3 ways tourism SMMEs can fast track recovery
A study by the World Bank Group’s International Finance Corporation shows that prior to the pandemic, small enterprises employed between 50-60% of South Africa’s workforce, contributing around 34% of GDP. Having a healthy Small, Medium and Micro Enterprises (SMME) sector is a prime economic driver, so SMMEs success is paramount in SA’s financial recovery,
Travel and tourism SMMEs were some of the hardest hit over the past two years, crippled by periods of complete inactivity brought on by pandemic restrictions. Now that the sector is in recovery mode, many tourism SMMEs are wondering what to prioritise in order for them to bounce back?
The importance of being graded
Being graded by a recognised authority like the Tourism Grading Council of South Africa (TGCSA) is one way for SMMEs to instantly enhance their credibility, says Tshepo Matlou, Head of Marketing and Communications at online booking platform, Jurni.
“Grading doesn’t just provide a tourism business with a certificate and a plaque – it makes good business sense. It’s a seal of approval that assures travelers that the quality of what you’re offering has been verified by an objective and impartial entity. For most travellers searching online for a place to stay, grading is the first marker of a trustworthy holiday spot, giving them peace of mind that your facilities are of a nationally recognised standard,” he says.
Grading provides SMMEs with an opportunity to boost their reputation, if they provide a service beyond their grade, states Matlou. “If you’re rated as a 3-star accommodation, for example, guests will be impressed if you go the extra mile and provide them with 4-star service”.
“Evaluate every way in which you can improve a guest’s stay. Their positive experience will result in good word-of-mouth for your business, and guests who will want to return. Grading also promotes quality control – it would be a step back for a graded property to regress in its grade in the market.”
In a broader perspective, grading improves the overall image of the local tourism space, therefore fast-tracking economic recovery. This is why Jurni is encouraging onboarded properties on their platform to get graded as part of market-ready.
Courtesy of Bizcommunity – read full article here.