Spier Wine Farm, has launched its hybrid and virtual conferencing offerings with an evening enjoyed both in-person and by members of the events sector in the comfort of their homes.

Attendees were treated to treats showcasing the length and breadth of the virtual conferencing experience. These included live music streamed from Spier, a virtual Segway tour of Spier’s organic pastures, a tutorial by Chef PJ Vadas on how to make a Margarita pizza and an introduction to the art of mosaic. There were also acts by comedians Alan Committie and Nik Rabinowitz.

A favourite part of the evening for most was a virtual chocolate and wine tasting presented by Spier winemaker Anton Swarts. Each launch attendee had received a box featuring Spier’s new canned Sauvignon Blanc and Merlot along with two kinds of artisanal chocolates in advance so were able to enjoy the tasting first-hand.

“Since the start of the pandemic we immediately switched to innovation mode and has been able to re-invent some parts of our business to continue serving customers,” says Spier GM, Joep Schoof. “I believe this world-class virtual offering can meet the need for people to connect. We’ve got a product that can help you get your teams or clients together in a way that feels natural and can beautifully showcase your product and facilitate business. ”

Meet at Spier— without leaving your desk.

Through hosting an event virtually with Spier — against the backdrop Spier’s gallery of stunning farm images — hosts are able to unleash unlimited online engagements and experiences. Spier has assembled a team of experienced event producers and technical experts and uses top-notch software to ensure full, seamless support for every aspect of the event. This includes handling nitty-gritty details like participant registration, ticketing and email campaigns. During the event, Spier oversees the virtual participation platform (including live Q&A/ polls and breakout rooms), live streaming of sessions and attendance analytics.

The best of both worlds.

With Spier’s fast internet and latest generation audio-visual tech, combining virtual conferencing with Spier’s classic farm hospitality in person is a breeze. This is particularly ideal given that the size of gatherings are currently limited by government regulation.

For delegates who do attend in person, Spier’s abundance of outdoor spaces and spacious venues, physical distancing is easy during meetings, breakouts and meals. The farm has developed special conferencing seat plans to accommodate physical distancing protocols and has tweaked other aspects of experience, including:

  • Venues are deep cleaned after each event and used pens and notepads are recycled
  • Sanitising wipes are available for delegates to use
  • All food and beverage items will be individually plated and served instead of being a traditional buffet; coffee and other break items will be served

For more information on conferences at Spier, visit www.spier.co.za/conference or contact conference@spier.co.za via email.

SATSA submitted the below motivation for TERS extension to TBCSA in support of their lobbying efforts with Department of Employment and Labour and UIF for continued support to the tourism industry.

Urgent assistance needed to save thousands of tourism jobs

Whilst the COVID-19 crisis and subsequent lockdown has had a negative impact on all business sectors, it has been particularly hard on the tourism industry, which felt the impacts as early as February and will most likely be one of the last sectors to recover.

The industry is facing dire consequences. Each day the tourism sector remains in lockdown and borders remain closed R748million of spending is lost to the industry and the economy. The TBCSA estimates a loss of 600,000 jobs if the sector remains closed with serious knock-on effects in other sectors. A Bureau for Economic Research analysis indicates that 1,02 to 1,15 million jobs in total through-out the economy could be lost due to the extended shut down of the tourism industry. Roughly 49,000 SMMEs have already been negatively affected and many have already permanently closed down.

Whilst other sectors have been opened and can operate at close to normal levels, tourism remains severely affected with intra and interprovincial leisure travel not allowed, and international travel entirely prohibited. A significant portion of the industry’s revenue (44%) is generated by international inbound tourism, and hence the sector cannot be sustained by domestic tourism only and certainly not by the current reduced business travel and even the gradual reopening levels of domestic tourism expected.

Prolonged travel restrictions will have a devastating impact on tourism business survival and the private sector is working hard to lobby for the earlier opening up of the industry, having put world-class safety protocols in place. However, government scenarios places recovery only towards the end of 2020 / beginning 2021.

