South African Airways is one of the first six airlines in the world to achieve IATA Environmental Assessment Stage 1 status
South African Airways (SAA) has become one of
the first airlines in Africa and one of six in the world to achieve IATA
(International Air Transport Association) Environmental Assessment Stage 1
The achievement comes after IATA embarked on the IATA Environmental
Assessment (IEnvA), a two-year initiative to develop and establish an
environmental standard and environmental management system for over 240
IATA member airlines. The aim of the two-year initiative is to create a
minimum and recommended standard for airlines in areas such as general
recycling, on-board recycling, efficient flight and airport operations,
limiting and reducing carbon emissions, general energy efficiency as well
as environmentally conscious procurement procedures.
“We are very proud of being one of six global airlines to achieve IEnVA
Stage 1 status. As part of SAA’s Group Environment Strategy and in SAA’s
continuous effort to become one of the world’s greenest airlines, our
customers can fly SAA assured that we are taking great steps to establish
ourselves as a market leader when it comes to environmentally friendly
operations, efficient aircraft, green buildings and environmentally
conscious employees,” said SAA spokesperson, Mr. Tlali Tlali.
SAA was one of six airlines invited by IATA to participate in this
programme. Paul Steele of IEnVA elaborated: “I am delighted to announce
that SAA has satisfied the independent assessors and passed the IATA
Environmental Assessment Stage 1. IEnvA is the first environmental
management system applied to the aviation sector and enables an airline to
improve its environmental management and follow best environmental
practice. This makes SAA airline one of the world’s leading carriers in
the areas of environmental responsibility and sustainability.”
SAA’s environmental goals include the following:
• complying with applicable regulations and other requirements;
• striving for the most efficient operations;
• working towards reducing carbon footprint;
• working towards minimising and preventing pollution;
• minimising waste and implementing recycling initiatives at SAA
facilities and on-board aircraft;
• integrating environmental concerns with all SAA’s planning and
decision making processes, by implementing effective environmental
• operating using the most energy and water efficient practices;
• encouraging improvement in the environmental performance of SAA’s
suppliers through the development of environmental criteria within the
framework of SAA’s procurement policies;
• increasing environmental awareness among employees by proactively
communicating and promoting environmental issues and best practices that
impact on SAA;
• working toward and finding new and innovative ways in which to
improve SAA’s Environmental Programme; and
• working towards industry goals which are:
o a cap on aviation CO₂ emissions from 2020 (carbon neutral growth);
o an average improvement in fuel efficiency of 1.5% per year from 2009 to
Last week in Lagos, Edem Duke, Minister for Tourism, Culture and National Orientation announced that the Federal Government have approved a new tourism brand identity, “Fascinating Nigeria” for the country which will be launched on July 9th this year.
The Minister, in company of the Director General of the Nigeria Tourism Development Commission, (NTDC) Mrs. Sally Mbanefo, said the tourism brand identity expresses Nigerians’ creative industry and indicates that Nigeria is the most fascinating country in the world in terms of weather, beautiful landscape, literature, music, dance, festivals, resilient and fun-loving people.
He stated, “In summary, it means that it is time for Nigerian tourism, especially the creative sector, to have a brand identity and that is Fascinating Nigeria. It is uniquely Nigerian and we have spent the better part of last year trying to design it”.
To help boost the brand, Duke stated that about 100 heritage sites have been penciled down to be developed across the country.
He also noted, “Our brand identity is Fascinating Nigeria because there is nowhere else in the world that this appellation best suits, whether it is in business, nature’s endowment, investment climate, agriculture, whatever, but tourism is the first letter of recommendation and our culture is a major collateral for this to activate
The stage is now set for the proper launch of “Fascinating Nigeria” in Abuja come July 9th.
‘Whole of State’ aviation policy alignment critical to aviation’s efficiency and economic contribution
Successful state owned airlines’ critical success factors include clarity of mandate and a harmonised ‘Whole Of State’ aviation policy framework. Global air services drive almost all economic sectors, delivering trade, employment, tax revenues, job creation, skills development and a substantial direct and indirect contribution to Gross Domestic Product and, along with the catalytic demand impact on related sectors such as tourism, the importance of an aligned whole of state aviation policy in developing economies cannot be underestimated.
“SAA continues to answer its mandate vis-à-vis national development,” says the SAA Group’s Acting CEO, Nico Bezuidenhout, “in South Africa alone the value of SAA extends well beyond its balance sheet with the airline functioning as a substantial economic enabler.” As measured by a recently commissioned Oxford Economics Study the group comprising SAA, SAA Technical, low cost airline Mango, SAA Cargo, Air Chefs and SA Travel Centre, collectively contributes 3,6 billion Rand through direct output to the South African economy, 4 billion indirectly through its supply chain and 1,6 billion Rand through spending employees and respective supply chains. In addition there are 12,4 billion Rand in catalytic benefits through tourism bringing a total contribution to the South African economy to 21,6 billion Rand.
