Prevue September/October 2012 - (Page 26)

good business BOOK A ‘BOSBERAAD’ SOUTH AFRICAN TOURISM & SOUTH AFRICAN AIRWAYS RAMP UP SERVICES WITH AN EYE ON SUSTAINABILITY outside Cape Town are actively promoting their vine-to-table ethos. In the last four years, Delham Wine Estate, Cloof Wine Estate and Waverly Hills have all won the Sustainable Wine category in the Great Wine Capitals Best of Wine Tourism Awards. “Backsburg is South Africa’s first carbon-neutral winery,” adds Saegar. “And for real hands-on insight, visit Nstiki Biyela, South Africa’s first black female head winemaker at Stellakaya.” Meanwhile, all types of travel suppliers are passionately supporting their local communities to build a more engaged, committed workforce and provide authentic travel experiences. Saegar says companies such as Walthers DMC commonly organize craft stalls operated by township women at the Cape Town Int’l Convention Center, donor platforms to build/sponsor local schools, and local entertainment from underprivileged areas in lieu of high-priced foreign performers. Previous groups have also shared their financial and energy network and expertise to help communities manage their resources more productively. Ahead of the 1994 elections in South Africa, many political meetings occurred in safari reserves outside Cape Town. The local word Bosberaad (bush council) refers to this type of meeting. “There is something about observing nature that makes one realize that human differences can more easily be resolved,” says Laura Saegar, CMM/CMP, business tourism manager USA for South African Tourism. In a survey this year, Saegar says 35% of qualified planners “have selected/will select” Africa for a travel reward program, up from 29% in 2011. To meet demand, the DMO launched the South African National Convention Bureau in April to manage the increased growth. Saegar attributes much of this success to South Africa’s focus on sustainability. “Even prior to democracy in 1994, South Africans had the vision to preserve large areas of the environment,” she says. “As a result, we have iconic wilderness area such as the Kruger National Park, the roots of which are well over 100 years old.” A significant number of hotels and lodges subscribe to longstanding initiatives such as the Heritage Environmental Program and Fair Trade in Tourism South Africa. Showing the same commitment to sustainability, wine growers in the vast Winelands SOUTH AFRICAN AIRWAYS South African Airways (SAA) is also seeing increased MICE business. There are newly expanded flights into South Africa and neighboring countries, and new group sales/support services. “Over the past year, South African Airways has established a new meeting and incentive department that works with meeting planners and incentive buyers to offer group fares and sometimes meeting sponsorships,” says Todd Neuman, executive vp, North America. “This is a key area of focus for us because South Africa has evolved into the economic engine that’s really driving the continent right now.” Neuman touts the first-world infrastructure and the values due to the favorable exchange rates and hotel build up before the 2010 World Cup. “Adding to that value, especially on the incentive side, South Africa is a very unique destination because of the variety of attributes throughout the region, from the wonderful food to the culture, heritage and wildlife,” he says. In terms of corporate responsibility, South African Airways has been a strong supporter of the Nelson Mandela Foundation in Johannesburg and Nelson Mandela Day on July 18—Mr. Mandela’s birthday—since its inception four years ago. The airline is also an ongoing supporter of The American Friends of the Phelophepa Train and Shared Interest, which strives to “eliminate disparities, uphold peoples’ basic human rights and serve as models of economic justice.”—Greg Oates; 24 | prevue magazine

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Prevue September/October 2012

Planner's Pick: Bermuda
Planner's Pick: Disney California
Fresh Meets: Sonesta Hotels
Bureau Buzz: Raleigh
Good Business: South Africa
Congrats: Visionary Awards
Sea Shores: Norwegian Cruise Line
Fifty Shades of Green
Checkn' In: westin Resorts, West USA
The West: Green by Nature
On Location: Santa Fe
On Location: La Costa Resort, CA
On Location: City of Napa
Mexico + The Caribbean
On Location: Hard Rock Hotel Cancun
On Location: St. Regis Punta Mita
Puerto Rico
On Location: Montreal
Check Out: The Orbit Tower, London

Prevue September/October 2012