17 July 2014

Satsa conference to focus on issues relevant to members

The Southern Africa Tourism Services Association (Satsa) is to host its annual conference at Spier wine estate in Stellenbosch from 7 to 9 August 2014.

David Frost, Satsa CEO

We’ve moved away from presentations on lofty and big-picture topics like open skies, to rather focusing the essence of the conference on topics that are relevant to our members. – David Frost, Satsa CEO.

Open to all Satsa members and non-members, the conference, themed ‘New Opportunities’, will focus on key issues affecting Satsa members.

David Frost, Satsa CEO, says the conference will primarily take the form of a series of facilitated discussions and conversations pertinent to Satsa members, with the audience invited to participate. 'We hope to create an atmosphere where everyone can join in the discussions as they progress. The idea is that the people on the panel start the conversation, but that anyone who has something to say gets to comment,' he says.

The conference kicks off with a Satsa Golf Day at the Stellenbosch Golf Club on Thursday 7 August 2014, which will be followed by the opening function that evening – a relaxed food and wine treat showcasing the best restaurants and wine estates in Stellenbosch.

Tourism Minister Derek Hanekom will give the keynote address on the first day of the conference, which will be followed by a message from Thulani Nzima, South African Tourism CEO. Following this, the conference will move into the facilitated discussions.

'We’ve moved away from presentations on lofty and big-picture topics like open skies, to rather focusing the essence of the conference on topics that are relevant to our members,' says Frost.

Topics under discussion will include technology for the trade and how tour operators can become more tech-savvy in the face of disintermediation; the new BEE codes and how these will affect members’ businesses; the United Kingdom market and ways to stimulate it; the rhino trade; the Scandinavian and Nordic market and how the South African tourism industry can extract value out of it; new ways for members to package what they sell; small tourism business survival; training; and how to deal with tragic accidents.

Frost says the take-up thus far has been very encouraging: 'So far 120 people have registered to attend the conference, among them a lot of senior members of government.'

The early-bird registration fee of R2 500 for Satsa members is only available until 20 July 2014. After this, members pay R2 900. Non-members pay R3 900 (early-bird registration), or R4 500 after 20 July 2014. 

For more information about the Satsa conference, click here.