Category Archives: SATSA News

Overseas Arrivals to South Africa (Jan to April 2017 vs Jan to April 2018)

The halcyon days of strong international arrivals in 2016 and 2017 are a distant memory. Most SATSA members are reporting a marked decline in business going forward. The official arrival stats are in for January to April this year compared with 2017. Overseas arrivals are down 1,5%. Our largest market, the United Kingdom is down 5%. Germany, which has shown incredibly robust growth over the past two years, is now in the red – down by 0,16%. Please see table for selected markets.


Interestingly our main long-haul competitor, Australia, continues to show impressive growth, off a much higher base (they get three times the arrivals we do – and have a stronger exchange rate) – overseas arrivals are up by 6,2%.

While historical data is useful, it is far more interesting to look ahead. SATSA, through our strong partnership with WESGRO, can make available results from a survey we undertook with 18 leading hotel groups and DMCs earlier this year in March. The consensus was between a 30 – 50% decline in forward bookings to September 2018.

We are also able to share with members some data from ForwardKeys, which tracks forward bookings into Cape Town. Given that most tourists include Cape Town on their itineraries, this offers a good proxy and barometer of the country’s forward bookings. What makes this data particularly useful is it differentiates between key source markets.

Bookings are down 8% for July, flat for August, 1% up for September, down 4% for both October and November and a worrying 9% down for December. Please click here  for more detailed graphs.

Why is this of value? Many businesses tend to operate in their own space. When the going is good, all is well. However, when the numbers start to tank, it is vital that you are able to situate your business in the industry context. Some companies have external shareholders and it is useful to be able to present an industry perspective to these constituencies.

The fact that the water crisis messaging went viral internationally at the peak booking decision time in our main source markets of North America and Europe in January to March, was a key driver in the decline we’re now experiencing. This was compounded by negative messaging around Listeriosis and the ‘land grab’ question. Underpinning these is a continuing strong Rand. The US dollar has appreciated 11,6% in the period April 2017 to April 2018. This puts even more focus on working with our government partners to synergise our respective resources and to remove self-imposed barriers to growth.

We will continue to push for these.

New Initiative to Accelerate Youth Employment

Harambee Youth Employment Accelerator is a not-for-profit social enterprise that builds solutions to address the “mismatch of demand and supply” in the youth labour market.

Harambee, in partnership with the National Business Initiative and together with government and implementing partners, has launched an initiative to facilitate pathways into technical occupations for large numbers of youth who show potential, but face numerous barriers in accessing such pathways. The initiative will unlock entry-level opportunities in the areas of Installation, Repair and Maintenance (IRM) across a range of different sectors.

The initiative with its multiple exit pathways provides an opportunity for employers looking to tap into a technical skills talent pool for its entry-level employment needs, enterprise & supplier development incubation and apprenticeship opportunities.

If you or your company would like to participate in the pilot running from June 2018 to December 2019, please click here for more information and contact details.

Western Cape Water Update

SATSA Western Cape Chapter Chairperson, Illana Clayton, updates us on the current water situation in Cape Town.

Good news! Dam levels are up 6.3% in June 2018 which is incredible news, and there is still lots of run-off. Click here  to view reports and statistics on the Cape Town Water Dashboard as of 18th June 2018.

The important graph is the 2nd one (Weekly Dam Drawdown Tracker) – the last 4 weeks have catapulted us to a strong point and we are way above the Failure Zone for now. The last table is also telling – as it specifically looks at the catchment areas vs the long-term averages.

But we can’t relax efforts and communications. Come January 2019 when they start drawing down allocations again, we need to be prepared. Critical is that the water still needs to fill up – it is currently at 27.2%, so we have a long way to go.

Please continue the rain dance!

Annual General Meeting Preparation – Chapter AGMs

What an exciting month of travel and catch-up it has been with David Frost and Hannelie du Toit attending all the Chapter AGMs. It’s great to interact with the SATSA family and gain first-hand understanding of the challenges and opportunities that each chapter faces. It was also highly encouraging to see the excitement brewing for the upcoming conference, an event where we can really get down to unpacking and strategizing some of the issues facing our industry.

The purpose of the Chapter AGMs was to provide an overview of activities by both the Chapter and SATSA National, to prepare for the upcoming National AGM (MOI changes, etc.) and to confirm Chapter Committees.

Members are reminded that the official Record Date for SATSA is set at 13 July 2018. Members who have not completed their annual review and payment prior to this date will not be able to vote at the AGM.

We are happy to announce that the following people have been confirmed to serve on their respective Chapter Committees – welcome to the new additions and we wish everyone a successful new term!

