2011 is in full swing and we’re cautiously optimistic that the accommodation industry will see an improvement on last year’s disappointing occupancies. Corporate travel is showing signs of recovery & there are many exhibitions, conferences & sports events under way in our main cities which are helping boost the economy.
Meanwhile, back at GHASA’s head office, we’re focussing on improving member benefits. Whilst GHASA is not a booking portal, we continue to look at ways of optimising our worldwide visibility to bring you more “heads in beds” & to this end, we’re working hard with Tourism Marketing SA. Our new website www.selfcateringsouthafrica.com will be rebuilt, with stronger links back to www.ghasa.co.za & we’ll be adding a guest review function to both sites in the near future.
Other areas of attention include closer scrutiny of Preferred Suppliers to ensure they’re providing members with the best prices & service. We’ll be adding more suppliers to our list as & when we find relevant products.
We’re also busy preparing for Hostex, to be held at Sandton Convention Centre from 13 to 16 March. As South Africa’s International Hospitality & Catering Exhibition, Hostex is a great opportunity for us to say Hi to our members, so if you’re able to attend, we’d love to see you there.
· Your Cancellation/Deposit policy must be clearly visible on your website, booking form and invoice/payment advice. Failure to make guests aware of your policy means you don’t have a leg to stand on in the event of cancellations or no-shows.
· Please ensure that your rates and photos are up to date on our website and if you need to change anything, let us know. GHASA cannot be held responsible for incorrect details. Go to www.ghasa.co.za & click on Name Search for the quickest way to find your establishment.
· Have you heard of SAMPRA? It’s the acronym for South African Music Performance Rights Association (www.sampra.org.za) and they’re not the same as SAMRO (Southern African Music Rights Organisation – www.samro.org.za). The SAMPRA licence enables music users to legally play literally millions of sound recordings on their business premises. Fees collected are distributed to the owners of the Sound Recording copyright after a deduction of administrative costs, capped at a maximum of 20%, by regulation. SAMPRA is contacting accommodation establishments & asking you to apply for this licence. For more information email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tourism stats & facts
· Grading council addresses concerns ahead of CPA (Tourism Update 23 Feb 2011)
The Tourism Grading Council of South Africa (TGC) is addressing concerns around quality inconsistencies of properties graded by the council in line with the Consumer Protection Act (CPA).
This was the word from Chief Quality Assurance Officer, Thembi Kunene, at Meetings Africa 2011 (February 21-23) where she spoke at a SAACI (Southern African Association for the Conference Industry) Educational Seminar as part of a panel of experts, including Peter Cumberlege of Hospitality Management Services, William Fullard of Fullard & Mayer Attorneys, and Advocate Louis Nel, who advised industry members about the impact of the imminent CPA on business tourism.
"TGC's focus for 2011 to 2014 is to establish a recognisable, credible, globally benchmarked system of quality assurance that can be relied on," Kunene said.
To achieve this, the council has implemented a 'six key strategy' looking at developing globally recognised grading criteria, improving IT infrastructure, simplifying billing processes and implementing more equitable fee structures, promoting industry participation, stopping illegal use of stars, and improving the competence and integrity of assessors.
"This strategy includes establishing a strict service provider agreement, which will see the strict management of and clear expectations regarding annual performance reviews, training on new grading /IT criteria, pre-screening of properties, and the consultation process," said Kunene.
· Luxury Travel Still Affected By Recession (Tourism Update – 17 Feb 2011) As the clouds begin to clear after one of the world's worst financial crises, the luxury travel industry takes stock, writes Clarissa Hughes.
Wealthy travellers are arguably those least affected by a recession, so it is easy to imagine that this market would have come through the economic crisis unscathed. This is not the case, however, say industry stakeholders.
Russel Binks, Managing Director at Tswalu Kalahari Reserve explains: "While the top-end traveller still has the means, 'stealth wealth' has a big impact. With companies downscaling, owners and top executives cannot be seen to be extravagant in their holiday planning. Rather than forsake the luxury of high-end travel destinations, the norm has become a shorter trip."
"The real premium market has not been affected as much, and we are actually seeing growth in the premium segment out of some source markets like the US and Germany," offers Sabine Blehle, Sales Director for Welcome Tourism Services.
Unfortunately for South African operators the double-whammy of rand strength has been another factor that came into play during the economic downturn. "South Africa used to offer incredible value for money and a typical global four-star client was able to afford a five-star product while travelling in South Africa," Blehle elaborates.
One sector of the luxury market that has not been affected at all is business travel to developing countries such as Mozambique. Explains Bruce Chapman, General Manager of the Southern Sun Maputo: "With all the business interest in Mozambique, we've been experiencing a boom."
Too much product?
As the global economy stabilises and with no sign of the rand weakening in the near future, has the luxury market become oversupplied with product?
"Most certainly," says Monika Iuel, Sales & Marketing Director for Your Africa. "The biggest competition is currently in Cape Town, as well as in the game-lodge sector of the market. The last couple of years have seen a great increase in five-star game lodge product, most markedly in the Addo region. In Cape Town five-star hotels mushroomed in the run-up to the World Cup, with a few more still being opened."
Gary Lotter, Commercial and Sales Director at &BEYOND says: "In the case of a country like South Africa there is probably an oversupply of luxury travel products but in a country like Kenya there is not."
Great Plains' Sales, Marketing and Public Relations Manager, Hilton Walker, agrees. "There is a relatively high number of luxury lodges in South Africa so there is a degree of over-trading here. The danger is that so many competitive beds result in competitive pricing when the value of luxury is based on the price and not the property. This doesn't apply north of the Limpopo though."
