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SSouth Africa has a wide variety of accommodation establishments that cater for the varying needs of both domestic and international travellers. As the custodian of quality assurance and service excellence, the Tourism Grading Council of South Africa (TGCSA), a business unit of South African Tourism, has rolled out the pilot phase of the Basic Quality Verification (BQV) programme, in the Eastern Cape.
The BQV programme ensures that all accommodation products, including those in rural areas, have a formal quality assurance level in place thus highlighting the importance that South Africa places on service excellence and providing a quality experience to all tourists. On successful completion of the pilot, BQV will be rolled out to the other eight provinces.
South Africa has many unexplored hidden gems especially in Villages, Small Towns and Dorpies (VSTD) and the Basic Quality Verification programme provides an opportunity for travellers to also enjoy unique and authentic tourism experiences found in and around the VTSDs. The BQV programme will act as a starting point for the formalisation of homestays in South Africa.
In further promoting inclusive economic growth in the tourism sector, the BQV programme uses the skills of unemployed tourism graduates who are trained as evaluators in the areas they live in.
“Youth Development is extremely urgent in our sector especially at this time when our country is facing a high rate of unemployment compounded by the effects of COVID-19. Through the training received from the BQV programme, tourism graduates who already know the areas they live in will now perform these verifications. This gives them entrepreneurial skills and the technical specialisation they need to be Accredited Assessors in future,” says South African Tourism CEO, Sisa Ntshona.