“Equal to SAA’s contribution to GDP is the fact that the Group supports 34 000 jobs in South Africa,” says Bezuidenhout. “11 500 of these are directly supported by the Group while 16 400 jobs lie in the SAA supply chain and a further 6 300 jobs are supported through the spending of Group employees and its supply chain. The study shows a tourism benefit of a further 51 400 jobs as an effect from the two passenger airlines operated – SAA and Mango – carrying 6.2 million passengers and 144 275 tonnes of cargo during the past fiscal.” This is equivalent to 36 percent of all passenger traffic to, from and within South Africa.
Bezuidenhout believes that a sound policy framework is a critical success factor for a state owned airline and it allows the aviation sector optimise its economic contribution. “Infrastructure development such as airports, the growth of airlines, air traffic management and bilateral air service agreements among others must be optimised and efficiencies improved to facilitate the growth of a state’s aviation sector.”
“Increased growth will lead to a far greater catalytic contribution to domestic and continental GDP, job creation, skills development and tax base growth (VAT, income tax, aviation taxes etc). Examples outside South Africa, where ‘Whole Of State’ aviation policies have succeeded include Singapore, the United Arab Emirates and, closer to home, Ethiopia.”
This position was very much supported at the IATA (International Air Transportation Association) Annual General Meeting in Cape Town. Association Director General Tony Tyler noted the African opportunity. In a statement he noted that “Global connectivity – enabled by aviation – has a very powerful role to play in integrating the 54 national economies of Africa and connecting them to the world. With a few kilometres of tarmac, even the most remote destination becomes part of the global community.” African aviation already supports an estimated US$ 67 billion in economic activity annually and 6,7 million jobs.
Under the agreement, the three parties will explore and implement activities jointly to promote tourist traffic to South Africa through Singapore Airlines’ services to Cape Town and Johannesburg via Singapore’s Changi Airport. The parties have agreed to invest more than S$1 million in cash and in-kind collectively over the next one year to support advertising and promotional campaigns, as well as familiarisation programmes for trade and media representatives.
“South Africa is an important market to us and one which we have been serving for over 20 years. We are pleased to work together with CAG and SAT to develop and promote tourism from key markets in the Asia-Pacific such as China, Singapore and Australia to this fast-growing tourist destination which is renowned for its natural beauty, vibrant cosmopolitan cities and famous wildlife reserves,” said Singapore Airlines’ Acting Senior Vice President Sales and Marketing, Mr Chin Yau Seng.
CAG’s Senior Vice President of Market Development, Mr Lim Ching Kiat, added: “With Changi Airport’s dense connectivity to China and Australia, as well as our award-winning airport services and facilities, we are confident that passengers on transit to South Africa will enjoy a first-class experience at Changi Airport.”
South African Tourism Chief Executive Officer, Mr Thulani Nzima, explained: “We have aggressively sought tourism growth from emerging markets such as Australasia, a region in which we grew 25.1% and attracted 541,253 tourists in 2012. Singapore is an extremely important hub for us in the Australasia region and this agreement with Changi Airport and Singapore Airlines is part of our commitment to co-operate with some of the world’s leading global tourism industry players to stimulate tourism growth to South Africa. We are very excited about this agreement, which will be trade-driven and includes consumer activities promoting travel to South Africa in one of the world’s most important passenger hubs.”
Singapore Airlines operates daily flights to Johannesburg and four flights a week to Cape Town from Changi Airport.
PRNewswire reports that SkyTeam, the global airline alliance, is re-enforcing its focus on customer-based initiatives that ensure improved service offering whilst delivering more benefits for its membership throughout SkyTeam’s global network.
“With our global network almost complete, our priority is now shifting to creating a seamless travel experience for our customers,” said Michael Wisbrun, SkyTeam’s managing director. “SkyTeam’s key driver so far has been on gaining global presence, and now provides a network with access to the most relevant traffic flows worldwide. But the next stage of cooperation is about developing customer products and services that bring seamlessness to a new level.”
Creating efficiency and seamlessness
With more than 30 million passengers transferring among the members annually, closer cooperation between airlines and airports has been developed under the SkyTransfer initiative. Focus is on improving customer transfers from one member to another by developing new efficiencies, as well as transfer and service recovery standards, starting with SkyTeam’s largest hubs. These include Amsterdam, Atlanta, Rome, Paris CDG, Mexico City, Seoul, Beijing, Guangzhou and Shanghai. It is estimated that this will lead to an average cost savings of about 15M Euros annually on transfer related costs.
Improved customer service
SkyTeam launched its flagship customer-focused initiative, SkyPriority, in March 2012. Offering a series of premium airport services for Elite Plus, First and Business Class customers, SkyPriority has now been implemented throughout 75% of SkyTeam’s global network and will be available at each of SkyTeam’s 1,000 global destinations by the end of 2013. In addition, the program is being extended to include, amongst others, more dedicated security lanes, and dedicated SkyPriority call centres to provide essential support to high value customers. Other additions include dedicated SkyPriority baggage desks at arrival halls.
