This month we focus on tourism in South Africa and we meet Nocwaka Mazaleni and Koos du Plessis in our success stories.
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SME Business Bang
September 2014   |   Volume 5.8

Three ways to give your tourism business an edge in a cut-throat market

As South Africa stands at the threshold of receiving more than ten million foreign travellers for the first time this year, the tourism industry as a whole deserves a pat on the back for achieving continued growth despite the global slump. Yet individual tourism businesses can be forgiven for not breaking out the champagne just yet.

Conditions are still tough for tourism businesses, says Business Partners executive director Gerrie van Biljon. While the whole tourism cake has grown, it is shared by many more' operators than in the past. Visitors, although more in number, stay for slightly shorter periods and spend slightly less than in previous years. And most importantly, locals are loath to spend money on holidays and travel as the economy continues its squeeze on them.

Success story:
A lifetime of struggle and growth

In a room in her township house, is where Nocwaka Mazaleni started her first business, designing and making clothes for family, friends, neighbours and anyone who liked her African fusion style. You could say Mazaleni still does business from home, but that is where the similarity ends.

Today, she lives in her complex of three luxurious Kwantu guest houses in Milnerton Ridge, Cape Town, scarcely 20km from Gugulethu where she started, but a lifetime of struggle and growth away. Mazaleni's life is the story of how entrepreneurship was suppressed but never extinguished by apartheid...

Success story:
Hotel turned around with passion and perseverance

Guests may find it hard to imagine that the cosy, beautiful rooms of the Sutherland Hotel were once dingy grottos which shared communal bathrooms that hardly worked. But Koos du Plessis clearly remembers his first day as the new owner of the run-down hotel which he bought because he needed to get out of a frustrating job and challenge himself.

He had never worked in a bar, let alone done anything in the hospitality industry before, and there he was, behind the counter in a bar full of rugby supporters who had come to watch the Springboks play Ireland in his very own Sutherland Hotel.

Riding the high-season wave

Tourism insiders know that their industry is not for the faint-hearted. Every year, almost every tourism business faces a gigantic wave of seasonality which is thrilling to surf, but which can just as easily wipe you out. How do you get ready for the big wave?

Most tourism businesses' turnover at least doubles over the high season, says Anton Roelofse. Some experience up to a ten-fold increase. “Imagine doing R100 000 per month during the year, and R1m over the high season.”

The key to surviving the high season is thorough planning, says Roelofse. Sometimes you have to start planning way in advance. Improvements such as renovations are not the kind of thing that you should do a month or two before the season kicks in. If you are fairly new in the game, it is always a good idea to start planning early.
In this issue
Premises to let
Fayfenn House, Kloof, Kwa-Zulu Natal
5 Units with secure parking
Ideal for a MediaCentre / Training Schools / Taibo classes or Estate Agents

Rani Veerasamy
Email: rveerasamy

Phone: 031 240 7700 / 0795333754
See more here

Dickswell Building, Pinetown, Kwa-Zulu Natal
92-96 Old Main Road, Pintown

Office space To Let
5 Units available, 24m² - 190m²

Rani Veerasamy
Email: rveerasamy

Phone: 031 240 7700 / 0795333754
See more here

Grand Central Industrial Park
Grand Central Park, Midrand, Gauteng
Units available 555m²

Zelda Coetzer
Email: zcoetzer

Phone: 011 713 6722
See more here
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