National Tourism Stakeholder Forum (NTSF) meeting feedback 22 September 2017
Sam Wenger, National Tourist Guide, Representing the Institute of Professional Tourist Guides of SA(IPTGSA) and Gauteng Guide Association (GGA) and Tourist Guide’s interests in general, attended the whole day meeting at the Park Inn Hotel, Sandton, on 22 September 2017.
Although Sam is not holding an office in the GGA at present, the National Department of Tourism (NDT) still has his name on their invitation list. He doesn’t think it is good to change that since he has attended these meetings twice a year for the past few years. Here is some of his feed back to you colleague guides:
Sam reports: The meeting started at 09:45, only 15 minutes late, but then made up time by not having a tea/coffee break through till the lunch recess.
The NTSF is attended by government departments as well as industry representatives from all tourism related stakeholders from across all 9 Provinces. There is no remuneration for the attendance of the Forums that are held at 6 monthly intervals (twice a year).The forum meetings take a whole day and every attendant is given a chance to be heard on Tourism related matters.
The Forums are held at a conference venue in Gauteng, every time at a different venue.
The Forums are well attended and chaired by the NTD- Director General, Mr Victor Tharage. I can report to all you guide colleagues that “us tourist guides” are slowly but surely being better understood and recognised for what we do in the tourism sector.
If any of you colleagues have any point(s) of note that you would like to bring to the Forum’s attention, then please communicate it to me well ahead of time via the following email: [email protected]
No petti little issues please that are to do with personal interest.
The Forum Agenda of last week covered 9 items to do with the tourism industry and are attached below for you to peep into.
Things that are interesting to note from the last meeting are:
- Tourism trends & other developments, featured 3 panel experts giving their presentations, followed by an open floor discussion.
- Presentations on policy and strategy issues; e.g. feedback on the Amalgamation of the SA Tourism & Stats SA Domestic Tourism Plan; Oceans Economy and the Coastal and Marine Tourism Plan; National Tourism Sector Strategy, its final Draft, Implementation, Monitoring & Reporting Mechanisms;
- International Issues & Collaborations within the Sector; Draft Plan of South Africa’s Chairmanship of BRICS and other International Organisations.
- ASATA was recognised earlier this month by SAQUA to have gained professional status as the first tourism association in South Africa. The president of ASATA, Mr de Vries was applauded by those present. In his thanks for the applause he assured the industry of ASATA’s commitment to raise the standard of their member associations to higher levels of professionality.
- As a follow-up, Mr Tharage announced that one of the forthcoming meetings should openly discuss the topic of “Professionalization/Professionalism” in the Tourism Sectors. It appears that he is looking for what the take is on that topic from the government- as well as from the private sectors in terms of: Who should Professionalise and Who not? When does it benefit a profession? Why versus Why not? Effects on the Tourism Industry, Labour Market, etc.
- A copy of the meeting’s support document may be made available for the asking at a cost of R… to cover expenses. Please request it from the GGA…
The meeting closed at 17:00 hrs, one hour over the planed time allocation.