With its global network almost complete, SkyTeam is working to fast-track initiatives that augment benefits offered to members. These include SkyPort, which is focused on increasing co-location of airport facilities to ease the customer experience while reducing costs. SkyTeam will open 3 more co-branded lounges with Istanbul being opened this month; Sydney before the end of 2013 and Beijing in early 2014. The new lounges will reduce combined costs by approximately 10% at these airports.
To get the most out of travelling with SkyTeam, travel products have been developed and upgraded to meet customer needs. Booking facilities will be added to the online Round the World planning application before year’s end. The recently enhanced Global Meetings product offers more convenience and more attractive pricing, through a new online booking tool for a minimum of 50 delegates featuring a wide range of fare discounts off published fares.
“Every initiative SkyTeam develops has benefits both for its members and most importantly for the customers,” continued Wisbrun. “It’s not about simply being the biggest in scale, we must evolve and facilitate in the development and implementation of such customer focused initiatives. SkyTeam is dedicated to taking seamlessness to the next level and demonstrating we are the alliance that cares more about the needs of our customers,” notes Wisbrun.
Addition of Garuda strengthens Southeast Asian network
SkyTeam confirms that it will welcome Garuda Indonesia as its 20th member in March, 2014. The national airline of Indonesia, Garuda will be SkyTeam’s second member from Southeast Asia.
“Garuda Indonesia’s domestic and growing international network will give SkyTeam a footprint in Indonesia, as we strengthen our presence in the Southeast Asia region,” said Michael Wisbrun. “Garuda has worked hard to meet the membership criteria required by SkyTeam, including implementing a new IT platform, and we look forward to welcoming the airline in March next year.”
Johannesburg will be Africa’s most visited city this year with an expected 2.5 million visitors this year and a growth rate of 5.5%. This is according to MasterCard’s third annual Global Destination Cities Index.
The MasterCard Index of Global Destination Cities ranks cities in terms of the number of their total international visitor arrivals and the cross-border spending by these same visitors in the destination cities, and gives visitor and passenger growth forecasts for 2013. This Index and the accompanying reports are not based on MasterCard volumes or transactional data.
Johannesburg ranked third overall in the top 10 destination cities in international visitor arrivals in the Middle East and Africa region and ranked as the top destination in Africa. The Middle East and Africa’s top five destination cities by international overnights visitors are Dubai (9.9 million), Riyadh (5.0 million), Johannesburg (2.5 million), Amman (2.4 million) and Lagos (2.2 million).
It ranked fourth in the Middle East and Africa Top five Destination Cities by International Overnight Visitor Spend, and the top destination in Africa with visitor cross-border spending forecast at $2.7 billion, with a growth of 3.4%. Top five destination cities in terms of cross-border visitors spend are: Dubai ($10.4 bil), Riyadh ($3.4 bil), Beirut (2.8 bil), Johannesburg ($2.7 bil) and Amman ($2.0 bil).
Johannesburg ranked 20 in the global Top 20 in Growth Rates of International Visitor Arrivals from 2009 to 2013, with a growth rate of 53.6%, and ranked as the top city on the African continent.
Cape Town and Durban in South Africa; Maputo and Beira in Mozambique; Nairobi, Kenya; and Kampala, Uganda were also covered by the survey but did not make it to the Top 10 lists mentioned.
The report showed that international travel is growing strongly. Of the 132 cities surveyed and their cross-border spending over the 2009 and 2013 period, international visitor arrivals grew almost twice as fast as world real GDP, and their cross-border spending grew over 2.3 times faster.
It also showed destination cities in emerging markets in the Middle East and Asia are expanding the fastest in being connected to the rest of the world through having more flights to more cities, and more flights to cities where they are already connected
In 2013 the Standard Bank Joy of Jazz once again reinforces its status as South Africa’s premier jazz festival, and one of the best on the African continent, thanks to a stellar line-up of musicians from around the globe.
These include American Carmen Lundy, an enduring artist in a jazz vocal tradition that stretches all the way back to Billie Holiday; acclaimed “Big Chief” of the sax Donald Harrison who will be performing with his nephew the acclaimed New Orleans trumpeter Christian Scott as well as South African trumpeter Lwanda Gogwana; Grammy Award winning tenor saxophonist Eddie Daniels; Japanese jazz pianist Tsuyoshi Yamamoto and American saxophonist Tia Fuller who was a member of the all-female band touring with Beyoncé.
Also on the bill, which features more than 50 artists, is Dennis Edwards, a former lead singer for the Motown act The Temptations who will be appearing in The Temptations Review which features Paul Williams Jnr, son of original Temptations member Paul Williams; Peter White from the UK who first gained fame with his distinctive guitar style as accompanist to Al Stewart and played on Stewart’s landmark Year of the Cat album; Argentina’s Tango String Quartet; the DRC’s Ray Lema; US vocalist René Marie; Cape Verde’s Marie de Barros and Lenora Raphael from the US.
