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Keynote Speaker at Africa’s Tourism and Travel Indaba 2021 – Building a Strong Foundation for a Sustainable Tourism Business

By Brend Badenhorst

In September 2021, I had the privilege of serving as a keynote speaker at Africa’s Tourism and Travel Indaba, organised by the Department of Tourism. My keynote presentation focused on the essential elements required to build a strong foundation for a tourism business in South Africa.

To view the keynote presentation, click on the following link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h0-6r2sQzFY&t=174s&ab_channel=MySME

A solid foundation is crucial for any business. Without it, even the best ideas can falter under pressure. If you think about a construction project, the most important section of the building is the foundation. The taller the building, the deeper the foundation needs to go. Similarly, a strong foundation is crucial for any business. Without it, even the best ideas can falter under pressure.

A strong foundation consists of the following building blocks:

1: Strategy

A good business strategy consists of a value proposition, a competitive advantage, and a unique selling point.

(1) Value proposition:

Target market: It all starts with identifying your target market. The better you understand the prospects that will buy from you, the more you can tweak your offering to add more value to their lives.

For this keynote presentation I did some research on the number of foreign overnight visitors to South Africa. For the sake of identifying the tourism market, I focused on the countries with the red dot next to them.

For effective market research, you need to identify the exact market that you want to target. And for the tourism market of South Africa, the following countries seems to stand out as the target market:

  • United Kingdom
  • United States
  • Germany
  • France
  • Netherlands
  • Australia

(2) Competitive advantage:

After studying and understanding who your target market is, what they need and what they are willing to spend money on, you can start building your competitive advantage. They key is to keep your product or service offering focused on the target market’s need and not what you think is a good idea.

Consumers always have the following questions:

  • What’s in it for me?
  • How much will it cost?
  • How long will it take?
  • Does the price balance out the value I will receive?

If your offer includes these touch points, you will have the target market’s attention.

(3) Unique selling proposition:

The last component to a viable business strategy is your unique selling proposition. You need to understand what makes you unique and drive prospect’s attention to this.

2: Branding

Branding can only be accurately implemented when your business strategy is clear. The key to branding is to ensure your brand says exactly what you do within 5 seconds.

A brand needs to communicate a clear message to the target market, that is intentional, simplistic, and appealing. If the branding does not reflect the strategy, your message will get lost in translation and you will fail to clearly communicate to the target market how you can solve their problem or needs.

It is also important to play on your target market’s perception. The market research also shows that there are 27,000 searches on Google for African Safari’s between the 6 countries listed as the target market. A good idea will be to add African Safari into your brand perception, either visual or using a tagline.

3: Marketing

Marketing is one of the more complicated skills in business. There are a couple of areas to cover to ensure your marketing is effective.

(1) Brand awareness:
Every business needs a strong online presence through which you can run brand awareness campaigns that builds SEO and give the target market the right perception of your business. Again, in this case a perception of African Safari will go a long way in winning prospects attention.

A strong online presence and the correct interpretation of your brand is vital to ensure no resources are waisted when running paid advertising.

(2) Advertising:
For effective advertising you need to understand your market and know where their attention is at.

For the Africa’s Travel and Tourism indaba I provided clear statistics to show that the tourism market is looking for options and solutions on Google. Therefore, a great advertising tool to reach the target market effectively is Google AdWords.

(3) Networking:
The last form of marketing is networking. You need to get out there and network with the right people in the industry.

4: Sales

To back up your marketing efforts, you need a well-developed sales approach to convert interest into bookings, generating revenue and sustaining your business.

5: Operations

Finally, efficient operations ensure smooth delivery of services, enhancing customer satisfaction and repeat business.

My SME specialises in enterprise and supplier development, partnering with corporations engaged in corporate social responsibility projects since 2021. We also do business coaching for SME’s in South Africa.

At the core of our enterprise and supplier development initiatives is a cutting-edge software system that records every step of the journey on a secure cloud server. This technology grants corporate sponsors real-time access to the progress of the entrepreneurs they support. You can download comprehensive progress reports that has details of each coaching session, the future prospectus, and video recordings of every coaching session.

For further information, reach out to us at info@mysme.co.za or contact our offices at 021 834 9799.