Whether your business provides tourism transport, like an airport shuttle service, or you operate a mobile business, like a tourist guide, delivering excellent customer service skills on the go is particularly important. There are a broad number of different opportunities where you can target the right customers at the right time, and provide them with an efficient and high-quality service which will allow them to return to your business time and time again. Delivering good customer service on the go, no matter where you are in the world is simple if you follow the right steps. Here, we take a look at how you can do just that.

Purchase A Reliable Vehicle

If you’re a tour or transport operator, or perhaps you operate a hotel amenities delivery service, for example, ensuring that your vehicle isn’t going to cause you any trouble is important. Reliability can provide your business with the opportunity to offer a streamlined service at all times. There are a number of different options that you can choose from when searching for a reliable brand, with Renault and Honda often coming out on top. Knowing that you’re not going to break down on the way to a client, and ensuring that you can arrive at their destination or property with ease when required, is all part of delivering excellent customer service. If you regularly travel cross-border to meet with clients, then the reliability of your vehicle is even more important!


If you have a number of employees who are delivering customer service on a regular basis, then you may want to consider opting for some form of customer service training. This can help to ensure that your employees are able to handle almost any situation they face, with the utmost professionalism, while remaining courteous and helpful at all times. This will help to ensure that your business not only runs smoothly but will help to provide you with peace of mind as a business owner that your employees are consistent in delivering the highest standards of customer service.

Be Responsive

Being responsive is important for any business but more so if you’re a mobile business or are regularly driving around. Installing a streamlined Bluetooth system in your car can help you to answer customer queries on the go, as and when you need to. With customers demanding a faster response time than ever, either ensuring you are able to respond almost instantly or having some form of employee or chatbot in place can help to ensure that your customers remain content with the service you are providing at all times.

Consider The Long Term

Dealing with customers should always be about your long-term goals. If you are able to provide an excellent form of conversation and deliver high-quality customer service consistently, then you are likely to attract existing customers back to your business again and again. The best form of marketing is word-of-mouth, and if you are able to please your current customers, they are highly likely to refer their friends and family to you.

Whether you operate a business from fixed premises, or your business requires constant travelling, providing excellent customer service, no matter where you are, is paramount to ensuring its success.


Article courtesy of: http://www.tourismtattler.com/


AFRICA HOSPITALITY WEEK takes place 24-26th June, the height of purchasing season in South Africa – the power base and gateway to the continent. It is a dedicated 3 day international trading platform endorsed by stakeholder industry organisations and comprises three essential exhibitions, namely The Hotel Show, iHost and Africas big 7.

Over 15,000 international industry professionals meet at AFRICA HOSPITALITY WEEK to source hospitality front and back of house products, services, equipment, supplies, innovations, technology and solutions from hundreds of exhibitors of more than 30 countries.

This 3 event showcase together with the Hospitality Leadership Forum, Africa’s Hospitality Awards, free training workshops, live features including competitions, jobs and careers are all supported by key publication brands Hotel & Restaurant and Hospitality Africa together with over 20 different global media partners.

Latest cutting edge innovations, new ideas and products, trends, insight and future thinking, ensures AFRICA HOSPITALITY WEEK is the go to event in the calendar in Africa.

We look forward to welcoming you to a new era in Hospitality.

Christine Davidson
Vice President
dmg events, Africa


Read more here: https://www.africabig7.com/africa-hospitality-week/

A Travel Agent earns an average salary of R115,290 per year. Most people with this job move on to other positions after 20 years in this career. Experience has a moderate effect on pay for this job.


Job Description for Travel Agent

A travel agent assists individuals or groups of persons in planning and booking travel. This can include facilitating ticket purchases for transportation, reserving accommodations, and renting cars. Travel agents can also assist people in booking vacation packages, tours, and visits to specific locations of interest. Agents typically make money by earning commissions for booking these arrangements from the providers themselves.