The South African contingent includes Ray Phiri and Stimela; Mlungisi Gegana who will be paying tribute to the late South African jazz double bassist and pianist Johnny Dyani; Sipho Mabuse who pays homage to Zim Ngqawana; Sibongile Mngoma (a former Standard Bank Young Artist) who will release an album in June this year in which classical meets jazz; Afrotraction; Kabomo, Selaelo Selota, Mbuso Khoza, Ivan Mazuze, Jeff Maluleke and Themba Mkhize.
From his roots growing up in Cape Town and Johannesburg, South African composer and keyboardist Adam Glasser is now recognised as one of the world’s leading jazz harmonica players. Glasser has put together a unique jazz collaboration for Standard Bank Joy of Jazz combining musicians he has played with in both the UK and South Africa including Australia’s Carl Orr, South Africa’s Concord Nkabinde (former Standard Bank Young Artist winner for jazz) and Nduduzo Makhathini as well as Ghana’s Frank Tontoh.
Shane Cooper, the 2013 Standard Bank Young Artist Award winner for Jazz, will be performing with Bokani Dyer, Kesivan Naidoo (another former Standard Bank Young Artist winner for jazz), Reza Khota and Justin Bellairs.
There’s a performance from the Peter Auret Trio comprising Auret, Roland Moses and James Sunney of Watershed fame with special guest Joe Penn on saxophone.
Described as the most gifted musician ever to blend African and American music, Abdullah Ibrahim has enjoyed a career that has spanned half a century as a pianist and composer. He has worked with many legends of South African and global jazz. When he returned to South Africa in the 1970s to record his masterpiece, Mannenberg, he earned his place among South Africa’s greatest musicians. His sold-out performances continue to thrill jazz fans from around the world.
In his autobiography, Miles Davis describes the impact of hearing celebrated pianist Ahmad Jamal: “He knocked me out with his concept of space, his lightness of touch, his understatement.” Named as an NEA Jazz Master and a Kennedy Center Living Jazz Legend, Jamal is a bona fide jazz star and the source of inspiration to many younger pianists.
Although he has four Grammy Awards for his jazz recordings, Terence Blanchard also ranks among the most creative, in-demand film score composers, particularly for his collaborations with Spike Lee. He is now putting the finishing touches on his first opera, commissioned for Opera St. Louis. Blanchard has also assumed roles as a music educator as the artistic director of the youth-oriented Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz and, more recently, as the artistic director for the Henry Mancini Institute at the University of Miami Frost School of Music.
The Standard Bank Joy of Jazz will take place on eight stages in Newtown including the Dinaledi Stage, the Conga, Mbira, Bassline and The Market Theatre. Other venues include free concerts at Sophiatown, Shikisha and Nikki’s Oasis.
Event producer Peter Tladi of T-Musicman says: “Over the years we have brought the finest jazz musicians to our shores as desired by the event’s fans, friends and supporters. Because we believe all people deserve to hear the best musicians the world has to offer, our 2013 line-up pays tribute to the listener’s choice as it were, it is our gift to our friends and festivalgoers who insist on the most interesting, the out of the ordinary, the push the boundaries type of artist, and most importantly the best of class. This is a line-up for the discerning jazz lover.”
Commented Hazel Chimhandamba, Head of Group Sponsorships at Standard Bank: “We are delighted that during the 14 year history of Standard Bank Joy of Jazz we have continued to discover and explore both the heritage and riches of home-grown talent while playing host to an enviable array of international stars and meeting the young jazz stars of the future. We are proud to sponsor an event that celebrates jazz in the heart of Johannesburg and that has become renowned in jazz circles around the world.”
Tickets are on sale at Computicket with a 15% discount for all Standard Bank customers valid from from May 21 until June 30 (terms and conditions apply).
The 2013 Standard Bank Joy of Jazz is produced by T-Musicman and brought to you by Standard Bank in association with the Department of Arts & Culture with co-sponsors The Gauteng Department of Sport, Arts, Culture & Recreation; the City of Joburg, South African Tourism and Gauteng Tourism. The broadcast sponsor is the SABC.
SABC spokesperson Kaizer Kganyago says: “The SABC is indeed very proud to be the broadcast sponsor of Standard Bank Joy of Jazz. The National Public Service Broadcaster welcomes the opportunity to support an activity that helps us to deliver on our mandate and to provide entertainment and development to our citizens. We support The Road to Standard Bank Joy of Jazz campaign. Our involvement is based on the fact that we want to continue to promote the music industry in this country and thus support a festival that develops and supports local talent while at the same time exposing them to international performers.”
Delta, the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey, JFK International Air Terminal Open New $1.4 Billion Terminal 4 at JFK International Airport
Delta Air Lines (NYSE: DAL), the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey and JFK International Air Terminal LLC (JFKIAT) today opened the new Terminal 4 at New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport, part of a $1.4 billion redevelopment program at JFK.
