Wesgro.

GT_34Martin Jansen van Vuuren holds an M.Com (Economics) degree and has spent 20 years with Grant Thornton’s Tourism, Hospitality and Leisure Advisory before establishing I and M Futureneer Advisors. Martin was appointed as a Director at Grant Thornton in 2008 and an equity partner in 2015.

Martin is the author of the “Managing the economic impacts of tourism” chapter in the second edition of Managing Tourism in South Africa, edited by Richard George. The book is used by post graduate students in Tourism at the University of Cape Town and Nelson Mandela Bay University.

Martin’s specialties include advisory in the tourism, hospitality, leisure and property industries including feasibility studies, economic impact studies, financial evaluations, business valuations, market research and strategic management consulting including transaction advice.

Martin has gained significant experience in the tourism, hospitality and leisure industry through feasibility studies for various accommodation, venues and attractions, as well as, interacting with the tourism trade through his position on the national board of SATSA.

Should you wish to contact I and M Futureneer, please visit www.futureneeradvisors.com  

 

SATSA congratulates Lilizela Tourism Award Winners

SATSA heartily congratulates all winners of the 2018 National Lilizela Tourism Awards, held on 17 November at the Sandton International Convention Centre in Johannesburg.

The Lilizela Tourism Awards are delivered by South African Tourism (SAT), on behalf of the Minister of Tourism and the National Department of Tourism. Launched in 2013, the Awards were created to honour, celebrate and recognise those people and businesses who work passionately and with pride to deliver a world-class product and service and whose delivery grows South African’s global destination competitiveness.

Special congratulations to the following SATSA Member winners:

Saltycrax Backpackers
Once in Joburg
Vomba Tours and Transfers
Tintswalo Manor House
Tintswalo Safari Lodge
Makgabeng Farm Lodge
Lebo’s Soweto Backpackers
The Boardwalk Hotel, Convention Centre and Spa
Umlani Bushcamp
Amapondo Backpackers
Tented Adventures Pretoriuskop
Africanyon River Adventures
The Oyster Box Hotel
Marine Dynamics Tours
Needles Safari Lodge
Imonti Tours
Earthstompers Adventures
Forever Resorts Badplaas
Thabile Tours and Shuttle
Swadini a Forever Resorts Caravan Park
Matimba Bush Lodge
Once in Cape Town
Plettenberg A Forever Resorts Caravan Park
Raggy Charters
Gariep A Forever Resort Caravan Park
Gariep A Forever Resort Chalets
Sibuya Game Reserve – Bush Lodge
Midlands Meander
Kone Village Boutique Lodge
Gravity Adventures Northern Cape
The Silo Hotel
Khalanga Safaris (Pty) Ltd
Graskop Gorge Lift Company

Should we have mistakenly left out your business please let us know.

Remembering those who were tragically taken from us

A year ago, a fatal aircraft incident in Tanzania, in the region of Ngorongoro Crater, en-route to the Serengeti, claimed the lives of 10 passengers and a solo Captain. The causes of this incident remain under investigation by the TCAA. (Tanzanian Civil Aviation Authority).

Amongst the passengers on-board was Naseeb Mfinanga, Co-Founder and Co-Owner of Maasai Wanderings Ltd, the esteemed East African DMC (Destination Management Company) and Nasikia Camps Ltd, Tanzania. www.maasaiwanderings.com & www.nasikiacamps.com.

Naseeb’s brother, Shatri Mfinanga and the company’s IT Manager, Gift Lema were also on-board.

15 November 2017 marked the day of dear and loved ones passing for many families, from Tanzania, Germany, Switzerland, Austria and South Africa. We wish to remember those that passed far too soon and indeed pass our respects to their families and friends.

2017 passed and now as 2018 draws to its final months it is appropriate to explain the future vision and mission of Maasai Wanderings, together with Nasikia Camps.

Donna Duggan formally a Nurse by profession, treating those effected by HIV in Tanzania and expectant mothers, is the “backbone” of the two firms today. Whilst in mourning, Donna has shown remarkable character and substance. In honour of her beloved husband, family and team who passed on that dreadful day, Donna decided to drive the company forward and that she has done, as she believes, as do we all that this is what Nas would have wanted. Ehlane Plains was opened as Nas had wished in February of 2018, this is followed by Tarangire Ndovu Camp, becoming a permanent structure, which will be relaunched before the Festive Season of 2018 and opening in February 2019 Mandhari Lodge, overlooking the Great African Rift Valley, on top of the Manyara Escarpment, where Donna and Nas created dreams that have now become a reality.

Under application are:

Kusini Kopjes Camp, Serengeti National Park (Kusini area), permanent, all year round

Lamai Serengeti Nest, Serengeti National Park (Lamai Area), permanent, all year round

The basic philosophy of both Maasai Wanderings and Nasikia Camps, is to provide authentic, understated, experiential journeys, with luxurious touches. We have created affordable experiences that can be enjoyed by many wishing to see the wilderness, game and become aware of the need to conserve the environment in our world, for future generations, so they may also enjoy what we experience now.

Maasai Wanderings and Nasikia Camps (Tanzania) are driven by Nas and Donna’s forward vision, and Donna continues the labour of love with the personal values of their little family at heart. We continue the commitment to grow and share our generation of safari dreamers, to that of Rami and Eisha’s generation – Donna and Nas’s children.

In tribute to those that passed a multi faith Service of Remembrance, will be held at the site on the 15th November 2018, at the time it was estimated the aircraft impacted the crater.

Dedicated to the precious lives lost in

The air crash of 15th November 2017

Donna Duggan the Co-Founder of Maasai Wanderings and Nasikia Camps Tanzania, has worked closely over the last year with Andrew Shapland, of South Africa’s high profile “Tourism Corporation Africa Ltd – The Original” (www.tourismcorp.co.za) and has been guided in all legal and corporate matters, by top notch South African Attorney, Stefan le Roux, of the Johannesburg and Cape Town based Law Firm  Glyn Marais (www.glynmarais.co.za), collectively, Duggan (Australian), Le Roux (South African) and Shapland (British) mandated Barrister Jim Morris, a highly skilled Aviation specialist of the leading London Law Firm, Ashford’s LLP (www.ashfords.co.uk), to pursue Coastal Aviation and its insurers in accordance with international law.

For Further Information Contact: Andrew Shapland. andrew@tourismcorp.co.za