13 May 2014

Tourism industry urged to support Tourism Safety Initiative

The Tourism Business Council of South Africa (TBCSA) has called on all tourism industry role players to support the Tourism Safety Initiative (TSI).

Mmatšatši Ramawela, CEO of the Tourism Business Council of South Africa. Mmatšatši Ramawela, CEO of the Tourism Business Council of South Africa

Our call is for business in particular to rally behind the TSI as the central place where incidents can get reported and where there is access to emergency support services to mitigate against or manage incidents and emergency situations. – TBCSA CEO Mmatšatši Ramawela

The call came as travel and tourism operators from across Africa gathered for the annual tourism INDABA, which took place at the Albert Luthuli International Convention Centre in Durban from 10 to 12 May 2014.

TSI is a private sector-led tourist and trade safety support programme and a vehicle through which the industry addresses issues of safety and security. It caters for such situations, where businesses or tourists require support.

The TSI project was first initiated in 2007 by the South African Tourism Services Association (Satsa) and has since been adopted as an industry-wide initiative coordinated through the TBCSA. 

Speaking to the trade at the relaunch of the project at INDABA, TBCSA CEO Mmatšatši Ramawela said that the TSI plays a key role in guiding both tourists and businesses to become proactive in preventing or managing crisis incidents. 

‘Our call is for business in particular to rally behind the TSI as the central place where incidents can get reported and where there is access to emergency support services to mitigate against or manage incidents and emergency situations,’ she said.

David Frost, Satsa CEO, urged all sector associations, regional tourism organisations, individual businesses and stakeholders in the public sector to heed the TBCSA’s call, saying the industry needs to unite behind the TSI for it to grow further.

‘Over the years TSI has played a pivotal role in curbing tourism-related crime incidents, particularly in the accommodation and transport sectors. However, this initiative requires the support of all industry role players in order to succeed,’ he said.

Incident reporting is one of the four key elements of the project. Others include incident management and emergency support coordination; raising awareness; and providing access to a range of other safety-related ancillary product and services.

‘Already work is under way to build additional capacity into the project’s incident and emergency coordination team and to roll out a tourism safety awareness campaign,’ said Ramawela.

All incidents can be reported on TSI’s website or on the TSI emergency number: Tel: +27 (0)861 874 911