“The state-of-the-art Terminal 4 facilities have been years in the making and Delta people, global customers and the residents of New York now have the international hub facility that they expect and deserve,” said Richard Anderson, Delta’s chief executive officer. “It’s an exciting time at Delta and JFK Terminal 4 is emblematic of the investments we are making in New York and around the world. We are celebrating today thanks to the hard work and dedication of our partners in this project including the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, JFK IAT and the Schiphol Group.”
Today’s opening of the first phase of Delta’s Terminal 4 expansion includes:
• Nine new and seven renovated international gates.
• Improved and renovated check-in areas, including a dedicated Sky Priority check-in.
• A centralized security checkpoint.
• New dining and retail offerings.
• A new 24,000-square-foot flagship Delta Sky Club with the first ever Sky Deck at Delta Sky Club outdoor terrace.
• An in-line baggage system to streamline and improve the baggage handling system.
• Improved Customs and Border Protection, baggage claim and re-check facilities.
With the 346,000-square-foot expansion of Concourse B, Terminal 4, which is managed by JFK IAT, now measures 2 million square feet, making it one of the largest terminals in North America. Delta partner Virgin Atlantic Airways also operates out of Terminal 4.
In addition to the expansion opening today, Delta earlier this year announced phase two of the Terminal 4 redevelopment plan that will include an additional 11 gates on Terminal 4’s Concourse B. Construction on phase two will commence immediately. Upon completion in summer 2015, Terminal 4’s Concourse B will house a total of 27 Delta gates and replace Delta’s current Terminal 2 regional jet facility.
“Delta’s $1.4 billion investment in this state is further proof that New York is a prime destination for businesses to grow and thrive,” New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said. “This investment was critical in improving JFK’s infrastructure, created more than 1,000 construction jobs and demonstrated the strength of our Minority—Women-owned Business Enterprises participation. We look forward to Phase II of Delta’s JFK investment and thank them for their continued partnership and commitment to the State.”
“Delta’s gleaming new Terminal 4 at JFK International is exciting news for New York’s busiest airport and our economy. This investment will add a world-class entrance to the Big Apple and greatly improve the travel experience New Yorkers as a well as visitors from across the globe. I applaud Delta, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey and JFK International Air Terminal for their hard work on this very important, job creating expansion project,” said U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer.
“Today’s opening of Delta Air Lines’ new Terminal 4 at John F. Kennedy International Airport is great news for Southeast Queens and New York City as a whole. Delta’s commitment to the surrounding communities and to New York City is evident in the investment it has in building this state-of-the-art facility,” stated Congressman Gregory W. Meeks. Meeks continued, “In addition to the 8,800 people that Delta employs in New York, many more jobs will be added directly at JFK and indirectly in the freighting, delivery, hospitality, maintenance, and security services that support air travel and trade at America’s foremost international airport. Travelers from across the world will be able to benefit from the nine new gates, seven renovated gates, enhanced check-in areas, new dining and retail outlets, a new Delta Sky Club with an outdoor terrace, and a new baggage handling system. This will continue to enhance JFK’s role as the economic engine of the 5th Congressional District.”
“Thanks to Delta’s $1.4 billion investment, travelers to and from JFK will experience a state-of-the-art facility with improved amenities and better services,” said New York Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg. “Over the past six years, Delta has doubled the number of employees based at JFK and created quality construction jobs, with a focus on local hiring and priority to MWBEs. We look forward to their continued expansion and partnership with New York City.”
“The Port Authority is proud to partner with Delta Air Lines on this important modernization and expansion project at John F. Kennedy International Airport, which will help serve the robust growth in fliers at JFK and benefit the region’s economic growth,’’ said Pat Foye, the Port Authority’s executive director. “Cooperation between the public and private sectors like we’ve seen with the expansion of Terminal 4 is the key to readying JFK for the greater metropolitan area’s needs in the 21st century.”
“Today, we celebrate another milestone in our successful partnership here in New York. Over the past 16 years, Schiphol Group has enjoyed an outstanding relationship with New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport through our involvement in JFK IAT, the management company of Terminal 4,” said Jos Nijhuis, president and CEO, Schiphol Group. “We are proud to have shared in making Terminal 4 one of the best air terminals in the world. The development and completion of this new expansion mark a spectacular accomplishment on the part of our partner, Delta Air Lines, and all the alliance members. We continually challenge and inspire each other to provide excellent service to the traveling public.”
The Terminal 4 Delta Sky Club, the largest in the Delta system, offers travelers superior amenities and a unique customer experience. A chef-designed menu of cuisine such as sushi, cheese, charcuterie and dessert will allow customers the option of enjoying a pre-departure meal, enabling them to sleep immediately after takeoff. Master Sommelier Andrea Robinson, who also selects Delta’s Business Elite wine offerings, has developed a premium wine-by-the glass program for the Club with many vintages usually available only by the bottle, including Dom Perignon and Muga Prado Enea, Gran Reserva. Additionally customers needing privacy within the Club can reserve the Ciroc Lounge, which offers a private space with seating and entertainment.
