It’s about time

2018-06-28 06:03

AT last it seems that the National Department of Tourism (NDT) is going to take non-compliant, fly by night businesses in the sector to task.

Last week I attended the Tourism Act revision session in Durban and from inputs from the floor it was very clear that businesses who go through all the hoops and loops to be legal and compliant as “gatvol” that many others do not.

This includes taxi drivers masquerading as tour operators, underqualified tour guides, unscrupulous and fraudulent holiday letting. Uber and Airbnb was also a matter of contention.

Given that national legislation has precedent over provincial tourism legislation, this session was a start to assist KZN in repealing or amending the Act here.

My submission to NDT was to legislate that all tourism business categories must be a member of an accredited Community Tourism Association like Ugu South Coast Tourism.

In so doing each CTO in conjunction with local municipalities can ensure that only legitimate businesses can have a fair bite at the tourism cher- ry.

The present indication is that if the Act is passed, severe penalties for transgressors could include one or all of massive fines, forced closure and time in prison.

I am in support of this move — its time the authorities acted against the chancers and supported those who do things by the book.

Another encouraging development is the establishment of a Tourism Complaints Official at NDT who would take all the legal steps to ensure that issues are dealt with and including aspects of the Consumer Protection Act and tourism businesses that do not play ball.

My view is that if businesses stay out of the CTO environment they should not expect assistance from us in matters tourism. Our allegiance is to our paid up members and we will act on their behalf when it comes to lobbying government, tourism organisations and local institutions.

My advice is thus — if you are a tourism, hospitality and leisure enterprise get fully legit. We have personnel who can assist you in this.

Its time the authorities acted against the chancers and supported those who do things by the book.

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