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Tourism News South Africa

Hospitality Industry Think Tank set to propel SA tourism forward

Johannesburg's Maslow Hotel will be the scene of a brainstorming summit for South Africa's tourism industry on 12 July. Now in its second year, Hospitality Industry Think Tank will bring together key figures to tackle the sector's most pressing challenges and craft solutions to propel tourism and hospitality forward.
Source: ┬ęStephan Stockinger via
Source: ┬ęStephan Stockinger via 123RF

The purpose is to bring all members of the industry together to learn from each other and develop new solutions and innovations to grow the country’s entire tourism ecosystem.

The event, which encourages participation from all industry members, is spearheaded by Dream Hotels and Resorts, as part of its new Business Unit “Art of Creation”. It is being held in collaboration with other major industry players, including Wyndham Hotels and Resorts, Sun International, Valor, Beekman Group, Club Mykonos, Sondela, TBCSA, Infrateq and Profit Room.

"After the success of last year’s event, the Think Tank has quickly become a highlight on the hospitality and tourism calendar," says Nick Dickson, the CEO of Dream Hotels. "The day dismantles any sense of competition between the organisations present, reminding us that collaborating to make the entire country a world-class tourism destination, is in everyone’s best interest.

The Think Tank presents an opportunity for delegates to nurture a culture of trust and empowerment, to share perspectives on common challenges, and to problem-solve our way to meaningful, sustainable answers."

The key topics that will be discussed at the Think Tank include:

• The latest trends in the hospitality industry — not just in South Africa, but worldwide

• How to engage with government officials on industry challenges, including visas and service delivery issues like transport, road safety, electricity, water, and waste

• How the changing technological landscape is affecting hospitality and tourism in terms of hardware solutions, connectivity, and customer service.
• Property insurance, disaster management, cyber-crime and POPIA, including questions around insuring against loss and managing risk.

• The importance of sustainability and positive workforce dynamics, and how the industries can collaborate with local communities as we work to improve South Africa’s unemployment crisis.

The event will also see the launch of the Think Big Academy. This industry-wide initiative will seek to train and upskill school leavers in remote areas, preparing them for employment in the tourism industry.

“At this year's Africa Travel Indaba, the Deputy Minister of Tourism emphasised the need for collaboration, innovation, and inclusivity in shaping the future of Africa's tourism industry," says Chris Godenir, general manager of Dream Hotels’ Peninsula All-Suite Hotel in Cape Town.

"The point of this Think Tank is to do just that. We look forward to seeing our industry peers come together to discuss key learnings so that we can grow the country’s entire tourism ecosystem."

The Think Tank will be inviting and welcoming prominent leaders such as the Ministers of Tourism, Home Affairs, and Employment and Labour, and is being held in association with Satsa, TBCSA, Fedhasa and VOASA.

The day’s events will conclude with a gala dinner, where funds will be raised for the Reach for a Dream Foundation, with Dream Hotels partners through its Touching Dreams initiative.

Under the theme, “The Spirit of the Great Heart” celebrating young performing artists, guests will be treated to a live show by Jesse Clegg and performances by the Wits music department, the Wits drama department, and the non-profit organisation Moving into Dance.

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