Eastern Cape
Dewald Niemann – Tsitsikamma Tourism Association
Nicolette Saayman  –  Summerstrand Hotel
Susan Wilson  –  Eastern Cape Parks and Tourism Agency
Doné Louw  –  Nelson Mandela Bay Tourism
Jonker Fourie  –  ECTOUR
Colin Dilland  –  Fifth Avenue 4×4 Adventure Tours
Igna Tregoning  –  Shield Tours

Garden Route
Peter Dros  –  Fancourt
Onne Vegter  –  Wild Wings Safaris
Mandy Freeman  –  Tenikwa Wildlife Centre
Evelyn Pepler  –  Ocean Odyssey
Monica Ryhlander  –  Oubaai Hotel
Tammy Moult  –  Cango Wildlife Ranch
Mario Febbraio  –  Tours4SA

Jabu Matsilele  –  Buja Tours
Dean Cherry  –  Nhongo Safaris
Rob Hetem  –  T Cubed Consulting
Chris Anagnostellis  –  An African Anthology
Karen Terrell-Kramvis –  Sun International
Andrea Hand  –  Tourvest
Dawn Robertson  –  Constitution Hill
Phina Muthige  –  Ndila Transfers
Pieter Erasmus  –  Royal African Discoveries
Maxine Glover  –  Tamrich Tours

Graeme Watson  –  Thompsons Africa
Pippa Coote  –  Sprout Business Consultants
Natasha Bame  –  ResRequest
Bernadine Galliver  –  Grant Thornton

Evelien Klokman  –  Kukummi Safaris
Jaco Scheepers  –  Sable Tours
Lorraine Ntimana  –  Tzaneen Country Lodge

François Grové  –  Safarisdirect
Anne Briggs  –  Mfafa Safaris
Melissa Brockmann  –  Vula Tours

Western Cape
Illana Clayton  –  Travel Smart Crew
Nathier Fakier  –  SATIB Insurance Brokers
Clinton Lerm  –  SA Forest Adventures
Keira Powers  –  Spirit of Africa
Janet Pillai  –  MLT Corporation
Monika Iuel  –  Private Safaris
Johan Du Toit  –  Tamrich Tours
Lindie Strauss  –  NAC

The Free State Chapter AGM is scheduled for 11 July 2018 in Bloemfontein and North West Chapter AGM is scheduled for 16 July 2018 in Potchefstroom.

A BIG thank you to the following venues who kindly hosted our Chapter meetings: 

  • Eastern Cape, Summerstrand Hotel
  • Garden Route, The Turbine Hotel
  • Gauteng, Maslow Hotel
  • KwaZulu-Natal, Fairmont Zimbali Resort
  • Limpopo, Hiyani Guest House
  • Mpumalanga, Little Pilgrims and Numbi Hotel
  • Western Cape, Cape Town Ziplines

If anyone has any pictures from the meetings, please share them on social media and tag @SATSA – Official so that we can share these beautiful spaces with the rest of the membership.

Ebola Update

The Ministry of Health and World Health Organisation (WHO) continue to closely monitor the outbreak of Ebola virus disease (EVD) in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. There is cautious optimism. Slightly over a month into the response, further spread of EVD has largely been contained.

Since 17 May 2018, no new confirmed EVD cases have been reported in Bikoro and Wangata health zones, while the last confirmed case-patient in Iboko developed symptoms on 2 Jun and died on 9 Jun 2018.

Public health response:
The Ministry of Health (MoH) is leading the response in the affected health zones with support from WHO and partners. Priorities include the strengthening of surveillance and contract tracing, laboratory capacity, infection prevention and control (IPC), case management, community engagement, safe and dignified burials, response coordination and vaccination. Additionally, to avoid the spread of the disease from affected provinces to non-affected provinces and to other countries, the Democratic Republic of the Congo has put into place cross-border surveillance at points of entry (neighbouring at-risk zones, provinces, countries, and at important travellers’ congregation points). WHO continues to work closely with the Ministries of Health from nine neighbouring countries to strengthen preparedness in order to mitigate the risk of international spread.

As of 19 Jun 2018, 26 countries have implemented entry screening for international travellers coming from Democratic Republic of the Congo, but there are currently no restrictions of international traffic in place. WHO continues to monitor travel and trade measures in relation to this event. A joint partnership project was initiated by WHO, IOM, IFRC, UNHCR, and other partners to reinforce cross border coordination activities between the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Congo, and the Central African Republic.

WHO travel advice was issued on 29th May 2018, aiming to sensitize travellers on how to reduce the risk of exposure and where to obtain appropriate medical assistance in case of EVD like symptoms after possible exposure. Considering the risk of an international traveller becoming infected with Ebola virus during a visit to the affected areas and developing the disease after returning is low, even if the visit included travel to areas where primary cases have been reported. In addition, WHO in collaboration with transport and travel partners (ICAO, IATA) are working together to increase travellers’ awareness, vigilance on board of conveyances and points of entry and stress on the importance of establishing and maintaining a public health emergency contingency plan at points of entry.

To read WHO recommendations for international travellers related to the Ebola Virus Disease outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, click here

Reasons to attend #SATSA2018 Conference

With only a couple of weeks to go before we kick off the SATSA 2018 Conference, we still have a few seats available and would highly recommend that you register soon and attend this exciting event.

