Feel-good story

2016-04-21 06:00

A FRIEND of mine is the owner of a well known confectionery and energy bar manufacturing company which a few years ago was the brand sponsor of a canoeing event in the Eastern Cape.

Once the event was over, his inflatable finishing arch, worth some R17 000, fell off the returning truck and was to all intents and purposes lost in rural Eastern Cape. In fact this was not to be the case.

An elderly Xhosa woman found the large bundle and for about two years could not locate the owners of the item until her grandson, who had a laptop, helped via use of the internet. Once she had the contact details for the company she contacted them to inform them that their arch was safe and sound and in her lounge.

Much relieved the owners sent a vehicle to collect the inflatable. They also took along a substantial gratuity for the lady in appreciation of her finding their lost asset and facilitating its collection.

Now here is the good part - this lady­ had previously established a running and fitness group for elderly women in her impoverished area and when the company found this out, a whole new door was opened.

Today the company sponsors this out-of-the-way running outfit for “gogos” and assists them in getting to events for seniors - it just goes to show honesty reaps its own rewards.

Tourism is no different. Visitor property, if lost, taken or left behind and returned to the rightful owners, does wonders for peoples­’ perceptions of places and products they support. Going that extra mile with sincere attention to people­’s needs makes such a difference.

An honest act has an amazing effect on how people recommend places. Simple goodnesses are worth far more than one can imagine. Sadly the converse is also true so we as an organisation strive to ensure that our standards driven members act in an ethical manner towards our visitors and the public in general.

I like hearing stories like this as it inculcates a faith in the human spirit. Honesty and integrity can be the backbone of how we conduct our lives and in the case of tourism our business.

Happy days are here in paradise and let’s enjoy a busy Africa Bike Week next weekend.

going that extra mile with sincere
attention to people­’s needs makes such a difference

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