Metro to take control of tourism marketing
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.