Here’s a question mainly for people in the SA tourism industry – which should mean all South Africans!
Having visited many tourism offices around SA, one can’t help wondering, “Are they just info offices, or do they actively market to a far wider audience?” Do they match the expectations of paying members? Do they give a return on local government funding or is that just a feel-good grant?
So we asked Alan Winde, the Western Cape’s MEC for Finance & Tourism: “Should Local Tourism Ofiices (LTOs) receive municipal funding without proper, annual business & marketing plans?”
His answer was “No, they must be able to show plans and report after the year end. It’s public money.”
How many LTOs and municipalities comply with this fully? You may find rudimentary plans submitted, but are they worth the paper they are written on? And how many submit the required annual reports that show what was achieved? It’s not just about accounting for money spent, but showing that it was effectively spent and that it did produce returns, measured year-against-year.
Now the real problem lies with the municipalities who provide the annual grants. Are they failing in their duty? Are they competent to assess business and marketing plans, and do they demand the annual reports showing what was achieved?
Maybe provincial authorities like Wesgro (for the Western Cape) or independent assessment organisations need to be tasked with endorsing plans and reports – because most municipalities don’t have the expertise. And this could provide the opportunity to raise the bar in destination marketing everywhere.
The question: Do you think your local tourism office meets these requirements & your expectations? (Do they share their annual business & marketing plans, and annual reports, with you?)
Please vote in our poll and you can also add further comments below: