Western Cape’s Shaheed Ebrahim named 2012 Emerging Tourism Entrepreneur of the Year
I believe that I won the award because of the technological innovation I have brought to the tour operating industry in South Africa. Shaheed Ebrahim, ETEYA winner, 2012.
Shaheed Ebrahim, founder of Cape Town based tour operating company, Escape to the Cape, was named the winner of the 2012 Emerging Tourism Entrepreneur of the Year Award (ETEYA) at the opening ceremony of INDABA last night.
Escape to the Cape offers a variety of tours around Cape Town and the Western Cape, and has made a name for itself by paying attention to the needs of today’s discerning and technologically savvy travellers.
Ebrahim is a former private banker who after completing a tour guiding course - more as a hobby than a career move - quickly identified a gap in the market for a tour company that was in touch with what today’s traveller is looking for.
Escape to the Cape has carved a niche with its innovative technology services. There is free wi-fi on board each tour bus, as well as a roving iPad, enabling international customers to access the internet with ease in between tour stops. He also offers free phone calls to his US clients, who make up a large percentage of his clientele.
“I believe that I won the award because of the technological innovation I have brought to the tour operating industry in South Africa. What I do is not a secret, I would like to see all operators offering on-board wi-fi to customers, it can only help grow the industry and benefit all role players as a result,” Ebrahim said moments after being crowned ETEYA 2012 winner. “I also offer comprehensive tours at affordable rates; it is this value for money that tourists are looking for,” he added.
Ebrahim’s tour buses also come equipped with a fully stocked fridge and there is no shortage of snacks or toys for his younger guests. He also provides all the other paraphernalia required for young children, as well as flexible itineraries that take into account the needs of young families.
One of the reasons for his success, according to Ebrahim, is that his tours are all inclusive, unlike many tours which are filled with hidden costs. His photography skills also come in handy, with clients often surprised to receive a CD full of quality images after the tour.
Ebrahim’s prize includes a R100 000 cash injection into his business and a 12-month mentorship programme facilitated by TEP.
The runner’s up of ETEYA 2012 are:
First runner-up: Sanchia Guesthouse - Dees Govender
Second runner-up: Orchards Executive Accommodation - Salome Tshungu
Third runner-up: SA Reatswelela Travel Centre - Nkele Motsoaledi
They receive R75 000, R50 000 and R25 000 respectively and also receive access to the TEP mentorship programme.
Entry to ETEYA is open to black entrepreneurs who have operated a small, medium or micro level tourism or hospitality-related businesses for less than five years, employ less than 50 people and have an annual turnover not exceeding R5 million.
For further information contact:
Jermaine Craig at South African Tourism
Tel: +27 11 895 3000 or 083 2010 121
Inquiries at Ireland/Davenport can be directed to:
Allison MacDonald at Ireland Davenport
Tel: +27 11 463 2252 or 082 771 2541.
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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, Mr Thulani Nzima, Chief Operating Officer Mr Timothy Scholtz and Chief Marketing Officer, Ms Roshene Singh.