The Sky Deck at Delta Sky Club, debuting at JFK Terminal 4, is a 2,000-square-foot rooftop terrace developed in partnership with Architectural Digest. Renowned designer Thom Filicia was selected by Architectural Digest to create a distinctive space that will offer passengers runway views and the comfort, convenience and relaxation they have come to expect from the award-winning Delta Sky Club.
Delta has ceased operations at Terminal 3. The site will be redeveloped for operational use.
Delta’s Corporate Strategy
The new international terminal at New York’s JFK airport is the latest in a series of initiatives designed to position Delta for long-term success. Globally, Delta has worked to establish strong partnerships with key airlines across the globe to ensure the integrity of the airline’s global network. The airline has embraced a strategic fleet delivery plan that combines both new and used aircraft. Last year, Delta purchased the Trainer oil refinery to control Delta’s fuel costs.
Earlier this month and as part of a comprehensive five-year financial plan, Delta announced a capital deployment program aimed at creating up to $5 billion of value for shareholders, including returning more than $1 billion to shareholders over the next three years. Over the next five years, the company plans to reinvest more than $2 billion annually into improving the company’s fleet, facilities, products and technology. In addition to returning cash to shareholders, Delta’s free cash flow will be used to further reduce the company’s debt and opportunistically address longer-term pension funding obligations.
South Africa is getting it right in the tourism sector. Several indicators suggest the country is doing things differently that is resulting in positive outcome in the tourism sector which is fast contributing meaningfully to the Rainbow nation’s economy.
In the first six months of 2012, tourists arrival in South Africa grew at 10.5% which is double the global average negating the World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) prediction of a slowdown in tourism figures globally. A total of 4, 416, 373 tourists visited the country between January and June 2012. This significant growth has continued to upsurge year-in year-out surpassing even the year 2010 in which South Africa successfully hosted the FIFA World Cup.
In this period January to December 2012, foreign tourists spent a whooping USD8.5 Billion while in South Africa.
The sector, which is among the top 20 employers of labour in South Africa accounts for about 598,432 number of direct jobs in the country and contributes USD9.4 Billion to its Gross Domestic Product according to 2011 Tourism Satellite Account (TSA) Statistics.
The President of the Republic of South Africa, Jacob Zuma mentioned in his State of the Nation address that the Cape Town International Jazz festival event contributed more than About N9.5Billion to the economy of Cape Town and created 2, 000 jobs in 2010. This jazz event which is held annually is regarded as one of the top four of its kind in the world and it attracts more than 5000 local and international tourists to the city of Cape Town yearly.
The good story emanating from the tourism sector didn’t just happen. It is a result of a continuous aggressive marketing initiatives and bumper financial investment which is backed by a careful and well articulated research strategy.
To begin with, the country has developed its tourism sector in a competitive manner offering excellent products and services which attracts and continues to lure tourists into its shores.
Across the nine provinces; from Johannesburg in Gauteng to Cape Town in the Western Cape to up north in the North-West province, there are world class facilities, adventures and wildlife, diverse experience available to suit and satisfy the yearnings of discerning visitors.
Complementarily, the robust activity of the nation’s national carrier, South African Airways flying into about 20 African countries and about 15 international destinations quite frankly opened the rainbow nation to more than a world of possibilities.
Ultimately, South African Tourism, the national tourism agency responsible for the marketing of South Africa as a preferred tourist destination leads the pack. With a robust niche marketing strategy that cuts across the globe, the result has been visitors pouring into South Africa in droves.
With strong presence in the USA, China, Europe and Africa in Angola and its Nigeria office opening soon, the agency have actively and aggressively market the destination.
For instance, South Africa is fast becoming destination of choice for all strata of the Nigerian society as a result of over a decade of SA Tourism innovative promotional ideas in the country.
Annually, SA Tourism holds a trade workshop in Nigeria where South African product owners, suppliers and the Nigerian trade engage in a most conducive business platform to create a win-win deal and travel packages for tourism development of both countries.
Most recently, the agency signed an agreement with the National Association of Nigeria Travel Agencies (NANTA) all in the bid to further create a more accessible platform for all Nigerians to easily access information, travel deals and packages to the rainbow nation.
Moreover, over 576 Nigerian trade have had the opportunity to be trained and empowered free by SA Tourism through a special online programme, “FUNDI” which in less than 100 days equip participant with all the necessary knowledge on how to sell destination South Africa as well as put together tailor-made packages to suit individual budget. In addition, more than ten trained trades are selected annually to experience what they have learnt online in a scintillating South Africa Familiarisation Trip fully sponsored by SA Tourism.
The relentless effort of SA Tourism continues to pay off in Nigeria as about 74, 000 Nigerians visited South Africa between January and December, 2012. This figure represents an impressive 13.8% increase compared to same period in 2011.
