Getting our value right

2016-04-07 06:00

LAST week I went on a recce of the North Coast to ascertain how busy the tourism sector was there in comparison to our neck of the woods.

Based on my observations, the huge malls and beachfront hospitality properties in night-time Ballito were very quiet whereas the evening before in Margate, there was much more of a mid-week holiday vibe. In some instances restaurants in the aforementioned malls were not even open and it was still school holiday time.

I then went to one or two recognisable accommodation establishments whose offering is similar to here on the South Coast. One had the audacity to suggest an overnight rate of R2 000 whereas down here the rate would be

R1 000 or less. I was not staying overnight, but nonetheless felt that our hospitality industry here has got its pricing at suitable levels and in the medium term, the consumer will make booking choices based on the value- for-money factor.

Family beach activations up north did not appear to have the sort of value adding entertainment and variety of programmes that were evident down here and my impression is that our holistic approach towards meeting customer demand is on the right track.

A few weeks back, a friend of mine, whose son lives in the Mother City, selected a property near Port Edward for his river and lagoon-side wedding.

Asked why this choice and the answer was logical - good chance of fine weather, beautiful setting and the bank balance will not be amputated.

More and more I am hearing this sentiment from the public.

This aspect of our sell will be very evident when we attend Tourism Indaba 2016, during which we will be staying at an inn in Durban at a R550 per person per night. We too are watching our pennies in a time of austerity.

As the Sardine Season looms, I feel we are ideally positioned to garner a hefty slice of the holiday market eager to have their rand go a little further than it would at some of the more expensive destinations around the country.

Let’s look forward to Africa Bike Week at month-end.

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