One of the main tools at a travel agent’s disposal is permissions that allow them to access in real-time variable data. Agents typically work with individuals to help design custom trips, which may include multiple destinations, transportation modes, and sightseeing plans. The agent may also be able to recommend packaged tours that help consumers in this planning stage. While the career field of a travel agent has been somewhat compromised by the advent of self-booking websites, there are still many travel agents who do very well. Agents must be flexible and able to offer a variety of concierge services. By providing this customer services which travel websites cannot, an agent can still flourish.

Beyond this aptitude for customer service, general travel knowledge, and computer skills, there are a few formal education requirements for this job. Therefore, programs in vocational schools and community colleges related to the career do exist and may be helpful. (Copyright 2018 PayScale.com)

Travel Agent Tasks

  • Respond to incoming requests and conduct research on travel planning and itinerary customization.
  • Draft service contracts for group travel.
  • Build rapport with individual customers to secure new clients and maintain a consistent customer base.
  • Provide counseling and support for customer requests, and review documents for accuracy.


Article originally published on: https://www.payscale.com/

A General Manager, Hotel earns an average salary of R292,662 per year. The highest paying skills associated with this job are Financial Reporting and Budget Management. Experience strongly influences income for this job.


Job Description for General Manager, Hotel

A hotel general manager usually has the responsibility of overseeing the entire workings of a given hotel. Keeping finances in order, planning for events within the hotel, and budgeting for new renovations to the building are all within the realm of a hotel general manager’s duties. It is normally the hotel general manager’s job to ensure that all employees at the hotel are performing their work in a satisfactory manner and are making the hotel guests feel welcome and pleased. If any hotel staff perform their work poorly, it is the hotel general manager’s duty to terminate them.

Hiring new employees is also within the realm of a hotel general manager’s duties as well. Ensuring that security measures are place to keep guests and employees safe at the hotel should be of utmost importance to a hotel general manager. According, budgeting for a security system and surveillance is normally on the to-do list of a hotel general manager. Maximizing profits is extremely important for the success of the hotel, and it is generally within the hotel general manager’s list of duties to do so. Whether it be offering specials on rooms or discounts for certain times of the yea, it is the hotel general manager’s duty to ensure the hotel stays afloat financially.

Hotel general managers normally do not need a specific degree, though having a degree in business management or hospitality is a huge plus. As a management position, years of experience is also usually required. (Copyright 2018 PayScale.com)

General Manager, Hotel Tasks

  • Oversee all aspects of hotel operations.
  • Resolve guest and employee concerns.
  • Maintain accountability for each department.
  • Develop an operational budget and monitor cost controls.
  • Complete daily audits and monthly paperwork.

Pay by Experience Level for General Manager, Hotel

Pay by Experience for a General Manager, Hotel has a positive trend. An entry-level General Manager, Hotel with less than 5 years of experience can expect to earn an average total compensation of R137,000 based on 56 salaries provided by anonymous users. Average total compensation includes tips, bonus, and overtime pay. A General Manager, Hotel with mid-career experience which includes employees with 5 to 10 years of experience can expect to earn an average total compensation of R249,000 based on 59 salaries. An experienced General Manager, Hotel which includes employees with 10 to 20 years of experience can expect to earn an average total compensation of R396,000 based on 83 salaries. A General Manager, Hotel with late-career experience which includes employees with greater than 20 years of experience can expect to earn an average total compensation of R545,000 based on 34 salaries.

Information courtesty of https://www.payscale.com/

So you want to live in the middle of the ocean, see the world’s most glamorous ports, and get paid for it? Those in with a chance will be outgoing, friendly, willing to work their fingers to the bone and live in constant proximity to other people (you’ll share a tiny cabin with up to 3 people). Getting a job in the cruise industry is a bit tricky for South Africans, as the cruise liners are all based overseas, and one needs to avoid the scams that do the rounds with fake jobs, scumbags trying to take advantage of those who are desperate for work – do not use an agency which charges fees for its services – this is a sure sign of a scam.