If you think South Africa is simply a leisure destination, then you are wrong. There is the South African National Convention Bureau, a government agency which acts as a ‘one stop solution’ for independent information and assistance, giving neutral advice on all aspects of hosting and organising any business event in South Africa.
According to South Africa Tourism Minister, Marthinus van Schalkwyk, for the next five years, South Africa has so far secured more than 200 international conferences which will attract an estimated 300 000 delegates and provide an economic boost of more than USD190.5 Million for the economy.
South Africa is the premier business events destination in Africa and in the top 15 long-haul business event destinations in the world which is constantly striving to compete with the biggest and best business events destinations in the world.
Above all, these positive tourism trends are a product of robust policies and significant support from the government of South Africa who have realized the imminent potential of the industry.
Marthinus van Schalkwyk summed it up at the Southern African Association for the Conference Industry (SAACI) event in July last year when he acknowledged, “Government is also creating conditions that will help bids to succeed, such as building and enhancing our public infrastructure, enhancing airlift, especially from Africa, streamlining visas, growing our telecommunications capacity and continuing our global leadership in meeting greening requirements that is fast becoming a license to operate if you want to host mega-events, conferences and conventions.”
Innovative INDABA 2013 comes to a successful close after high-energy showcase of Southern Africa’s tourism industry
A modern, cutting-edge INDABA 2013, which significantly enhanced networking connections to stimulate tourism trading between buyers and exhibitors, was the hallmark of the most advanced edition of Africa’s top travel show to date.
Taking a practical technological leap, while staying true to the importance of personal interaction to grow South Africa’s tourism industry, was the standout theme of the four-day show at the Durban International Convention Centre, which ended on Tuesday 14 May 2013.
The ‘INDABA Connect’ platform, designed to facilitate the effective sharing of contact details, product information, marketing collateral and presentations during the course of the show, received extremely positive feedback from many INDABA delegates.
A total of 240,693 electronic connections (over 60 000 per day) were made by 11 458 “INDABA Connect” users, who shared over 14,258 documents. This was a deliberate eco-friendly initiative, a ‘Go Green’ approach at INDABA that led to the potential saving of a small forest of 374 trees by minimising the need for piles of printed collateral and business cards.
A total of 26,000 square metres of carpets were laid for the 1,386 exhibitors at the show this year, as INDABA again proved to be the biggest and most relevant tourism trade show on the African continent. Of the 14,970 square metres of sell-able space available throughout the venue, a total of 14,712 square metres (98%) was sold and occupied at INDABA 2013.
“What was noteworthy at INDABA this year was the impressive quality of the stands and the considerable investment by exhibitors. This was a significant vote of confidence, and added considerably to the quality of the show,” said Thulani Nzima, Chief Executive Officer of South African Tourism.
INDABA was again a chance for major global trade buyers to engage with their pan-African suppliers, tailor-make holiday packages and be exposed to new tourism products.
A total of 2,341 local and international buyers attended the show, up 3% on the numbers who attended last year. The number of independent international buyers attending INDABA 2013 was up 6.86% on last year’s figures, with 1 464 international buyers attending the show this year, up from the 1 370 in 2012.
In addition, South African Tourism hosted a further 249 top international buyers at INDABA 2013, significantly up by nearly 20% on the 208 international buyers hosted in 2012.
As yet unaudited figures indicate that well over 10,000 delegates passed through the show’s turnstiles over the course of its four days.
Media interest in INDABA 2013 surged this year, with 802 media covering the show, 11% more than the 721 who registered to cover the show in 2012. Nearly 200 of them were leading international media, with international media numbers up 23% this year to 190.
INDABA was covered by international broadcast networks such as BBC World, China Central Television and CNBC Africa, while there was also continuous live coverage from the Durban ICC by the eNews Channel Africa, as well as a number of SABC current affairs and lifestyle television and radio shows.
There was also strong marketing and sales representation at INDABA from leading global companies involved in the tourism industry, such as the National Geographic Channel, TripAdvisor, WAYN.com, Expedia and CNN.
Thousands of events, activations and networking sessions were held over the course of the four bustling show days, with Durban hotels reporting good occupancies during INDABA. Around 3,000 formal meetings were scheduled between buyers and exhibitors, using the show’s tailor-made Online Matchmaking Diary.
“We set out first and foremost to entrench INDABA’s value as the continent’s top tourism trade event. We wanted to ensure top-quality buyers, all serious about doing business with South Africa’s tourism industry, attended the show, and we are happy that the number and quality of international buyers increased this year. Working closely with Durban Tourism and Tourism Kwazulu-Natal, we set ourselves the target of hosting 250 top international buyers under the auspices of SA Tourism. We achieved this target and are happy to see that international buyers continue to see huge value in INDABA, which equips them with better insight and the information they need to do business with our destination,” said Nzima.
“We are confident that our efforts to stimulate meaningful engagements between buyers and exhibitors at INDABA was effective and that this will lead to the generation of millions of Rands in tourism business, and tourists, that will contribute substantially to the long-term growth of our industry,” Nzima added.
