TOMSA Week in Review


14 December 2016

Dear Levy Contributor

Welcome to this our final edition of the TOMSA Week in ReviewWe begin by congratulating the new TOMSA Board office bearers on their recent appointment; we share highlights of SA Tourism’s quarterly report to the TOMSA and TBCSA Boards; we also have an update on the latest developments with the implementation of the Amended Immigration Regulations and we wrap up with insights from a recent Tourist Accommodation report published by Stats SA.   

TOMSA Board Appoints New Office Bearers
At its Board meeting of 6th December 2016, the TOMSA Board elected AVIS Sales Executive and TBCSA Board member, Lance Smith as its new Chairman. Smith, who previously served as TOMSA deputy-Chairman takes over from Franco Jordaan who has reached his term as Board Chairman.  Alastair Dooley, Divisional Director Financials at City Lodge Hotels takes over the reigns as Deputy Board Chairman. Congratulations to the new office bearers and we wish them success in their new roles.

Highlights from SA Tourism’s Quarterly Report
This report is the first in a series of updates based on SA Tourism’s 2016/17 Q2 performance report to the TBCSA and TOMSA Boards. The focus for this report is on international tourism performance for Q2:  

Leisure tourism performance overview for q2

  • Overall the second quarter of 2016 was good for tourism. Foreign arrivals accounted for 2.2 million of total tourism trips and increased by 10.4% compared to Q2 2015. The fastest growing regions were Asia and Australasia (33.1%), the Americas (20.2%), Europe (17.5%), and Africa-air markets (16.4%).
  • The main driver of the increased foreign volume was tourists visiting for leisure (driven in particular by VFR tourists). Also, business and medical tourists saw double-digit decreases. 

Click here to read more

TBCSA Board approves way forward to resolve the Immigration Regulations Impasse
The TBCSA Board held its last meeting for the year on Tuesday, 6 December 2016. On the agenda was a progress report on the Council’s ongoing efforts to engage various stakeholders regarding the on-going challenges the industry faces with the implementation of the Amended Immigration Regulations and a discussion on the way forward.

The meeting discussed the organisation’s adoption of a multi-pronged approach to engage relevant stakeholders on the industry’s concerns and ongoing challenges relating to the Amended Immigration Regulations.

As a way forward, the meeting agreed to afford the Board Chairman, Mr Mboweni, the opportunity to broker a resolution by engaging the Ministers of Tourism and Home Affairs. The chairman was requested to undertake these engagements before the end of the year to enable the board to consider an alternative approach early in the New Year if a suitable solution is not secured (the impasse continues).

The main objective of the meetings is to allow the board chairman to re-state the TBCSA’s case and desired solution on the challenges currently experienced by the members and that industry at large with Amended Immigration Regulations. Through this meeting, the Board hopes for a positive outcome on the Amended Immigration regulations and to mend relations with the Home Affairs Department and Minister Gigaba; and by extension, the rest of Cabinet and Government. The dates for the meetings with the two Ministers have been set and we will look forward to give you feedback from the board chairman.

DHA Briefing in Implementing Phase 2 of IMC Decisions on the Immigration Regulations
On Wednesday 07 December, we attended a DHA stakeholder briefing session where they were giving progress in the implementation of phase 2 (short-term) of the October 2015 decisions of Cabinet’s Inter-Ministerial Committee (IMC) on the Immigration regulations. 

Click Here to read highlights from the briefing session

Minister of Home Affairs announces interim plans to ease airport congestion
On Thursday, 08 December, Minister of Home Affairs held a media briefing at OR Tambo International to announce temporary measures to address congestion and delays at our major international airports. He announced as follows:

  • That A total of 92 additional staff will be deployed at OR Tambo International Airport from 9 December 2016 to 14 January 2017;
  • That the additional staff will do two shifts a day to cover for the overlap between normal shifts and allow for 100% capacity at the workstations with all cubicles utilised for traveller processing at peak hours’ periods
  • To tackle delays, DHA is in discussions with ACSA on how best to rearrange counters to separate South Africans who do not need to take fingerprints from foreign nationals (especially those who are providing a full set of fingerprints for the first time)

In our media responses, we stated that whist the TBCSA appreciates all efforts made to ease the pressures experienced at the airports by travellers and tourism businesses, the Council hopes that the Department will consider extending these temporary measures to be in line with the full tourism peak season

Sun City completes R1 billion refurbishment
The world-famous Sun City resort and casino has completed its R1 billion renovation project which started earlier this year. The renovation includes the revamp of four hotels, the entertainment centre as well as a number of food and beverage outlets located at the resort. In addition, the Palace at Sun City now includes two new and exclusive casinos called The Palace Villa and The Palace Salon. Click here for more on this story and pictures of the refurbishment

Marriott International launches Luxury Brands group
The 2016 International Luxury Travel Market (ILTM) took place in Cannes, France from 5–8 December. An event highlight was the announcement from Marriott International on its launch of the Marriott International Luxury Brands group. The brands under this group now include the St. Regis, The Luxury Collection, W Hotels, The Ritz-Carlton, Ritz-Carlton Reserve, Bulgari Hotels & Resorts, EDITION and JW Marriott brands. Marriott is also scheduled to open nearly 30 luxury hotels and has 180 luxury hotels in the pipeline. Click here for more on this story.

StatsSA Tourist Accommodation Report for October 2016
The latest report Tourist Accommodation Report from StatsSA reveals that total income for the tourist accommodation industry increased by 7.9% in October 2016 compared with October 2015. The report also cites income from accommodation increased by 12.8% year-on-year in October 2016, with hotels (at 7.4%) being the main contributors. In addition, caravan parks and camping sites (at 49.2%) recorded the highest year-on-year growth in income. Click here for more.  

As always, your feedback is highly appreciated.  We trust that the updates we provide on our activities and the information we share from within and outside the industry is useful in your businesses. Our next Weekly update will be published on Monday, 16 January 2017. Please also note that our offices will be closed from Thursday 22 December until Wednesday 04 January 2017.

We thank all levy contributors for their contributions and support throughout 2016, and wish you a joyous festive season and a happy new year.

Yours Sincerely 

Ms. Mmatšatši Ramawela