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13 May 2013

South Africa’s top nine emerging tourism entrepreneurs named

SA Tourism and its ETEYA partner, TEP, heartily congratulate the national finalists from each province

ETEYA finalists announced at INDABA 2013 ETEYA finalists announced at INDABA 2013

“When one considers the valuable contribution tourism makes to communities and the economy, you realise that ETEYA is not just another competition.” Thulani Nzima, CEO of South African Tourism.

SOUTH AFRICAN TOURISM and the Tourism Enterprise Partnership (TEP) today announced the names of the nine provincial finalists for the 2013 Emerging Tourism Entrepreneur of the Year Awards (ETEYA) competition.

ETEYA is a nationwide tourism industry competition which recognises and honours South Africa’s best, most promising and most innovative emerging tourism business owners.

SA Tourism and its ETEYA partner, TEP, heartily congratulate the national finalists from each province. The overall ETEYA winner, who will be announced at a national Tourism Awards ceremony in September, will receive an additional R100 000 cash grant to help grow their business. They will also get access to mentoring and invaluable marketing help and business direction from leading industry experts.

The regional finalists are:

-  Bonang Conference Centre (North West)

-  Citi Hopper (Western Cape)

-  Dan’s Country Lodge and Events Centre (Eastern Cape)

-  Jo's Guest House and Hantamkraal Restaurant (Northern Cape)

-  Kuhle Travel and Tours (KwaZulu-Natal)

-  Makgabeng Farm Lodge (Limpopo)

-  Ntwanano Tours & Travel (Mpumalanga)

-  Rethabise Premium Guest Lodge (Free State)

-  Ubuhle Be Narha Tours (Gauteng)

They were chosen from 27 (three per province) provincial finalists announced last month. They represent various tourism businesses who proved to the panel of judges that they significantly contributed to economic empowerment, offer a product or service which is innovative, and have a sound business plan to ensure continued growth and opportunity for expansion.

“When one considers the valuable contribution tourism makes to communities and the economy, you realise that ETEYA is not just another competition. It is a programme and platform meant to unearth and showcase the products and services we have and the emerging tourism entrepreneurs who work tirelessly to deliver excellence, authenticity and diversity to our visitors”, says Mr Thulani Nzima, Chief Executive Officer of South African Tourism.

“We are greatly impressed by the quality of this year’s applications and would like to congratulate the nine regional finalists. Their businesses embody the vision and mission of what ETEYA entails and assists us with the goal of greater transformation of the tourism industry. The selection process was tough, as the standard of all regional finalists was very impressive and of a very high quality,” said Nzima.

Ahead of the announcement of the finalists, TEP also released the finding of two studies which found that small, medium and mid-sized enterprises perform considerably better when they are supported and mentored by TEP.

The studies, into firms employing between 10 and 49 people in tourism, found that more than half of the more established TEP-supported firms had increased their turnover, as opposed to their non-supported counterparts.

“As an organisation, our focus is on analysing individual business needs and offering the owners services and interventions we believe will help them achieve their business objectives. These range from marketing support to customised training, funding and mentoring. This is why TEP-supported businesses tend to fare better than non-supported businesses and this is evident in the job creation statistics.” says Dr Salifou Siddo, Chief Executive of TEP, one of the main ETEYA partners.

As part of the ETEYA programme, the nine national finalists will each be assigned a mentor to work with them to implement their business plans as presented at the SME workshop that was held today at the 2013 tourism INDABA in Durban.  

Each finalist will also be awarded a R10 000 grant to go towards the development of the business plan they worked on earlier in the competition. The business plan will take into account all of the elements covered during the months with the mentor and the feasibility of implementing the plan in an actual business environment.

For more information on the Tourism Enterprise Partnership and its research findings, please visit www.tep.co.za