September heralds Tourism Month, which is especially important in 2022 as we look to drive and support local travel and hospitality. These sectors remain key to boosting the economy and job creation, with tourism comprising 4.7% of the South African workforce pre-Covid and contributing 3,7% to South Africa’s GDP – more than agriculture, utilities, and construction.
As the tourism sector starts to recover, research from the University of Cape Town predicts that “tourism could account for 20% of new jobs created between 2019 and 2028.”
As an organisation, we have always been committed to promoting transformation. Through our Learnership and Graduate Programmes offer various bursaries and scholarships to provide opportunities for growth to up-and-coming talent. We also host tourism learners yearly to provide them with work experience and have employed 95% of these students year-on-year.
We have also focussed our CSI initiatives on growing SMMEs and upskilling all those involved in the tourism value chain. Our ground-breaking Red Stamp Club programme is a strategic initiative to transform, uplift, and develop Exempted Micro-Enterprises (EMEs) and Qualifying Small Enterprises (QSEs) in the tourism industry.
To accomplish this, the programme incorporates an accommodation component featuring guest houses, bed and breakfast establishments and boutique hotels, and a transport component featuring shuttle and transfer services.
We have supported these businesses with limited technological resources and investment to be listed on global content sources – making their services bookable by millions of travellers and companies worldwide. We also support subcontracting where relevant.
The programme also incorporates a component that empowers previously disadvantaged individuals to run their travel business. We provide a comprehensive general business management and development programme to support all business management areas, such as client recruitment, growth, and sales strategy. This forms part of the bridging phase to equip the consultant to ultimately run their own company.
It’s a win-win. By channelling a portion of your travel spend to black-owned businesses, not only do you support the growth of small businesses, but your contribution also directly impacts preferential procurement points.
Given the events of the last two years, it is vital to the entire industry’s sustainability that we all endeavour to support our local tourism businesses wherever possible and fast-track this vibrant sector’s recovery.
Speak to us to see how we can work together to uplift the local travel industry.