There are two ways to get a job on a ship:

  1. Apply to a cruise line for a job on one of their ship.
  2. Apply to a concessioner for a job on a ship. A concessioner is a company contracted to operate a spa, retail shop or entertainment on the ship.

Contacting a Cruise Company

Most cruise companies have websites where you can search for and apply for jobs.

Cruise Lines
MSC CruisesClick here, to search for jobs, and create a profile.
Costa CruisesClick here to check what jobs are available and to create a profile.
Carnival UK
P&O Cruises
These 3 cruise lines club together for job purposes. Click here to see their career page.
Royal CaribbeanClick here to find available Royal Caribbean jobs, and apply for one. There is also a Royal Caribbean Careers Facebook page, a Twitter page and a LinkedIn page. Alternatively, phone +1 305 539 3920.
Carnival CruisesClick here for more info. Applications can be made through Cruise Alternatives.
Princess CruisesApply via Blue Ensign agency – see details below.
Virgin VoyagesVirgin Voyages is launching their cruise line in 2020, to cruise in the Caribbean. They have set up a job portal, but it didn’t appear to have been populated with jobs yet, at the time of writing.
Recruitment agencies in South Africa
Blue EnsignNavigate to http://blueensign.co.za . They are the agents in SA for Cunard, Holland America, P&O Cruises, Princess Cruises and Seabourn. Email your CV, a copy of your passport and relevant certificates as well as two references to info@blueensign.co.za. For more info phone 021 556 7658.
Cruise AlternativesHiring agents for Carnival Cruise Lines, Celebrity Cruise Lines, Holland America, Norwegian Cruise Lines, Royal Caribbean and Silversea Cruise Lines. Navigate to the Vacancies drop down menu to see what’s available. Email info@cruisealternatives.com or phone 012 654 5030
Atlantic Medical RecruitmentFor those who are members of the medical fraternity. Email russell@shipsdoctor.co.za or phone 082 376 1175.

If you receive no reply after a few weeks then contact them again sending a thank you and follow-up letter. Getting hired is often a matter of persistency.


Cruise related jobs cover the full monty of careers. Note that you will have to apply for a particular job, as the “I’m willing to do anything” approach doesn’t work. So, start off by deciding which job you want to do (which usually comes down to what you’re most qualified for).

Entertainment Team

The entertainment team hosts a variety of activities with the passengers – from trivia games and informative presentations to exercise classes and DJ’ing at the disco.

Those working at the kids’ clubs (for guests up to the age of 17) may also fall into this category. This is a crucial role, as if the kids aren’t happy, the parents wont be happy either. A minimum of 2 years experience would typically be required for this job.

The entertainment team reports to the Cruise Director (aka “cruise activity director” aka “cruise ship director”). The Cruise Director is expected to perform each voyage and to organise an entertainment program to ensure the guests are having fun and satisfied. The Director will be expected to interact with passengers and handle their complaints. This job suits somebody who enjoys being in the middle and leading the entertainment.

Being fluent in other languages additional to english, helps.

Shore Excursions

With so many different ports and the need to ensure that passengers are 100% satisfied with their excursions, a quality shore excursion team is required.


You may want to work as a dealer (e.g. blackjack, roulette), a slot technician or cashier.

Navigate to www.oceancasinojobs.com – they represent AIDA, Carnival Cruises, Costa, Cunard, Holland America, P&O Cruises, Princess Cruises and Seabourn. You’ll be required to have at least a year’s experience and be at least 21 years old.

Click here to see when the next interviewing cycle is in South Africa.

Food & Beverage services

Think bartenders, waitresses, chefs; as well as higher level jobs analysing the financials in an attempt to max profit. To qualify for this:

  • get a qualification from a hotel, chef or catering school.
  • get experience working in a restaurant (ideally fine dining)

Fun fact: most cruise ships have over 100 chefs on them.


Think nurses, paramedics and doctors. Yes, people on cruises get sick too!