As you might know, the SATSA Conference is the largest event of its kind in the inbound industry in Southern Africa. We have confirmed a sterling line-up of speakers and are offering great pre- and post-conference tours – most of them gratis / mahala / free of charge.

If you need more convincing, here are 5 reasons why NOT to miss out on the event:

1) Unpack. Discover. Learn
Understanding an issue is the first step in trying to manage and solve it. Each year, the SATSA Conference programme focuses on key issues pertinent to the SATSA membership base and the inbound sector at large.

2) Network and form valuable industry relationships
Widely supported by SATSA members and industry stakeholders, the Conference offers you the opportunity to mix and mingle with your next customer or service provider.

3) Meet experts and influencers face to face
Whilst we can’t guarantee that you’ll meet your business idols, your chances are greatly improved when you’re sharing the same space with the many senior industry leaders in both the public and private sector who will be attending the conference.

4) Invest in yourself
Leaving the office and ‘sharpening the saw’ is investing in yourself, your career and your business. Take these 2 days to absorb, grow, and leave feeling a renewed sense of success.

5) Wind down and have fun
Conferences are fun! Pre- and post-tours, evening entertainment, and a great bunch of people in the friendly city of PE. What more could you ask for?

Register today on click here

Invitation to Fair Trade Tourism and PETCO Waste Management Workshop

Fair Trade Tourism and PETCO, the PET plastic recycling company, have teamed up to host a No Time to Waste workshop for the Garden Route tourism sector focusing on plastic waste solutions.

No Time To Waste will provide specific waste management training aimed at tourism businesses and propose plastic recycling solutions for the Garden Route.

Fair Trade Tourism is proud to partner with PETCO in seeking plastic waste solutions. PETCO, which is industry-driven and financed, has a mission to grow the collection and recycling of PET bottles. Its efforts are financed by a voluntary recycling fee paid by converters as well as grants from brand owners, resin producers and retailers. PETCO wishes to work with the Garden Route tourism sector to ensure that every PET bottle used is also recycled. The workshop provides the opportunity for PETCO to hear from tourism businesses about their recycling challenges and help with tangible solutions.

The aim of this event is to make moves towards solving the PET plastic waste crisis, as well as provide holistic waste management training from the Fair Trade Tourism sustainability toolkit.

The cost of the event is R200 per person, and is subsidised for one member of each Fair Trade Tourism organisation.

Event details are as follows
Date: Friday, 3rd August 2018
Time: 08h30 – 12h00
Venue: Hog Hollow Lodge, The Crags

Please can all interested parties RSVP to before 18th July 2018.
For more information, download the agenda for the workshop click here 

60% Discount offer to attend the Travel Massive Digital Workshops

60% Discount offer to attend the Travel Massive Digital Workshops

Travel Massive is “super chuffed” to announce that they have partnered with #HACKTOURISM to provide a series of Pop-up Travel Massive Digital Workshops across the Country—and Nelspruit is up first on 20 July 2018 at Casambo Lodge!

SATSA Members will receive a 60% discount the workshops and pay only R500 per person (normal price R1300), but you must book by Monday 16 July 2018.

#HACKTOURISM is a movement that focuses on the tourism and hospitality industry in Southern Africa and aims to train, equip and prepare the businesses to better use digital, online and social to drive bottom-line value for their businesses.

Topics will include: 

  • Consumer Centric – do we even know what that really means?
  • Hyper personalisation – how do you even spell that?
  • Always on, always connected – travellers, tourists and locals
  • CTA – that’s not a new diet
  • Experiences 1st, then destinations or brands – what they really care about
  • Top travel Hacks – Where to focus your energy (with case studies)

For more information or to book please visit:

Hosted Trade Visit Invitation - Limpopo

You are invited to experience the rich diversity of Limpopo with SATSA and the Limpopo High Flyers.

Together with the Limpopo Tourism Agency, SATSA embarked on a public-private partnership with the aim of facilitating transformation and showcasing Limpopo as a destination of choice. This saw the birth of the Limpopo High Flyers.

Through a graduated selection process, 13 fabulous SMEs were selected to become part of a route which exposes Limpopo’s beautiful and contrasting landscapes, rich cultural heritage and abundance of wildlife.

SATSA will be hosting 8 trade members to experience first-hand what these businesses have to offer. An exciting 4-day itinerary have been developed which will include Spa treatments, rock art excursions, one evening at a traditional homestay, art and crafts, a visit to Modjadjiskloof and an afternoon game drive on an Open Safari Vehicle in the Kruger National Park.

Dates have been set for 14 to 17 August 2018 and all costs (including flights) will be covered. If you are interested in visiting and learning how you could package this beautiful province, please let Sharon Gengan know as soon as possible on All interest will be captured and the final 8 will be selected.

For more information on the project and products, you are welcome to visit the Limpopo High Flyers website: