Chance-takers in tourism

2016-01-28 06:00

WE have recently had to deal with situation whereby a “letting agent” did not produce the goods in terms of a visitor expectation.

This “letting agent” was not registered with the Estate Agency Affairs Board (EAAB) and as such can only be construed as a chance-taker trying to capitalise on our peak holiday season.

We have a number of credible, registered and professional letting agents on our coast who do us proud in delivering excellent service to our visitors but it is the fly by night opportunists that let the side down.

In two instances, the complaints we received have also brought in the media who, if they publicise or broadcast the matter, paint our destination in a bad light, and we as a tourism community, will not tolerate this.

We will take very strong steps to report these illegal agents to the EAAB, SARS and if fraud may be involved, support any SAPS charges laid by a complainant. Furthermore we will delist such enterprises from any formal links to our tourism sector and report their details to the provincial tourism authority as well.

We continually remind tourist prospects to support agents with the proper credentials and those listed with us but season after season visitors have decided otherwise and have been taken for a ride on the internet or through the actions of supposed agents on the ground.

My advice to any persons or enterprises that do unlawful letting activity - things will catch up with you. The authorities will bite and there will be no sympathy from the law-abiding and legally compliant tourism sector.

Dealing with such issues takes up our valuable time and resources and we will do our utmost to stamp out this type of thing so that we can focus on the more productive side of our tourism management mandate.

If we all remain vigilant against these things I believe our district can unite against these sort of issues and give the best possible service to our welcome rand-spending guests.

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