Osiba Management South Africa has launched SEEZA Destination Network, an initiative established by SMEs in the tourism industry to foster collaboration amongst SMEs to grow businesses. It was founded by Septi Bukula.
SEEZA is based on the belief that tourism SMEs can strengthen their market competiveness and growth prospects through collaboration. One of the biggest challenges facing SMEs is not their size but their isolation. By collaborating with one another, SMEs can equip themselves to overcome many impediments to their growth and performance.
The Network has hand-picked 14 credible SMEs from seven provinces in South Africa to join forces – 15 including Osiba Management.
SEEZA began when Osiba Management, which specialises in bringing international conferences to South Africa, realised that the delegates attending its conferences wanted assistance with arranging tour packages around SA. In 2016, Osiba set up a mechanism that would enable the packages to be passed on to SME tour operators, and Tourism Enterprise Network was established, with the aim of reaching out to SMEs, inviting them to collaborate.
Osiba Management was then invited by SA Tourism to this year's Indaba as a hosted local buyer. At the Hidden Gems pavilion, Osiba Management identified and met with 11 credible SME tour operators, and subsequently invited them to join the Network.
The focus of the SEEZA Network is on marketing the offerings of its various SME participants, increasing their access to domestic and international markets, with special focus on the inbound meetings industry, where Bukula has extensive experience. The Network will also conduct ongoing research on inbound meetings to identify opportunities for SMEs to provide a variety of services, including, but not limited to, tour packages.
The Network is a free-based association, meaning no membership or fees are required, and participation is voluntary. In this way, it does not compete with any existing SME membership organisation.
SEEZA aims to expand its network to include more SMEs nationally that offer tourism-related products and services.