Retail sales (“Boutiques”)

Think jewelery, watches, fragrances, cosmetics, handbags, apparel, sunglasses and liquor sales. Positions include the likes of jewellery sales specialists, fragrance consultants, sales assistants, cosmetic consultants and watch sales specialists.

To become a “shoppie” (this is what the retail staff on a ship are known as) you’ll need to have at least 2 years experience in retail, be able to take inventory, and be good at working with customers. Being able to talk multiple languages is an advantage, as well as having a degree on your resume. If you’ve been at sea before and have the relevant experience, you may want to take a job as a manager or trainee manager.

Harding Retail are hired by some cruise companies to run the retail shops on their ships. They offer a service to Azmara Club Cruises, Carnival, Celestyal Cruises, Cunard, Fred Olsen Cruise Lines, Louis Cruises, Oceania Cruises, P&O Cruises, Regent Seven Seas Cruises, Royal Caribbean International, Saga, Seabourn, Swan Hellenic, Thomson Cruises, TUI Cruises, Viking, Voyages of Discovery and Voyages to Antiquity. They offer a wide variety of brands including Cartier, Clarins, Fossil, Gucci, Mont Blanc, Ray-Ban, Swarovski and Tissot. Click here to apply for a job with Harding Retail. Your application will be processed by their team in Bristol. On average you can expect to get off at 2 ports out of 3.

Applications for a job as a shoppie which are sent to a cruise company will usually be forwarded to their concessionaire (that’s not to say you shouldn’t send to them anyway, as it gives you another chance to get your name in front of everybody). If you’re chosen there will probably be a short course to attend.

Salaries are target and commission based, which means that there’s a lot of volatility in earnings.

House keeping

Responsibilities include cleaning rooms, public areas, doing laundry and moving baggage. To get this job first get experience in the hospitality industry and ensure your communication skills are up to scratch.

Spa Work

Jobs vary from masseuses to personal trainers, nail technicians, barbers, receptionists and hairdressers. Passengers can enjoy facial therapies, acupuncture, massages or fitness training. Whilst not attending to passengers, expect to spend time marketing your product and taking inventories.

Navigate to www.theonboardspa.com – they represent Carnival, Disney Cruise Line, Princess Cruises, Silversea, The Yachts of Seabourn, P&O Cruises, Holland America, Royal Caribbean, Costa Cruises and Windstar Cruises. Click here to find their application form. Find out when there are interview dates in South Africa. The regional managers are Nadine Brits (email nadineb@theonboardspa.com or phone 079 5285 161) and Daniella Diem (email Daniella.diem@theonboardspa.com or phone 071 497 3797).

The spa is usually found near the top floor of a cruise ship. The amount you’d earn is based largely on tips and commission.

Techinical & Deck Work

Even the ship’s Captain falls in this category! Think safety, navigation of the ship and maintenance of equipment. This includes propulsion systems, air conditioning, power systems and entertainment support systems. For example watchkeeping officers ensure that the boat is safely navigated (and no Costa Concordia incidents!), there are plumbers, engineers and electricians.

Human Resources

Yes, you even get HR staff on board the ship. They’ll implement the shipping line’s HR policies with the onboard staff. A bachelors degree in HR will help you get this spot, as well as any relevant experience.

Information Technology

Think maintenance of servers, networks and computer systems (including desktop). A minimum of 2 years relevant experience would be required, together with the appropriate academic qualifications.

Photographers & videographers

Selling photographs and videos is a big money spinner for cruise lines – they’re sold at high prices, but it’s difficult to say no to the purchase if the Mrs has her heart set on these mementos. To get this gig you should have at least a year’s experience in photography and the relevant computer skills.

Life on board

There’s no space to spare on a cruise ship. Your new home will be a small cabin at the bottom of the ship with no windows, and shared with up to 3 people who might snore at night. The cabin will typically have a shower, a TV and a storage cupboard. You’ll be required to keep that cabin spick and span. The people in the cabin may not be the type of people you’d normally hang out with.