“I hope the success of Indaba 2013 is not seen only in terms of the numbers of exhibitors, buyers and media attending, but also in terms of the quality of meetings and business linkages forged. This way Indaba will not be seen only as a four-day event, but one that has a positive impact that results in meaningful deals that hit the bottom-line of the South African trade, with long-term spin offs culminating in job creation and an economic boost for the country,” said Tourism Kwazulu-Natal Chief Executive Officer, Ndabo Khoza.
INDABA 2013 was certainly the most ‘digital’ yet, kicked off in exciting style with a Travel Bloggers conference at the Moses Mabhida Stadium on the eve of INDABA which was attended by a full-house of over 300 people.
The conference was the culmination of the #MeetSouthAfrica campaign, which saw SA Tourism host 15 of the world’s top international travel bloggers from the iAmbassadors network. SA Tourism hosted the bloggers on four different itineraries around South Africa, which all culminated in arriving at INDABA in Durban.
Using the hash tag #MeetSouthAfrica, the campaign has already reached a potential audience of over 60 million people and generated over 6,500 blogger mentions since it launched a week before INDABA.
The hash tag #INDABA2013 was also trending nationwide for much of the show weekend, with tweets and other digital platforms reaching a potential audience of 31 million people globally.
A total of 850 direct jobs (including 600 students from the Durban University of Technology) and 5,000 indirect jobs were created due to INDABA over 11 days.
Thirteen SADC countries exhibited at INDABA this year, namely Zambia, Mozambique, Namibia, Swaziland, Lesotho, Angola, Botswana, Tanzania, Zimbabwe, Malawi, Mauritius, Seychelles, Madagascar, Reunion, as well as Kenya, contributing a total of 426 exhibitors to the show, growing year on year.
South Africa’s Tourism Minister, Marthinus van Schalkwyk, announced during INDABA that as part of the show’s growth and expansion plans, African participation at INDABA 2014 and beyond will be gradually increased.
The Heritage and Culture Pavilion, another INDABA first, put the spotlight on South Africa’s heritage and culture tourism experiences and attractions and on the country’s eight UNESCO World Heritage sites. This proved to be an extremely popular addition to INDABA and a cornerstone of the show. The Pavilion was a joint project initiated by the National Department of Tourism and South African Tourism, in collaboration with the Moja Heritage Collection. The Pavilion also featured creations from top South African designers, Nkhensani Nkosi, David Tlale, Marianne Fassler and Thula Sindi, which were all inspired by the country’s world heritage sites.
The three Speed Marketing Sessions, one of the most acutely focused business elements of INDABA, was oversubscribed on each of the three days. The sessions gave around 200 global buyers considerable insight into the breadth and depth of the heritage and culture attractions and experiences that South Africa offers, as well as to its national parks and wine routes.
Feedback from exhibitors and buyers, available in real-time on the popular #INDABA2013 hash tag was positive, with considerable credit given for an exceptionally business-like, high tempo show.
“Last day at INDABA 2013. What a fantastic energy this year!” was a tweet from @ShamwariSafari.
“The vibe in the air is exhaustion. See you all at #INDABA2014. Thank you #Durban,” was another from @TourvestDM, which summed up the feelings after another busy show this year.
“Love how high-tech #INDABA2013 in #Durban is,” was another comment from freelance writer Sarah Khan, while “Bye bye #INDABA2013 looking forward to #INDABA2014,” was the tweet from Wild Travel Magazine.
Rovos Rail, which had considered downscaling its stand this year, was relieved that it had not. “We’ve been very impressed. It was good,” said marketer Joy Strydom.
One of the co-ordinators of the #MeetSouthAfrica bloggers tour, the iAmbassador network’s Keith Jenkins, said the event’s impact would be felt long after the show.
“The #MeetSouthAfrica hash tag has so far clocked up close to 60 million ‘opportunities to see’ on Twitter alone. More importantly, the level of interaction with both locals and people around the world was phenomenal and I’m convinced that interest in South Africa will continue to grow as the bloggers publish their blog posts in the coming months,” said Jenkins.
With INDABA 2013 now successfully completed, preparations have already begun in earnest for next year’s show.
“We will have a thorough review of all elements of this year’s INDABA, and we will work closely with the trade to ensure next year’s show is even better. Registrations for INDABA 2014 will open on 24 May 2013 and we have already seen strong interest and excitement. Given the positive feedback received this year and with South Africa celebrating 20 years of democracy next year, we want to reach out to the industry immediately and reward their loyalty to the event by offering them long-term benefits and structured packages. We will offer sliding-scale benefits that will benefit INDABA regulars participating in the show in 2014 and beyond. Newcomers to the show will also be able to benefit from early-bird packages which we will make available shortly and provide more information on in due course,” said Nzima.
For more information on INDABA and for upcoming details of how to confirm your attendance at next year’s show go to http://www.indaba-southafrica.co.za.