Tourism Tattler - - EVENTS -

The 44th edi­tion of the South­ern Africa Tourism Ser­vices As­so­ci­a­tion (SATSA) an­nual con­fer­ence was con­vened at Pine Lake Inn, in White River, from 21 to 24 July 2016.

The three day event, pre­ceded by a golf day, was a phe­nom­e­nal suc­cess as ev­i­denced by the num­ber of so­cial and me­dia re­ports em­a­nat­ing from del­e­gates in at­ten­dance. “En­cour­ag­ingly, we had a sig­nif­i­cant num­ber of first-time SATSA Con­fer­ence at­ten­dees com­ing through, which was in no small part due to the qual­ity and sub­stance of the ses­sions. We were fully sub­scribed, ac­tu­ally hav­ing to turn peo­ple away, and our host venue, Pine Lake Inn, as well as Green­way Woods Re­sort re­ally went above and be­yond to en­sure del­e­gates were well taken care of with un­fal­ter­ing friend­li­ness and ser­vice,” said SATSA's CEO, David Frost. The pro­gramme line-up ad­dressed the most top­i­cal mat­ters and led to ro­bust de­bate and dis­cus­sion by the pan­els and from the floor.

In his key­note ad­dress to del­e­gates, the Min­is­ter of Tourism, Derek Hanekom pro­vided an up­date on why the con­tro­ver­sial unabridged birth cer­tifi­cate re­quire­ment re­mains in place, de­spite Cabi­net's rul­ing that the reg­u­la­tions should be lifted over a year ago. Read more here. In a ses­sion en­ti­tled, ‘Plan­ning for a sus­tained fu­ture', Martin Wi­est, MD of Tour­vest Des­ti­na­tion Man­age­ment, said com­pa­nies have two op­tions when it comes to re­spond­ing to this rapidly evolv­ing en­vi­ron­ment. He said that Busi­nesses can ei­ther spe­cialise, or they can in­vest in tech­nol­ogy in or­der to com­pete with the dis­rupters in the in­dus­try. Read more here. A pro­gramme ses­sion ti­tled ‘Bar vs STO – Round 2', de­bated the is­sue of dy­namic pric­ing and why a num­ber of high-end sa­fari prop­er­ties have opted to move to a dy­namic, and in some cases, best avail­able rate (BAR) struc­ture, which has cre­ated ma­jor con­cerns from tour op­er­a­tors over the many chal­lenges this has cre­ated for them. Read more here. The sub­ject of tourist guid­ing was also ad­dressed at the con­fer­ence under a ses­sion ti­tled ‘Guid­ing – where the rub­ber hits the road', dur­ing which chal­lenges around at­tract­ing and re­tain­ing tal­ent in the tourist guid­ing in­dus­try was de­bated. Linda Pam­pal­lis, CEO of Thomp­sons Africa, said that the in­dus­try was strug­gling to make guid­ing an at­trac­tive ca­reer op­tion for school and univer­sity leavers. “If we want to add five mil­lion vis­i­tors to South Africa then there aren't enough guides – we have to start ‘talk­ing up' guid­ing as a pro­fes­sion.” Read more on this de­bate here.

A ses­sion on tourism trans­port de­bated ‘How to make this key seg­ment more com­pet­i­tive', and ad­dressed the con­cerns of wheels op­er­a­tors, who have waited up to 18 months and longer to re­ceive per­mits

PAST SATSA CON­FER­ENCES Year 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 Dates Lo­ca­tion Venue for their ve­hi­cles. Jits Pa­tel, Chief Di­rec­tor of the Na­tional Depart­ment of Trans­port, said that a new ac­cred­i­ta­tion sys­tem (NTPR) would be launched on 29 July, 2016, and will be a very dif­fer­ent process in terms of the ap­pli­ca­tions and checks the depart­ment will be in­tro­duc­ing, with the aim of cre­at­ing a level play­ing field and re­mov­ing bar­ri­ers to en­try. Pa­tel said that once in place, it will take no more than 60 days from the time of ap­pli­ca­tion to re­ceiv­ing the oper­at­ing li­cence. Wrap­ping up the 44th con­fer­ence, David Frost con­cluded by say­ing: “Next year, our venue choice will be gov­erned by a num­ber of fac­tors, but the pri­mary con­sid­er­a­tion will be logistics. We're hop­ing to grow to at least 350 peo­ple, so our de­ci­sion will be largely guided by con­ve­nience and ease of ac­cess.”

For in­for­ma­tion visit

The ta­ble be­low shows where past SATSA con­fer­ences have been held. Note that from 2011 to 2013, SATSA merged its an­nual con­fer­ence with other mem­ber as­so­ci­a­tions of the Tourism Busi­ness Coun­cil of South Africa (TBCSA), under the ban­ner of a Com­bined Travel & Tourism In­dus­try Con­fer­ence (SATTIC). Theme 18–20 Aug W. Cape – Ge­orge Diaz Strand Ho­tel SATSA Means Busi­ness

24-25 Aug Gaut­eng – JNB Ind­aba Ho­tel Tak­ing Tourism to the Next Level 22-23 Aug Gaut­eng – JNB Grayston Ho­tel Pow­er­ing up Tourism

21-22 Aug W.Cape – Cape Town Protea Pres­i­dent Sur­viv­ing the Economic Crunch

02-04 Sep KZN – Bal­lito Fair­mont Zim­bali Lever­ag­ing the Big Event

Merged into Com­bined In­dus­try Con­fer­ence (SATTIC) – event post­poned

02-04 Sep Gaut­eng – JNB Protea OR Tambo Align­ment & Plan­ning To­gether

14-15 Oct Gaut­eng – JNB Maslow Ho­tel Value of a Tourist

07-09 Aug W. Cape – Stel­len­bosch Spier Ho­tel New Op­por­tu­ni­ties

13-15 Aug W.Cape – Ge­orge Fan­court Ho­tel Out of the fire: Work­ing To­gether for Growth 21-23 Jul Mpum – White River Pine Lake Inn Sus­tain­abil­ity

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