There are 3 main categories of staff: “crew”, “staff” and “officers”. Only the officers and staff may be in guest areas when they’re not on on the job, and socialise with guests. However, you will be fired if you date guests, but you may date members of the crew (who are often younger, better looking and more vivacious), although an unwritten rule is that you may not date officers with a higher ranking.

Expect to work very hard! Crew members work 7 days a week, and about 11 hours per day (usually a maximum of 14 hours) – this is not a holiday. Ships purposely fly flags of convenience, and there are few workers’ rights.

You are not cruising – even the term “cruising” is used to describe somebody who is slacking on the job. Having said that, if the job has been done properly, then your manager may give you some time off.

You’ll be required to attend every safety drill.

On the upside:

  • Meals are free, as is the accommodation. Meals are eaten in the staff dining area (better known as the “crew mess”), and are buffet style.
  • Ships tend to follow the sunny weather, perfect for those who want to permanently be out of the cold and rain.
  • Being away from it all for so long and surrounded by people from all walks of life and all over the world, gives one a chance to reflect and put life into perspective.
  • If you ever have some free time you can hang out at the crew bar (much more reasonably priced than for passengers)…these occassions often spill over later into somebody’s cabin…
  • Go to the crew’s special jacuzzi/pool, play table tennis, pool or pump iron at the gym.
  • There will probably be wireless internet (at a fee) to stay in touch. There are regular crew events such as poker nights and karaoke.
  • Crew parties, with free booze if you’re lucky.
  • If you get free time, then sometimes the shore excursions are offered free to staff.

Cruise ship staff are male dominated (client-facing roles have more females), with about half the staff being younger than 30.

It can take up to 3 weeks to get used to life onboard. If, after 3 weeks, you’re not enjoying it yet, then this probably is not the life for you. If you leave early then you’ll have to pay for your own way back (if you finish your contract, usually the cruise line will then pay for your plane ticket back).




What is required will vary immensely by the job; but to give you an idea, here’s some of the information which you’ll typically be asked for:

  • Are you 21 or more years old?
  • Do you have any tattoos or piercings which are publicly visible?
  • Do you have a criminal record?
  • You’ll have to pass a medical examination.
  • You must have a valid passport.
Working as a Couple

Would you like to go work on a cruise ship together with your partner? The bad news is that this is difficult to get right; as for one thing each applicant is considered on her/his own merits.


A typical contract on a ship lasts for 6 to 8 months, depending on the operational requirement. During the contract you’d usually be on one specific ship (which you may well find visits the same destinations again and again during that period…so much for seeing the world!). You’d then get a couple of months leave, and if you’ve been up to standard you’ll get invited back for another 6 to 8 month contract.

It’s a style catch-22: The “airport outfit” has to be comfortable enough for sitting on a plane for at least several hours (in terms of climate control and soft-stretchiness), but also pulled-together enough that you can deplane at your destination ready to hit the ground running. We turned to 11 globe-trotting style-setters for tips and inspiration on just how to pull of this tricky fashion feat.

The tourism sector employed 686 596 persons in 2016, Statistician-General Risenga Maluleke said on Monday.

This, according to Maluleke, is an increase of 2.7% percent or 17 945 employees compared to 2015.

According to Stats SA, the tourism sector share of total employment increased from 4.2% in 2015 to 4.4% in 2016. The tourism sector directly contributed 2.9% to South African gross domestic product (GDP) in 2016.

Releasing the Tourism Satellite Report (TSA) at a media briefing in Tshwane, Maluleke said there were 15 121 328 non-resident visitors to South Africa in the year 2016 compared with 13 951 901 in 2015 and 14 529 542 in 2014.

Of the non-resident visitors in 2016, 5 077 165 were same-day visitors and 10 044 163 were tourists.

“Tourism direct gross domestic product (TDGDP) increased from R108 683 million in 2015 to R125 136 million in 2016 (15.1% increase).”

Maluleke said inbound tourism expenditure totalling R121 400 million was recorded in 2016.

“The main expenditure items were non-specific products (28.1%), accommodation for visitors (15%), connected products (13.4%) and road passenger transport services (11.9%).

“Domestic tourism expenditure totalling R144 358 million (including the domestic portion of outbound tourism expenditure) was recorded in 2016,” Maluleke said.

The main expenditure items were road passenger transport services (27.8%), non-specific products (17.3%), accommodation for visitors (14.8%) and air passenger transport services (14.3%).

The total internal tourism consumption in cash for South Africa in 2016 was R265 758 million (inbound tourism consumption R121 400 million (45.7%) and domestic tourism consumption R144 358 million (54.3%).

The main expenditure items for internal tourism were non-specific products (22.2%), road passenger transport services (20.5%), accommodation for visitors (14.9%) and air passenger transport services (13.2%).

Maluleke explained that tourism imports (outbound tourism expenditure) increased by 8% to R78 493 million compared with 6.3% growth in the previous period.

The TSA report provides an overview of the role that tourism plays in South Africa and also information on the contribution by tourism sector to the economy in terms of expenditure and employment. – SAnews.gov.za

Tourism Minister Derek Hanekom says millions of South Africans and international tourists continue to visit and travel around South Africa, despite the current water crisis.

“We appreciate the responsiveness and respect shown by our visitors in helping us deal with one of the worst droughts experienced in our country,” Minister Hanekom said.

He said the continued innovation in water-wise initiatives has been remarkable, with new and progressive solutions introduced on an ongoing basis.

Minister Hanekom welcomed the announcement by the Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister Zweli Mkhize that the worst drought-affected areas would have access to national disaster funds and other forms of assistance.

Minister Hanekom congratulated all South Africans and both local and international travellers on achieving what is being hailed as a global first in terms of the extent to which water consumption is reduced during a drought.

The additional funds will allow these efforts to continue in all affected parts of the country, particularly in Cape Town.

Awareness has changed consumer behaviour to respect the reality that South Africa is a water-scarce country and that water should never be wasted.

“We are delighted that tourists and travellers to South Africa continue to be part of the solution by embracing new and innovative water-wise tourism practices.

“Congratulations to our tourism agencies, the travel trade as well as our tourists and communities at large for rising to the challenge.

“More importantly, I encourage all tourists, both local and international, to enjoy the experiences our beautiful South Africa has to offer, in a way that embraces ‘Travel, Enjoy and Respect’, the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) message to all,” Minister Hanekom said. – SAnews.gov.za


Recently, the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) and the World Youth Student and Education (WYSE) Travel Confederation published a report on “The power of youth travel”. From this report many interesting things can be learned. Diego has taken 10 surprising facts that you might not know about the market and shared it with us, with some illustrations to make it fun:

1. Youth travel is one of the fastest growing markets of the tourism industry


UNWTO estimates that around 20% of the 940 million international tourists traveling the world in 2010 were young people. By 2020 there will be almost 300 million international youth trips per year, which represents a 59% growth in 10 years.

2. Young travelers often spend more than other tourists

According to the report the average youth traveler spends a total of $2,600 per trip whereas than the average international tourist spends an average of $950. As the report suggests “one secret to this greater spending power is being able to tap into the resources of their (often time-poor but money-rich) parents and the ability to work to earn additional money during their travels”.

3. And stay longer than the average tourist

The average stay of a young traveler is over 50 days longer than the average traveler. This is driven by study abroad and work and travel programs that allow young travelers to stay sometimes longer than 6 months in a destination, and from there travel around the region.

4. Young travelers are likely to come back in the futurewales

The high value of youth travel also lies in the ‘lifetime value’ that young people deliver to destinations through their travel career. They often return to the places they have visited in later life. In Australia, for example, research has indicated that 54% of young travelers return there later in life.

5. The youth travel market is more resilient than the rest of the tourism industry

Economic recessions have a lesser impact on youth travel that in the rest of the travel industry. Many young people decide to travel long term when they are having a hard time finding a job. Also, young people are less likely to be deterred from traveling by terrorism, political and civil unrest, disease or natural disasters.

6. Young travelers are more tech-savvy than the average traveler

It must not be a surprise that the youth segment has the highest penetration of smartphones across the globe (+79%) and that young travelers are early adopters of every new technology. This makes the youth travel sector a market of leading technological innovation and a learning ground for the whole travel industry.

7. The Chinese youth travel sector is growing at a double digit every yearthierry_gillier_chinese_tourists_paris_20121005

According to UNWTO, 66 million Chinese will travel overseas this year, a 15% increase over last year, and 100 million will be global travelers by 2020. This makes the Chinese youth travel segment one of the fast growing ones in the whole industry. As the Chinese economy continues to grow and more families are able to afford sending their kids to study abroad this numbers are only expected to keep growing.

8. The age range for youth travel has expanded from 24 up to 30 years-old

As a result of demographic changes in western societies such as older age for marriage and longer study time-frames (post-graduate and master studies), the range for youth-style travel has expanded from 18-to-24 to 15-to-30 years-old and beyond.

9. Youth travel has a strong economic impact at a local level

In 2012, $217 billion of the $1.088 trillion tourism “spend” worldwide came from young travelers, an increase that vastly outstripped that of other international travelers. Because they travel for longer periods, young people also tend to spend a greater proportion of their total budget in the destination. The WYSETC indicates that around 60% of youth travel budgets are spent in the destination. Young travelers often avoid international chains and spend their money directly with local suppliers. This tends to increase the local impact of their expenditure and more money ends up with local businesses.

10. Young travelers are influencers and trend-setters that attract others to brands and destinations

Young people play an important role in influencing others to use certain products or brands and also attract other visitors to the destinations they travel. In Australia, for example, it was estimated that each young visitor taking a course in higher education was visited by an average of 1.3 people during their stay, generating an additional AU$1.2 billion for the Australian economy each year. Young people add atmosphere and ‘buzz’ to destinations, attracting other visitors and businesses.

Diego concludes that for all these reasons and many more, you should be paying attention to this fast-growing market. It might represent a really interesting opportunity for your business or country not only today, but also in the future.

Source: StudentUniverse Blog

In this era of bitcoin and other unpredictable investment options, smart speculators should consider hedging their bets on a sector that has shown consistent growth since the 2009 global economic crisis: tourism. This is the third-largest export sector in the world and grew by a remarkable 7% in 2017. Tourism is expected to grow at a healthy rate of 4%-5% in 2018, and to continue this trend right up until 2030.

In 2017, according to the UN World Tourism Organisation, international tourist arrivals — in other words, overnight visitors travelling around the world — boomed to a record 1.3-billion people. This global tourism bonanza represents the highest growth in seven years.

Europe experienced 8% growth in international tourist arrivals in 2017, with southern and Mediterranean Europe enjoying a 13% spike despite the Las Ramblas terror attack in Barcelona and the political uncertainty around Catalonia’s bid for independence.

This suggests a resilient and mature tourism sector that is strong enough to withstand what some view as rare or isolated incidents.

Here at home we don’t yet have the final tourism figures for 2017, but the World Tourism Organisation reported that Africa attracted 8% more tourists than in 2016 — above the global average. This was led by a strong 13% surge in tourists for North Africa, which has been plagued by political instability and security issues in recent years and is experiencing a welcome recovery in its tourism sector. In sub-Saharan Africa, arrivals increased 5%, consolidating the huge rebound we saw the previous year.

This is excellent news for SA. Consider this: the World Travel and Tourism Council estimated that in 2016, tourism (including the supply chain and investment) injected R402bn into the South African economy, or 9.3% of GDP, and supported 1.5-million jobs (including in sectors such as transport and agriculture).