The UIF TERS benefit saved many thousands of tourism jobs over the past three months, with more than 250,000 employees applying for the scheme in April and May, and this is something that the industry wishes to express its sincere gratitude for. However, with TERS discontinuing from June 2020, the sector is facing mass retrenchments. A sobering fact considering that South Africa’s official unemployment rate was at 30,1% for the first quarter of the year.

The most recent TBCSA, IFC and National Department of Tourism survey of 1,500 respondents indicates that 61% of tourism businesses remain fully closed and 33% are only partially operational. 65% of those closed do not expect to open till September or later with 33% expecting to open in December or later, or simply not knowing when they might open. 66% of closed businesses indicate that international inbound travel has to resume before they can open. As they hope or plan to re-open, a full 69% expect that they will only partially re-open, i.e. not all jobs will come back on stream.

With many businesses either not open, or only partially open, many jobs in travel and tourism will not be sustained for the balance of 2020, and potentially well into 2021.

The survey also showed that 5% of businesses had already made all their staff redundant and a further 11% had made more than 50% of their staff redundant. Job losses are already happening.

In addition, 34% of enterprises have furloughed more than 50% of staff, and 16% of enterprises have furloughed all staff. To support furloughed staff, 65% of respondents had applied for TERs and 46% had been successful.

We, therefore, call on the public sector to partner with industry to assist our sector to ensure employees have some income and to protect tourism jobs for the recovery. The motivation for continued employee support is two-fold:

  • hundreds of thousands more people will be destitute as tourism income, jobs and TERS support dries up; something which South Africa cannot afford
  • the tourism sector will recover (as is currently being demonstrated in countries which have moved well beyond their peak). As such tourism can and will continue to be an engine of beneficial, job-rich economic growth for South Africa, something the country will be in dire need of

Since the lockdown regulations and travel restrictions are enforced by government regulation, and the industry is unable to continue to do business, we believe that there is an innate fiduciary responsibility for Government action to assist the industry to survive.

Without support, there will be no industry to reopen. We will forego and lose a substantial portion of an industry that contributes in total 8,6% to GDP, supports 1,5 million jobs throughout the economy, is our 2nd biggest export sector, is critical to our balance of payments and is vital to support our all our international trade and FDI.

The industry will need government financial assistance for tourism employees to be able to have some income and avert destitution and for businesses to survive. The TERS fund has been amongst the, if not the best, scheme for this and enables formal employees to be direct beneficiaries.

Allowing tourism activity to resume safely and re-opening borders as soon as we reach the lower levels of the post-peak pandemic (as is happening currently in many countries), will assist in supporting more jobs. This will reduce the extent of reliance on TERS but will not be sufficient to support all jobs.

To limit job losses, the tourism industry is hereby calling for TERS to be extended until December 2020. This will allow businesses to avoid retrenchments and preserve jobs until operations can resume and restructuring and recovery processes can be implemented. It will ensure that vital skills are retained within the sector.

Through the TBCSA and its member associations, the management of the TERS fund distribution can be done as a public-private partnership through an industry-driven self-regulation project. This will protect the reputation of our industry by ensuring proper verification and the elimination of potential fraud or the incorrect distribution and use of the funds.

The Ministry of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs has promulgated new Regulations following President Cyril Ramaphosa’s address to the nation.

After several weeks of confusion, the Regulations now clearly state no leisure travel is allowed under law. Please click here to view the document.

The amendments that are important to note from the previous:

  • Page 6: Hotels, lodges, bed and breakfasts, timeshare facilities and resorts and guest houses, except to the extent that these facilities are required for accommodation by:
    o The remaining tourists confined to such facilities;
    o Persons for work purposes, and
    o Persons in quarantine or isolation.
  • Page 8: A specific economic exclusion has been added for hotels, lodges, bed and breakfasts, timeshare facilities and resorts and guest houses, for leisure purposes

Short-term home-sharing, letting, leasing or rental, as well as domestic passenger air travel for leisure purposes remains banned.

The Tourism Business Council of South Africa is reviewing its options and we will keep members updated as to the next steps.

Source: Bloomberg

A South African regulator warned insurers to stop broadly rejecting claims from businesses seeking to cover losses because of a lockdown to curb the coronavirus.

