18Sep 2015

At a presentation to the media in Sandton on Wednesday (16th September 2015), Tourvest CEO Tommy Edmond drew a picture of a challenging trading environment.

Mr. Edmond said that in the past, a plummeting rand always translated to a spurt in inbound tourism, but the current obstacles facing the industry left it unable to capitalise on the exchange rate, despite that rate being at its lowest ever. While South Africa should be experiencing a growth in tourist arrivals of 10-15%, it was recording losses.

He said the Ebola outbreak in West Africa had had a massive impact on the American market, while the effect on the European market was marginal. Tourvest’s operation in East Africa, heavily reliant on fickle American business, had felt the brunt of this, and the company would now adopt a strategy of growing its European client base for East Africa.

South Africa’s biometric visa requirements and the inefficiencies in the application process had seriously affected the Chinese and Indian markets, which are down 40% and 13% respectively. The South American market, where Tourvest had spent a fortune in marketing, had dwindled to the point where the company was considering withdrawal. The lack of direct cheap ray bans flights to the region further compounded the situation.

Mr. Edmond predicted that tourist arrival figures from June, when the unabridged birth certificate regulation came into force, would show a drop of 10%. He said 20% of groups travelling from Europe to South Africa contained members under the age of 18, and these groups would holiday elsewhere.

Incidents of terror, such as the Garissa University raid in Kenya in April 2015, were on the increase across the continent and were further affecting tourism. Safety and security in South Africa, and corruption, were damaging the country’s reputation, and with most Southern Africa-bound tourists having to access the region via Johannesburg, neighbouring countries were also feeling the stress.

For the moment, South Africa was still featured in brochures of overseas tour operators, said Mr. Edmond, but its placement was not secure and if dropped in the year to come, the destination might battle to get back in.

Despite current challenges, Tourvest had chalked up many milestones wholesale jerseys china and wholesale football jerseys was recognised for its expertise in destination retailing, global sports events, duty-free retail both on the ground and in the air, destination management, hotel and lodge management, activity management and online travel management solutions. Achievements included its status among the top three onboard duty-free retailers worldwide; Cheap Jordan Sale its position as the second largest travel management company in SA and largest inbound leisure wholesaler in SA and Namibia; and its holding of exclusive franchise rights to the American Express Travel Services brand in sub-Saharan cheap nfl jerseys Africa.

For the future, Tourvest would continue to expand offshore with Cuba, Spain, Abu Dhabi and Ethiopia in its sights. The company had recently opened an office in Russia ahead of the 2018 FIFA World Cup. It would leverage its online travel management solutions, which were highly effective, for improved efficiency and service. The company was seeking licensing or Team partnership arrangements with companies overseas.