This means that even 5% growth in tourism revenues would be hugely significant. Indeed, tourism is one of the continent’s great and largely untapped engines for economic growth, and we need to nurture our tourism sector and treat it with the care it deserves.

It’s clear that the momentum is with us.

We need to capitalise on the seemingly insatiable global appetite for travel and tap into the growing interest in bringing international business events such as major conferences to Africa and to SA in particular.

People around the world are spending more on travel, realising the inherent value of investing in lasting memories and experiences rather than in flavour-of-the-month consumables.

Newly emerging (and prosperous) middle classes in rising economies such as China, Brazil and Russia are increasingly venturing outside their own borders and sampling the world’s tourism treasures.

Tourism is a service industry that has the potential to generate even more wealth and jobs — as the South African government and the National Development Plan 2030 have noted.

Inclusive growth that embraces smaller, black-owned players and tourism entrepreneurs is what we’re aiming at.

That’s why, in 2017 South African Tourism started rolling out our 5-in-5 strategy to attract 5-million more international and domestic tourists to our country by 2021.

Our sights are set on 4-million more foreign tourist arrivals and 1-million more domestic holiday trips.

We’ve reworked our investment model and, with the limited funds that we have to market our destination, we’ve identified where best to “play” for the best potential returns — attracting tourists who will inject as much-needed money into our economy as possible.

Among these new, emerging markets we’re targeting is the Middle East, where travellers are expressing much interest in coming to SA, especially during their scorching summer months, which fortuitously happens to be our temperate low season.

Everyone wins: tourism and hospitality businesses that are usually quiet during that time will become busier and more sustainable, jobs will be kept and Middle Eastern travellers can enjoy value-for-money rates and authentic South African hospitality that respects and accommodates their cultural and dietary and religious needs.

We’re making brisk strides towards reaching our 5-in-5 target despite obstacles such as the devastating Knysna fires.

We are proud of the resilience and can-do attitude of our tourism industry as a whole, which picks itself up and dusts itself off in the wake of such calamities.

By the end of October 2017, we’d already attracted 8.4-million international tourist arrivals out of our 10.9-million target for the year.

Our figures for overseas tourists jetting in are sound; what concerns us is the slowdown in tourists coming to SA from our Southern Africa Development Community neighbours, such as Swaziland, Botswana and Lesotho.

If economies contract in the region, the knock-on effect reverberates as movement, spending, shopping and trade all slow down as a result.

The good news is that 2.3-million domestic holiday trips were taken between January and the end of October 2017, putting us on course to meet our 2.9-million target for 2017.

Having said that, it is evident that the economic pinch is causing a drop in trips around SA to visit friends and relatives.

This is extremely worrying, because one of our mandates is to show our people that tourism is for everybody and that all South Africans benefit from, and have a role to play in, our tourism industry.

If tourism wins, we all win. This is the thrust of our We Do Tourism movement, which has already been embraced by so many in the government and private sector.

Now, more than ever before, we need to continue embracing the spirit of the We Do Tourism movement.

Looming large and alarming is the Cape Town and Western Cape drought. We can’t ignore the elephant in the room, but Cape Town and the Western Cape are open for business in spite of the drought.

This is a one-in-1,000-year occurrence, but even so there are still many places across the Western Cape that are not as severely affected by the drought, such as the nearby Garden Route and the Cape Overberg.

We appeal to tourists and tourism businesses alike to continue being good responsible tourism citizens and continue being water wise.

The momentum remains with SA’s thriving tourism sector. But since our industry isn’t as mature and hardy as Spain’s, for example, we have to anticipate risks, pre-empt them and deal with them decisively.

Now, as we focus on the Western Cape water crisis, we need to redouble our efforts and work together as an industry, as the government and as a country to ensure that tourism can reach its full potential as a vital engine powering our national economy.


Article originally posted on: https://www.businesslive.co.za/