“The Financial Sector Conduct Authority is concerned about the behavior of some insurers who are deliberately avoiding paying business-interruption claims where no grounds exist to do so,” the Pretoria-based regulator said in an emailed statement. “The national lockdown cannot be used by any insurer as grounds to reject a claim.”

The FSCA’s rebuke comes as the industry faces legal challenges for refusing to pay out customers on the grounds that business interruption is usually triggered by physical damage, such as a fire. An initially strict five-week lockdown started on March 27 halted everything but essential services before restrictions were slowly eased.

“Ultimately the courts will decide,” said Wayne McCurrie, a portfolio manager at FNB Wealth and Investments. “The FSCA’s statement has no bearing on the terms of the policy contract.”

Insurance Claims Africa said that companies it is representing in the tourism and hospitality industry are owed as much as 4 billion rand ($240 million) for losses incurred as a result of restrictions in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic. The FSCA’s guidance was a “step in the right direction” and insurers are still invited “to talk to us about a sensible compromise settlement,” Insurance Claims Africa Chief Executive Officer Ryan Woolley said in a statement.

A Cape Town court on June 26 ruled in favor of a restaurant seeking payment from Momentum Metropolitan Ltd.’s Guardrisk Insurance Co. Guardrisk is “in the process of engaging with our legal team to study the judgment and consider the next steps,” a representative said.

Virus Is ‘Unquantifiable’

If insurers were forced to pay business-interruption claims for the lockdown, premiums would jump, making insurance unaffordable, said Casparus Treurnicht, a portfolio manager at Gryphon Asset Management.

“Covid-19 is unquantifiable,” he said, adding that other pandemics could follow given how integrated the world is. “It’s not something where someone was negligent or a fire caused a major machine to fail and therefore the business needs to shut down.”

The dilemma has spurred the South African Insurance Association into creating a committee that will consider mitigation measures to cover losses stemming from climate change and pandemics.

The group will look into existing models in South Africa and abroad, Viviene Pearson, the association’s chief executive officer, said in an email.

Among those would be the South African Special Risks Insurance Association, a government-owned insurance company that covers politically-motivated malicious acts, riots, terrorism and public disorders. It was established during the apartheid era when the market was not willing to cover political risks.

The association will submit its proposals to the National Treasury and finance-sector regulators to “collectively address this challenge,” Pearson said.

DEDT has requested that we prepare a survey to establish the impact the Covid-19 pandemic has had on employment in the Tourism Sector in the Province.

Please take 5 minutes to complete the survey by clicking this link: https://www.surveygizmo.com/s3/5708649/Covid-19-Impact-Survey and submit before 18:00 on Sunday 12th July 2020.

Please share with as many tourism products within Mpumalanga as possible.

Two weeks ago, the TBCSA released the Tourism Industry Standard protocols for COVID-19 Operations. Part of that document was a suggested declaration form to be completed by all visitors.

1Tick is a software company that focusses on supplying the Adventure and Travel industry with digital online indemnities or waivers. The platform was quickly adapted to incorporate the above-mentioned declaration form.

The solution is extremely affordable and easy to implement. There is no need to spend thousands on developing Apps or software to deal with this new regulation. It can literally be ready for use in minutes.

Register online with www.1tick.co.za, log into the backend and create your form. The system generates a URL that you can open on any devise.

Advantages

– Affordable – starting at R 100 p/m
– Quick and easy to implement
– The form is always legible
– No paper, clipboards, and pens
– Neat and professional, including your own logo
– Data saved in the cloud or downloaded onto a spreadsheet
– URL can be converted to a QR code
– No long-term contracts, month to month

COVID-19

This option is extremely COVID protocol friendly as the URL can be converted to a QR code, so clients don’t even have to use the accommodations establishments onsite devise to complete the form but can do it on their mobile on arrival. If you do already use an onsite device, such as a tablet, this can easily be disinfected after each client completes the form. The establishment and the client will receive a copy as soon as the form is completed.

