South African Tourism is engaging with ASATA members to help it inspire South Africans to travel around their country and encourage a culture of domestic travel.
This comes as SA Tourism’s Domestic Tourism Marketing Strategy has been allocated a budget of R100m this year, R105m next year and R107m the following year. SA Tourism’s current Sho’t Left Domestic Marketing Campaign will be expanded to include the idea that there is always a first time to experience something new and that every weekend provides an opportunity to do something that the South African tourist has never done before.
SA Tourism has done a domestic survey which identified the top five reasons for not travelling domestically over the past three years, including: could not afford to travel, no reason to take a trip, time constraints, unemployed/no income and disliked travelling.
Economic constraints are the biggest barrier to domestic travel. Approximately 48% of the adult population of SA cannot afford to travel and are unemployed or have no income. Visiting Friends and Relatives (VFR) remains the major reason for domestic trips and the number of domestic trips increased in 2014 compared to 2013. The number of holiday and business trips taken in 2014 decreased compared to 2013 and were even lower than 2012 levels.
South African Tourism has as its aim to educate and empower South Africa’s travel trade to take advantage of the potential of domestic travel through market insights and real-life experiences.
ASATA and South African Tourism will be working together to promote domestic tourism through ASATA travel agent members with such initiatives as roadshows, educationals, information updates and regular forums.
Existing tools to help trade sell the destination already exist:
SA Specialist is an interactive online learning programme that will improve your knowledge of South Africa.
Thousands of destination photos have been commissioned by SA Tourism for use in all collateral. These can be downloaded from FlickR and are free for use. Please credit SA Tourism.
SA Tourism has produced research reports on domestic travel that are free to access for all trade members.
Should you wish to find out additional information,check out the SA Tourism Domestic Strategy.
As the travel industry grows more competitive, TMCs are continuously expanding on the quality and type of services they offer. They can arrange all types of domestic and international travel, from hotel accommodation to air and ground transportation, including car rental needs and tour packages. They can provide assistance with travel insurance protection, passport and visa applications, inoculation procedures and other foreign travel requirements. Many also offer meeting planning and incentive travel services.
Choose your TMC much the same way you would your doctor or lawyer: your travel agent should be a professional who has the qualifications, know-how and skills to assist you with all your travel needs. Furthermore, your TMC should be an accredited ASATA member.
How can an ASATA member help you:
Demystifying Travel: The world of travel is complicated and very dynamic. ASATA-accredited TMCs are equipped with industry knowledge and news to ensure your travel is seamless and uncomplicated. TMCs can help you sift through the daunting world of travel to find a travel solution that suits your budget and needs, as well as demystify some of the more complicated areas of travel.
Costsavings: ASATA-accredited TMCs have strong working relationships with suppliers and cutting-edge technology that enables them to access extensive travel product and information and the best value fares and rates. TMCs work for you, the corporate, and your business travellers, not for the travel supplier.
Trust: ASATA members are bound to a strict code of conduct that dictates the terms of their membership. As such, you are assured that the TMC you are dealing with is a bona fide member of the travel sector following best-practice management and operations.
Expert Guidance: ASATA Professional Travel Consultants use their extensive knowledge and experience to manage your corporate travel spend, organise seamless business travel and provide proactive reporting and advice to guide your travel programme. Our Professional Programme works actively to enhance the skills of member travel agents.
Fighting your battles: ASATA is a travel thought leader lobbying on your behalf for better travel conditions. ASATA acts an impartial arbitrator in grievances against ASATA members. We provide advice and can investigate and make recommendations on matters raised.
Convenience: An ASATA member can source all aspects of your business travel, including air tickets, accommodation, car rental and much, much more. Our TMC members have all the information at their fingertips, saving you time and money.
21st Century TMC: ASATA-accredited TMCs benefit from cutting-edge research into the future requirements of travel agents helping them position themselves to fulfil the evolving needs and requirements of corporate travel.
Duty of Care: Risk management is one of the primary strategic objectives of most travel programmes and ASATA-accredited TMCs help their customers find a way to aggregate booking data from disparate sources to continue to meet their duty of care objectives.
Travel With Peace of Mind: ASATA’s slogan – Travel with Peace of Mind – underpins the role ASATA-accredited TMCs play in the business travel space. Entrusting your travel to an ASATA member, you are assured that you are working with a professional TMC that is not only bound by a strict code of conduct, but also believes in ethical and professional provision of travel services.
ASATA CEO Otto de Vries has jointly won the Business Traveller Africa Business Travel Personality of the Year award this week along with the Southern African Tourism Services Association (SATSA) CEO David Frost for the “tireless work they’ve done in challenging the changes to South Africa’s immigration regulations on behalf of their members and the broader industry”.
South African Airways, Emirates, Tsogo Sun, HRG Rennies Travel and Avis also emerged as the big winners at the event, held in association with Absa at the Maslow Hotel in Sandton, Johannesburg on 1 September 2015.
Both SAA and Emirates were ‘double’ winners, with SAA picking up the top award in the ‘Best African Regional Short-Haul Airline’ and ‘Best African Long-Haul Airline’ categories, whilst it lost out in the ‘Best Business Class’ category to Middle Eastern airline Emirates, which also picked up the ‘Best International Long-Haul Airline’ prize. Travelport won the prize in the category of best GDS.
In the main hotel category, the ‘Best South African Hotel Group’ award went the way of Tsogo Sun, as it has done in the past three years, ahead of fellow nominees City Lodge, Legacy Hotels & Resorts, and Sun International. Protea Hotels has traditionally been a nominee in this category, but since the Marriott International acquisition of Protea Hotels in 2014, the group has since become a brand of Marriott. As a result, it was Marriott who walked away with the ‘Best International Hotel Group’ award, thanks in large to its significant South African presence through Protea.
Another repeat winner was HRG Rennies Travel, which edged out American Express Travel Services, Carlson Wagonlit Travel, and Travel with Flair in the ‘Best Travel Management Company’ category.
Avis also successfully defended its ‘Best Car Rental Company’ title, holding off the challenge of Bidvest Car Rental, Europcar, First, Hertz and Thrifty.
This year saw one new category being contested – ‘Best African Low-Cost Airline – with Comair’s Kulula the inaugural winner in this category, ahead of Fastjet, FlyAfrica, FlySafair, and Mango.
Launched in 2012 in association with Business Traveller Africa magazine, the awards ceremony is an event for the South African business travel trade, covering all aspects of business travel, including hotels, airlines, car rental and travel management, along with related categories such as travel credit card provider, foreign exchange, visas, private aviation and conferencing.
The full list of nominees and winners is as follows (in alphabetical order):
African Long-Haul Airline
African Low-Cost Airline
African Regional Short-Haul Airline
Airport Business Lounge
Business Hotel in SA
Car Rental Company
Global Distribution System
International Hotel Group
International Long-Haul Airline
Large Conference Venue
Luxury Hotel in SA
Private Aviation Operator
Small Conference Venue
South African Hotel Group
Travel Credit Card Provider
Travel Management Company
Travel Sales Team
Visa Service Provider