Gauteng SME Tourism Indaba in February
The Southern Africa Tourism Services Association (SATSA) has joined hands with the Gauteng Tourism Association (GTA) to bring you the first of their Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) Indabas in Soweto, from 29 February to 1 March 2016.
The aim of the Indabas is to help select SMEs access a larger inbound tourism market and to share in the benefits of international tourism by showcasing the products of emerging travel industry entrepreneurs to established operators in the inbound industry – and to expand on this exposure by offering mentoring and training.
The Indaba, which will cater for 40 SATSA trade members and 60 Gauteng tourism SMEs, promises two full days packed with educational value, business opportunities, cultural experiences and helpful critique.
The SME Indabas will introduce inbound tourism and trade opportunities to 60 carefully selected and prepared emerging Gauteng tourism businesses. The format will comprise speed marketing sessions and familiarisation tours of products available in the townships of Soweto, Kliptown and Alexandra. A transformation debate during the two days will feature a number of the tourism industry's more vocal thought leaders.
“The way SMEs have traditionally been showcased in South Africa has been sub-optimal. SATSA has the ability to directly link smaller players with established inbound operators, which represents a more holistic and meaningful approach to industry transformation,” says David Frost, Chief Executive Officer of SATSA.
Trade will experience firsthand some of the areas where SMEs operate to familiarise themselves with the businesses and with their offerings. As well as Soweto and Alexandra, visitors will be hosted in Fordsburg, Sophiatown and Newtown.
The tours will provide members of the tourism trade with a unique opportunity to get an authentic feel for, and understanding of each area, its products and how effectively these will sell. In the true spirit of upliftment, trade will then offer candid insights into what worked and what didn't during their site visits, as a means of positive feedback in developing these areas and products in readiness for potential tourists.
SATSA believes that these 'domestic' Indabas should be held across all provinces to help identify the best local products on offer, which can then be fast-tracked to the annual Tourism Indaba held in Durban in May 2016.
At this point they believe they're off to a great start by working with the Gauteng Tourism Authority and other industry sponsors such as Joburg Tourism and South African Tourism.
All Gauteng SMEs are invited to register via the SATSA website for market access training. From among those who register, a selection committee will be responsible for shortlisting 100 SMEs for the training. During the training process, a final group of 60 SMEs will be selected to present to the trade.
Finally, during the SME Indaba, participating products will attend a finance workshop and will be mentored in a group setting by business owners who successfully grew their small businesses into large operations.
GTA and SATSA are looking forward to hosting this first-of-its-kind event and to making a meaningful impact on economic and transformation goals for the public and private sector.
Registrations for SMEs close at 5pm on 11 February and on 12 February for trade.
Visit the SATSA website for more information and registration forms.