The Southern African Tourism Services Association (SATSA) and South African Tourism (SA Tourism) ensured that there will be a strong focus on, and participation by emerging businesses at this year’s SATSA Conference.
The SATSA Conference, hosted in partnership with SA Tourism, took place at the Wild Coast Sun from 9-11 July 2019. Thirty-eight emerging businesses from all nine provinces were represented at the SATSA conference and were selected from the Department of Tourism’s TIP (Tourism Incentive) programme.
The conference is one of the tourism industry’s biggest networking platforms and ensures that small enterprises who are just entering the sector have direct exposure to the Tourism industry, its issues, and the opportunity to network with experienced industry players.
SA Tourism supported the travel and accommodation costs for the emerging businesses to attend the event, while SATSA will sponsored the conference attendance fee.
Not only was it the association’s 50th-year celebration, but attendees were treated to a fresh new look with a more modular format, interesting insights from thought leaders and, most of all, a whole new approach to networking. It was also the first year that members of South African Youth Travel Confederation (SAYTC), who recently merged with SATSA, was in attendance.
This means even greater potential to network, learn and engage with potential business partners for the emerging businesses attending.
“The tourism industry in South Africa needs to be an inclusive industry for all,” commented SA Tourism CEO, Sthembiso Dlamini. “The SATSA conference is crucial to exposing our emerging businesses to the larger tourism industry and having them in attendance speaks to one of our goals of transforming the industry so that historically disadvantaged South Africans benefit from the sector as well,” added Dlamini.
“The growth of the Tourism Industry is strongly reliant on the development and knowledge expansion of the SME sector,” says SATSA CEO David Frost. “Growing SMEs’ businesses is how we introduce diversity and variety into our sector which helps ensure we keep offering our visitors the selection of unique tourism products and services they seek.”
To this end, SATSA has been active in similar initiatives such as the Limpopo High Flyers’ Programme which it piloted along with Limpopo Tourism.
The Programme identified thirteen relevant provincial products and assisted them with their tourism and marketing development needs to ensure a successful introduction to a large and established trade.