15 May 2014

TEP partners with GTA to launch Gauteng Hidden Treasures

The Tourism Enterprise Partnership (TEP) partnered with the Gauteng Tourism Authority (GTA) to launch Gauteng Hidden Treasures at INDABA 2014, which took place from 10 to 12 May.

Sowetoo, a TEP Hidden Treasure, offers cycling tours of Soweto

This partnership with the Gauteng Tourism Authority is an excellent example of a win-win initiative that we hope will go from strength to strength as the GTA’s ‘neighbourhoods’ approach to destination marketing takes shape. – Dr Salifou Siddo, TEP CE

Gauteng Hidden Treasures is a pilot project which, if successful, will be rolled out in South Africa’s other provinces. 

The Tourism Enterprise Partnership launched the South African Hidden Treasures initiative as an experiential tourism strategy in 2010, and today showcases more than 170 of these unique tourism activities and experiences nationally.

Offering everything from performing artists, storytellers and local crafts to original heritage and culture products and authentic cuisine, these are products of substance and offer experiences steeped in history and immersed in local culture.

The initiative has become the umbrella market access component for tourism SME development, a critical element of tourism development in South Africa.

Dr Salifou Siddo, TEP CE, says SME products are often excluded from established tourism distribution channels because of a misconception by both tourism distributors and consumers that such products lack quality and reliability.

‘Hidden Treasures is the label that TEP has created to showcase tourism SME clients who have delivered on the mandates of quality and relevance. Through its Market Access programme, the TEP facilitates the establishment of business linkages for Hidden Treasures. This partnership with the Gauteng Tourism Authority is an excellent example of a win-win initiative that we hope will go from strength to strength as the GTA’s "neighbourhoods" approach to destination marketing takes shape,’ he said

The Gauteng Hidden Treasures market access platform will focus on:

  • Providing tools that assist SMEs to get to market in their individual capacities
  • Building a powerful Hidden Treasures brand that will represent small product experiences in Gauteng and create trust with buyers
  • Promoting hubs or neighbourhoods to market tourism products and entice visitors

Adrian Amod, GTA director: brand management, says while tourism development is critical for South Africa, it cannot take place without market access. 

‘While SA has a number of iconic destinations, it is our small product experiences that allow tourists to embrace the real South Africa. Gauteng Hidden Treasures is about forming a powerful market access platform for SMEs as a reliable conduit to unlocking the real South Africa,’ he said.