26 September 2011

Emerging Tourism Entrepreneur of the Year regional finalists take centre stage on eve of World Tourism Day

ETEYA provincial finalists announced in Clarens

Timothy Scholtz, Chief Operating Officer, South African Tourism Mr Timothy Scholtz, Chief Operating Officer

These businesses play an integral part in the tourism industry. They are key to the growth of the industry. They create jobs. They boost South Africa’s destination competitiveness. And they substantially diversify the range of experiences South Africa offers visitors, boosting authenticity and enriching the cultural texture of our destination offerings. - Tim Scholtz Chief, Operating Officer and Acting CEO of South African Tourism

THE NINE Provincial finalists in the 2011/12 Emerging Tourism Entrepreneur of the Year Award (ETEYA) have been announced in Clarens in the Free State, on the eve of World Tourism Day celebrations. The finalists represent the cream of South Africa’s small and medium tourism businesses, and each now stands a chance of being named the ETEYA Overall winner of 2011.

The nine finalists are:

· Gauteng: The Orchards Executive Accommodation

· Northern Cape: Letona Guest House

· Mpumalanga: Ituka Lodge

· Eastern Cape: Maidenhead Country Lodge

· North West: Thaba Legae Guest Lodge

· KwaZulu Natal: Sanchia Luxury GuestHouse

· Western Cape: Escape to the Cape

· Limpopo: South African Reatswelela Travel Centre

· Free State: Free-State Travel

Tim Scholtz, Chief Operating Officer and Acting CEO of South African Tourism announced the nine provincial finalists at a gala dinner tonight. He congratulated the finalists, saying their determination, business flair and hard work was being justly rewarded in them winning their regional prize and making the national ETEYA finals shortlist.

“These businesses play an integral part in the tourism industry. They are key to the growth of the industry. They create jobs. They boost South Africa’s destination competitiveness. And they substantially diversify the range of experiences South Africa offers visitors, boosting authenticity and enriching the cultural texture of our destination offerings,” said Scholtz.

ETEYA, now in its eleventh year, is a South African Tourism initiative in collaboration with the Tourism Enterprise Partnership, Provincial Tourism Authorities, the National Department of Tourism, the Southern African Tourism Services Association and the Tourism Grading Council of South Africa. Its mandate is to empower and skill small- and medium-sized businesses in the tourism industry and through them uplift local communities and create employment.

“ETEYA is an excellent example of the kind of success that can be achieved through the nurturing of small-medium size business in the industry when the public and private sectors come together. I congratulate the nine finalists. The Tourism Enterprise Partnership (TEP) looks forward to mentoring each one of them as they continue with the ETEYA programme in a bid to ultimately be recognised as the Emerging Tourism Entrepreneur of the Year. These businesses have shown great zest for their industry, businesses and customers,” said Dr Salifou Siddo, Chief Executive Officer of TEP.

The nine finalists will receive a R10,000 (ten thousand rand) cash prize, a two-year membership to SATSA, a complementary promotional DVD of their business and will be inducted into a year-long mentorship programme facilitated by the Tourism Enterprise Partnership. They will also have an opportunity to showcase their businesses at the World’s biggest tourism trade show, ITB in March 2012.

The nine finalists have been chosen by a national panel of travel, tourism and business experts, represented by partner organisations, the media and tourism industry stakeholders. Each of the 45 shortlisted candidates presented their business plans, future projections and plans for growth to the panel, who then had the arduous task of identifying the exceptional entrants. The level of entries received this year were particularly high, and thanks must be extended to all entrants who did an impressive job of presenting their businesses.

“South African Tourism and our ETEYA partners are committed to up-skilling and growing small - medium size businesses in the tourism industry. ETEYA finalists have historically made incredible impact on their communities, employing staff, creating upliftment projects and reinvesting profits where they are most needed. Such is the importance of the SMME sector of our industry, and we are proud to be welcoming another nine finalists into the ETEYA mentorship programme,” says Schlotz.

ends

For further information contact:

Mabeka Makola at South African Tourism
Tel: +27 11 895 3000

Email: mabeka@southafrica.net

Website www.southafrica.net

Inquiries at Ireland/Davenport can be directed to:

Chipo Punungwe at Ireland Davenport

Tel: +27 11 463 2252 or 073 994 1591.

Email: Chipo.Punungwe@ireland-davenport.co.za

Register on our media extranet to browse the latest news releases (from SAT as well as the tourism industry in general), access the news archive and get details of all upcoming tourism industry events (both locally and internationally.

www.southafrica.net/media

South African Tourism is the national tourism agency responsible for the marketing of South Africa as a preferred tourist destination. It is headed up by Chief Executive Officer, Ms Thandiwe January-McLean, Chief Operating Officer Mr Timothy Scholtz and Chief Marketing Officer, Ms Roshene Singh