So what are the consequences of this perfect storm of economic recession, currency strength and a World Cup hangover, for luxury property owners?
Martin Wiest, Chief Executive Officer of Tourvest Destination Management, clarifies the situation: "The tourism product in South Africa, as a result of years of South African rand weakness, is unusually weighted towards the upper end of the consumer spend, so at current pricing levels there is a definitive pricing pressure on the five-star environment".
· Deloitte (André Hugo – 09 Feb.2011)
Social Networks to Drive Tourism Sector
Social media websites will play a crucial role in how the travel and hospitality industry connects with consumers in the near future, according to international auditing and accounting company Deloitte.
The report, “Hospitality 2015: Game Changers or Spectators”, says the transparency of social media can highlight inconsistencies between a brand’s pledge and its execution across geographic boundaries.
According to the report, savvy consumers are now unbundling the whole booking experience, self-booking
directly with suppliers or through new channels such as network carrier sites.
Deloitte forecasts that next year consumer demand for travel and accommodation will have recovered from the devastating effects of the recession, while social media websites will be integral to travel and accommodation decisions.
The report asserts that in the next five years emerging markets like China and India will dominate the travel and hospitality industries as there will be a significant rise of the middle classes, generating an increase in demand for both business and leisure travel.
While internet use is growing in South Africa, access has yet to reach the critical mass prevalent in such developed economies as the US and the UK. The popularity of social media websites such as Twitter and Facebook is increasing.
According to a study by BMI-TechKnowledge last August, about 1.3 million South Africans use some sort of social networking. It expects this to reach 4.5 million in 2013.
Increased internet use will mean that hotels and other establishments will be able to increase their revenue by encouraging travellers to use social media to contact each other.
Deloitte predicts that the most successful brands in 2015 will be those that most efficiently engage with consumers and clearly differentiate their offering from competitors.
· Volpes: A Tradition of Good Linen, are delighted to offer GHASA members a 12.5% discount on all regular priced merchandise. Establishments must quote their GHASA membership number. Please note that this offer EXCLUDES ALL SPECIAL OFFERS/PROMOTIONS.
Contact: Enoch Sandi on 014 4026801 or 082 9260025 or email email@example.com
· Earth Probiotic Recycling Solutions Pty. Ltd: EPB is a food recycling company which assists kitchens (domestic & commercial) to recycle their food-waste. The EPB all natural biodegradable solution enables kitchens to recycle all food-waste into a microbial rich "super soil" or soil enhancer.
Discount applicable for GHASA members. Website: www.probiotic.com.
Contact Gavin Heron on 076 581 3087 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
· New Vision Training Consultants offer you a world class training that delivers bottom line results. All trainers have industry and training experience, ensuring that the training is highly relevant, practical and relates directly to the work environment.
10% discount on all services rendered at a GHASA member's establishment. Website: www.newvision.za.net.
Contact Carolyn Neville on 083 46128100 or email email@example.com.
· Rentokil (pest control services) & Ambius (design, supply, installation and maintenance of indoor and outdoor plants): 15% discount offered to GHASA members.
Contact Nathalie Leblond on firstname.lastname@example.org.
· Melaire Linens – Percale linen, duvets, pillows, towels, robes, all associated products and personalised embroidery. Discount of 5% off invoice on any member’s first order above R3000 00.
Contact Claire  & Melanie : email@example.com, Tel: 0214483389/Fax: 0866644669; www.melairelinens.co.za.
· Leather Associates: All leather & pu hospitality items including menus, wine lists, directory of services etc. Discount of 5% off invoice on any member’s first order above R3000 00.
Muriel Ross : firstname.lastname@example.org, Tel: 0219037773/Fax: 0865456915, www.leatherassociates.co.za.
· Ikhaya Design: Contemporary stone amenity dishes, soap dishes, tissue boxes and hospitality stone products. Discount of 5% off invoice on any member’s first order above R3000 00.
Alan Marsh : email@example.com, Tel/Fax: 0214382168, wwww.ikhaya.co.za.
· Sola Cutlery & Hollowware – 18/10 products manufactured in Holland & supplied to the Hospitality Industry internationally. Discount of 5% off invoice on any member’s first order above R3000 00.
Chris Gemmell [079 8954425], firstname.lastname@example.org, Tel: 021 8433643/Fax: 021 8433637, www.hotelpro.co.za
· Banks Dealers – suppliers of all kitchenware & catering small products for the hospitality industry. Discount of 5% off invoice on any member’s first order above R3000 00.
Ian Cohen [082 4558195], email@example.com, Tel: 021 4613190, Fax: 0214614254, www.banks-shop.co.za.
· Sylvan Furniture Manufacturers – design & manufacture of case goods, joinery and accent furniture items. Discount of 5% off invoice on any member’s first order above R3000 00.
Aletta Ostendorf [082 3760998], firstname.lastname@example.org, Tel/Fax: 021 8518383, www.sylvanfurn.com.
Welcome New Members
A warm welcome to the following new members. We look forward to a long & happy relationship with you all!
Heather Heights; St Lucia Wilds; Tinglewood Inn; Africa Centre OR Tambo Airport Guest Lodge; View-T-Full Lodge; Oxford Cottage; Chalet Laurier; Kingslyn Boutique Guest House; Furrow Lane; Saffron Guest House; Luna Lodge; Lisa’s Guesthouse; Twiga; The Bird Hide.