Unifying the Western Cape's Tourism industry

Posted On Thursday, 01 July 2004 02:00 Published by
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The Cape Town Visitor Services Association (CTVSA) was created to encourage tourism product owners and operators in the greater Cape Town area to form a unified tourism body

1 Jul 2004 :

The Cape Town Visitor Services Association (CTVSA) was created to encourage tourism product owners and operators in the greater Cape Town area to form a unified tourism body that will provide world-class visitor services to travellers, build on Cape Town's brand strength and spread the benefits of tourism across the City and Province.

The CTVSA was formed as a result of the 2004 Western Cape Tourism Act and forms part of a network that will execute the Visitor Services Strategy for Cape Town, developed by the Destination Marketing Organisation (DMO) in consultation with private industry role-players.

The CTVSA will operate independently from the DMO, but will work closely with its Visitor Services Unit within the DMO in fulfilling visitor service-related functions.  This ensures that members and role-players of the CTVSA have direct representation in the DMO.  The CTVSA has its own constitution, brand and name.  The Cape Town brand remains at the heart of the CTVSA and the development of the CTVSA brand and name will be done in consultation with industry role-players.  The CTVSA is committed to build on Cape Town's brand responsibly and aggressively in conjunction with the DMO.

The primary objectives of the CTVSA are to provide visitor services and information of a world standard, to stimulate local tourism and sell value-added services to enhance visitors' experiences of the destination.  In addition, the CTVSA will bring greater economic benefits for the whole of Cape Town, enhanced benefits for members producing tangible results and improved customer satisfaction.

In recent years, people have become more self-reliant in the way they travel. They research destinations and travel plans on the Internet, but still place great value on personal contact with local tourism representatives.

Visitor Information Centres (VICs) are often the first point of contact that visitors have with a destination and it is therefore important that detailed and accurate  information can be easily accessed.  Because time is a valuable commodity for travellers, they have certain expectations that the CTVSA must be able to deliver on. The CTVSA is responsible for managing all VICs within the greater Cape Town area and ensuring that they provide top quality visitor services, so as to market Cape Town and the Western Cape as a premier tourist destination.

Membership of the CTVSA will give tourism product owners maximum access and exposure to local and international tourism markets in the most cost-effective manner.

Membership of a local tourism association (LTA), which falls under the CTVSA umbrella, will give members enhanced benefits with tangible results.  These include standardised levels of service, alliance with the CTVSA and use of DMO and CTVSA branding, promotion through national and international trade shows, referrals and reservations from all Cape Town VICs as well as Visitor Centres across the Western Cape.

Members will also benefit from local marketing done by the CTVSA, regular networking opportunities and business assistance.
Through the CTVSA, members will gain access to destination and generic marketing done by the DMO, on-line marketing on the internationally renowned Tiscover website and support in marketing and developing new products.

Funded largely by the City of Cape Town, the CTVSA's operating capital will be channelled through the DMO and it intends supplementing its income through the range of services it provides visitors and members.

In terms of its draft business plan, the CTVSA intends increasing its budget over time by forming partnerships with the private sector, sponsorship agreements and by managing its affairs on sound business principles.

The creation of the CTVSA by the DMO is aimed at building on the achievements of successful organisations such as Cape Town Tourism and former tourism bureaux in the greater Cape Town area.  Ms. Noki  Dube, CEO of the DMO said, "Cape Town Tourism will be used as a kind of prototype around which to model other VICs." The CTVSA aims to unite tourism visitor services and facilities within Cape Town and in doing so, ensure that visitor services will be enhanced and its economic benefits spread throughout the City and Province.

Publisher: Cape Business News
Source: Cape Business News

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