Industry reference

Marisa Niemandt – Boschendal
Great solution for online indemnity requirements. In our case at Boschendal it helped so much to streamline the indemnity process and allowed us to finally go paperless. Great for hospitality. Super-fast turnaround time and so helpful. Thank you so much Theunis and 1-Tick team. I can highly recommend!

Heinie Bosman – Pangea Trails
Superb service from a great team! Theunis and the team are very quick with replies, help and queries. Sign up was quick (1 day) and we were in action 24 hours later with the first indemnities being signed – Paperless is the way to go!

Demonstration

Try this link below to experience the simplicity of this solution for yourself, please keep in mind the questions can be customised.
https://www.1tick.co.za/indemnity/1tick-co-za-covid-19-protocol-for-clients-and-staff/

Contact 1Tick:
Website: www.1tick.co.za
Johan Radcliffe johan@1tick.co.za or 083 411 0895

Content supplied by Louis-the-Lawyer

I have decided to break away from my T&C Series with this edition as events have overtaken me i.e. the implementation date of the Protection of Personal Information Act, Act 4 of 2008 (‘POPI’ or ‘POPIA’) has been announced.

Whilst certain provisions thereof already came into effect April 11 2014, it was announced on June 22, 2020, that the balance of the POPIA will come into effect July 1, 2020, however, there is a period of grace (As was the case with the CPA – Consumer Protection Act, Act 68/2008) of one year so in reality, the effective date is July 1, 2021.’

‘The POPIA applies to the processing of personal information entered in a record by a responsible party who processes the information in South Africa and is domiciled in South Africa, or is domiciled elsewhere but uses automated or non-automated means in South Africa to process the personal information.

The latter may include the specified information of an identifiable company or other similar legal entity. The definition includes information relating to partnerships and unincorporated persons’ (Lexology July 2, 2020) a ‘POPIA establishes eight conditions for lawful processing of data.

These conditions are:

  1. accountability
  2. processing limitation
  3. purpose specification
  4. further processing limitation
  5. information quality
  6. openness
  7. security safeguards, and
  8. data subject participation’ (Lexology July 02 2020).

So what must businesses do in this grace period to ensure compliance? The following is a very broad outline:

  • Appoint an information officer & align with CPA compliance
  • Analyse business’ current dealings with Personal Information
  • Privacy Policy & POPI communications with clients
  • Contracts with suppliers
  • Cross border dealings
  • Employee contracts, training & internal awareness
  • T&C
  • Security safeguards
  • Direct marketing
  • Storage & deletion policy

Finally a word of warning: The fines are much higher than CPA i.e. 10 years in jail/R10m fine and research has shown that 75% of business’ cookie policies are non-compliant (My Office News July 01 2020)!

The Red Carnation Hotel Collection is honoured to have two of the jewels in its collection awarded number one in their regions in the 25th anniversary Travel + Leisure World’s Best Awards. Ashford Castle was named ‘No. 1 Resort Hotel in the United Kingdom and Ireland’ and The Oyster Box, Durban’s most beloved hotel, hit the No. 1 spot in the ‘Top Resort Hotels in Africa’ category.

With all the charm of a bygone era, Durban’s 86-room Oyster Box is the epitome of modern elegance and comfort. Considered a national treasure, South Africa’s most cherished hotel stands majestically on Umhlanga’s beachfront, overlooking the Indian Ocean and the iconic Umhlanga lighthouse. Renowned for exceptional cuisine and the hottest spots in town for sundowners, the hotel’s facilities also include an award-winning Spa, two swimming pools and a 24-seater movie theatre.  

Jonathan Raggett, Managing Director of The Red Carnation Hotel Collection, said:

“We are incredibly honoured to have been recognised in the Travel + Leisure World’s Best Awards again this year. Our teams work tirelessly to deliver unsurpassed guest experiences every day and these accolades are testament to their hard work and dedication, and to the vision of our President & Founder, Mrs Tollman, whose lifelong pursuit of excellence and passion for hospitality is the life blood of Red Carnation Hotels. To see Ashford Castle and The Oyster Box top the lists in their respective categories and to have the wider collection so highly rated within the top hotel brands in the world makes each and every one of us extremely proud, and I would like to thank Travel + Leisure’s readers for all of their support.”

