SATSA CONFERENCE 2016
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 www.satsa.com
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