Gauteng Tourism Authority aims to develop, promote, co-ordinate and facilitate responsible and sustainable tourism in the Gauteng region. Kim Emmanuel spoke to some of the team members about their role within this mandate.
Musiwalo Jeremiah Makhuvha: Manager Trade and Partnership
Musiwalo Jeremiah Makhuvha, Manager of Trade and Partnership at Gauteng Tourism Authority, is responsible for managing relationships between the trade and the organisation.
His primary role is to encourage and facilitate the exchange of ideas, and economic transactions to develop long-lasting partnerships. This is done through engaging with the trade in the form of workshops. He also ensures that there is collaboration within the five regions of Gauteng and ensuring that there is product development within the five regions.
Makhuvha, together with his team of two, are responsible for sending out emails to the trade to inform them of the next workshop. For example, Gauteng Tourism held workshops for the upcoming Indaba and contacted the five regions of the province to find out how they were able to assist in exposing the products to the trade. Once they have reached out to the regions, a meeting is called where Gauteng Tourism Authority together with different businesses look at how they are able to share costs.
Through the partnerships developed with the organisation, Gauteng Tourism is also able to call on different suppliers and operators to form part of familiarisation trips for international delegates. “We try to empower them through a supply chain system. When there’s a need, we call on them,” adds Makhuvha.
He says he has learnt that trade should also learn to exercise patience and appreciation when dealing with the organisation. In his work, Makhuvha has realised that it’s not possible to promote all products on offer in one go. He looks at ways how product development and different packages can correspond best with seasonality.
Makhuvha holds a Master’s degree in Development Finance from Stellenbosch University. He previously worked at the KwaZulu Natal’s Department of Economic Development as Manager for Agro-processing.
He joined Gauteng Tourism Authority in August 2016 and says he has learnt how critical interpersonal relationships are within the marketing environment. He adds that although there are challenges, he’s enjoying his role.
Yoshni Singh: Manager MICE
Manager of MICE at Gauteng Tourism Authority, Yoshni Singh, describes her primary role as looking at how to grow the economic impact, make sure that Gauteng is featured as a desired business destination, as well as bring more international events to the province.
In terms of the MICE sector, Gauteng Tourism Authority is able to offer both non-financial and financial support to the industry. Non-financial support includes looking at ways that a particular event is able to market itself by leveraging off relationships with radio stations, or setting up a welcome or information desk at the airport that can encourage tourists to stay another day.
Financial support comes in the form of successful applications of events proposals, which Singh, together with a team of two others, manages. Trade go through a “rigorous” selection process.
An advert calling for a Request for Events Proposals is published in the press. A number of documents need to be included for qualification to submit and must be included in the proposal document. These documents include, proof of company registration, valid original tax clearance certificate, proof of registration with Central Supplier Database with a CSD number, BBBEE certificate, certified copies of ID of members or shareholders, and a detailed company profile with references.
Singh says an increasing challenge with proposals is the CSD number requirement. “Once you’re on there, then half your battles are won,” she says. However, being only in its second year, she says the organisation understands that not everyone is familiar with the process, particularly township suppliers and SMEs. She says Gauteng Tourism is available to educate trade through workshops so that they know what is required from government. Gauteng Tourism Authority’s Procurement Officer is also able to help trade through the process.
Apart from managing proposal requests and providing support to the trade, Singh is also responsible for attending international MICE tradeshows such as IMEX America, IMEX Frankfurt and IBTM.
Singh holds an International Diploma in Hotel Management from the International Hotel School. She previously held the positions of International Sales Manager at the Sandton Convention Centre, as well as Sales Executive for DMCs and PCOs at Starwood Hotels and Resorts.
Singh joined the team in August 2016 and says she is enjoying her work and that “Every day is a learning day”.
Trade looking to engage with Gauteng Tourism Authority on various projects can contact them by email on firstname.lastname@example.org.