The awards, voted for by readers of Travel + Leisure, judge hotels on a variety of characteristics including their rooms and facilities, location, service, food and value. With excellence at the heart of everything the collection does, Red Carnation and its individual properties have always scored highly in the awards, year on year. The hotels are landmarks of history and tradition, each lovingly and individually designed with an abundance of original art, antiques and handcrafted furniture. Generous hospitality, passionate staff and world-class dining are also the hallmarks of every stay at Red Carnation. Under the direction of President & Founder, Mrs Beatrice Tollman, the collection also works tirelessly to deliver sustainable luxury and to protect the natural and cultural heritage in each location of its 20 properties around the world.

For more information about Red Carnation Hotels please visit www.redcarnationhotels.com. For details about Travel + Leisure’s World’s Best Awards please visit www.travelandleisure.com/worldsbest.

 

A few weeks ago we issued an open letter to assist you in your individual negotiations with financial institutions and other creditors.

We have received requests for an updated letter to indicate that, although the Minister of Tourism announced that Tour Operators and Tour Guides are permitted to operate, the reality is that until interprovincial leisure tourism and our international borders are opened, there will be no meaningful business recovery.

Please click here to download the letter which you may use as part of your negotiations.

Due to COVID19 restrictions on travel and conferencing, Houston Travel Marketing has announced the launch of Spotlight Virtual Travel Expo to create a true Virtual reality exhibition experience

Spotlight Virtual Travel Expo will be an interactive online B2B event enabling exhibitors to connect with buyers from all over Africa and will be a more sophisticated experience than a Zoom meeting or a webinar.

Spotlight Virtual Travel Expo offers exhibitors the opportunity to re-engage with travel agents and tour operators, meet potential new buyers and update the trade on Post-COVID protocols, special offers etc.

The use of virtual digital platforms to engage with the Trade has grown exponentially. Houston Travel Marketing’s impactful solution is tailored to meet the specific needs for travel trade buyers to receive updates on products and services and negotiate online with exhibitors.

Houston Travel Marketing has teamed up with Clarity Digital, technology experts with over 20 years experience in virtual technology platforms which is used widely by global blue-chip companies.

The First Spotlight Virtual TravelExpo will take place on Tuesday August 11.

Each Exhibitor will have a Special booth with their own branding featuring a logo, graphics, Youtube video, downloading of presentations as well as Facebook/e-mail presence, plus a multiple chat facility. Click here to see an example of a typical Expo booth.

Spotlight Virtual Travel Expo will be a 4-hour Manned Exhibition.

Exhibitors will be able to have one- on- one meetings and discussions with Buyers.

Thereafter the exhibition will be open for a further 48 hours whereby buyers can access the Exhibitors videos, presentations but not have live interaction

Invited Buyers

Invitations will be sent to Houston’s extensive database of over 2000 Travel trade who have attended Spotlight workshops and Expos.

The buyers to be invited will be travel agents and inbound tour operators from South Africa Botswana, Namibia, Mozambique Zambia, Zimbabwe, Kenya, Tanzania, Ethiopia, West Africa. Buyers from Europe (Nordics, Central & Eastern Europe) will also be invited.

In addition, a pro-active social media campaign will be run and the invitation will be sent to travel agency associations /tourism industry platforms

Between 100-150 buyers are expected to register for the expo.

Click here for detailed information on Spotlight Virtual Travel Expo.

The cost of participating at Spotlight Virtual TravelExpo will be ZAR 6750 + VAT /USD450

Spotlight workshops update

Due to current COVID-19 travel restrictions and the uncertainty over the availability of flights, Spotlight Windhoek has been postponed from August 29 to Mid-October.

At this stage, Spotlight Gaborone is expected to take place as planned on 22 & 23 September and Nairobi 08 & 09 October. However, it will be dependent on whether regional travel is allowed again.

Israel is experiencing a second wave of COVID 19 infections and inbound and outbound travel will not be permitted till much later in the year. In light of this, Spotlight Tel Aviv has been postponed until 14 December.

To view the full Spotlight programme, click here.