Metro to take con­trol of tourism mar­ket­ing

The Herald (South Africa) - - Front Page - Siyam­tanda Capa ca­[email protected]­soblack­star.co.za

The Nel­son Man­dela Bay mu­nic­i­pal­ity will de­velop a whole new des­ti­na­tion mar­ket­ing unit as it moves to in­source the tourism func­tion.

This fol­lows a de­ci­sion by the coun­cil on Tues­day to ab­sorb some of the tourism func­tions car­ried out by Nel­son Man­dela Bay Tourism.

The may­oral com­mit­tee mem­ber for eco­nomic devel­op­ment, tourism and agri­cul­ture, Quee­nie Pink, said on Thurs­day the city was faced with bud­get chal­lenges.

“There are more press­ing de­mands with lit­tle bud­get to meet them,” she said.

“This has called for [the mu­nic­i­pal­ity] to stream­line and in­te­grate some of its func­tions and ac­tiv­i­ties to be ef­fec­tive and meet some of the de­mands, and most im­por­tantly to achieve ef­fi­cien­cies.”

A quick re­view had re­vealed that mar­ket­ing ac­tiv­i­ties, which were out­sourced at present, should be in­sourced.

“We need to mar­ket Nel­son Man­dela Bay as an in­vest­ment and tourism des­ti­na­tion, and we there­fore can­not af­ford to have these ac­tiv­i­ties scat­tered all over in var­i­ous in­sti­tu­tions.”

She said Bay Tourism was an in­dus­try as­so­ci­a­tion that was mem­ber­ship-based.

It should there­fore be sus­tained by the mem­bers through mem­ber­ship fees and other fund­ing ini­tia­tives.

“The or­gan­i­sa­tion has, how­ever, been treated as an en­tity of the mu­nic­i­pal­ity for years and this has cre­ated de­pen­dency on the mu­nic­i­pal­ity while its fund­ing through mem­ber­ship dwin­dled.

“The rec­om­mended ap­proach is to in­source the mar­ket­ing func­tions as in­di­cated ear­lier on,” she said.

“We, of course, can­not be reck­less as this move will prob­a­bly have neg­a­tive im­pli­ca­tions on [Bay Tourism em­ploy­ees].

“Con­sid­er­a­tion will thus be given to qual­i­fy­ing and com­pe­tent [Bay Tourism] of­fi­cials when re­cruit­ing for the tourism mar­ket­ing unit should [Bay Tourism] not be in a po­si­tion to op­er­ate due to this de­ci­sion.”

Bay Tourism board chair Buli Ngo­mane said: “At a re­cent AGM we put for­ward a mo­tion, our­selves, to be an agency that gen­er­ates rev­enue to partly fund our op­er­a­tions as this will en­sure our longevity.

“Con­sid­er­ing our in­sti­tu­tional knowl­edge of a tourism body that has been in ex­is­tence since the late ’20s, our cur­rent 10-year fund­ing re­la­tion­ship with the city needs to be seen in con­text.

“It was born out of ne­ces­sity. We’ve adapted be­fore and will con­tinue to do so.”

● In an ar­ti­cle on Page 1 of the Her­ald on Thurs­day, “Bay tourism body set to be taken back by metro”, we in­cor­rectly stated that Nel­son Man­dela Bay Tourism would be dis­solved.

How­ever, only the board and mem­bers of the tourism body can take a de­ci­sion to dis­solve the or­gan­i­sa­tion and not the Bay coun­cil.

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