Incentive for tourism

2015-08-06 06:00

UGU South Coast Tourism and practitioners from the tourism industry recently attended an information session presented by the National Department of Tourism (NDT) and the KZN Department of Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs (Deat).

The purpose of the gathering was to highlight a tourism-related incentive through the NDT’s International Marketing Access Support Programme which is geared to support through subsidies tourism enterprises wishing to attend international exhibitions and road shows.

Although most of our tourism market is South Africa-based there may be a number of tourism businesses that wish to source overseas markets and to this end, the incentives (ranging from 100% of capped value) can provide promotional savings which given the exchange rates is a blessing.

Generally, the incentives support outlays for return economy airfares, accommodation, exhibition and participation costs.

To be considered for this scheme, applicants need to have a majority South African ownership, be registered as a business and have an annual turnover of no more than R35 million. Naturally, the business has to be compliant in terms of the Tourism B-BBEE codes and be up to date with SARS.

In the application forms there is reference to membership of organisations such as tourism associations like Ugu South Coast Tourism, which is also a compulsory requirement as part of Deat’s registration criteria.

Another programme presented was for lending financial support for hospitality establishments seeking to be graded via the Tourism Grading Council of South Africa. This programme offers rebates for grading assessment which range from 30% and increasing to 50% in subsequent years.

While some of an application’s terms and conditions may, on the surface, seem onerous, I am amazed that tourism businesses do not take advantage of such support schemes. About 15 years ago I facilitated an application to government for a chemical company seeking to be more competitive.

The outcome of this was a grant of R250 000 which went some way in growing the enterprise’s generic product base. If free money can help a business it is worth going for it.

Should tourism enterprises wish to obtain more information about these NDT programmes, inquiries must be made to tipenquiries@tour or by accessing their website

Nothing ventured, nothing gained, as they say.

The purpose of the gathering was to highlight a tourism-related incentive through the NDT’s International Marketing Access Support Programme

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