The Tourism Business Council of South Africa (TBCSA) is the umbrella organisation representing the unified voice of business in the travel and tourism sector. We are a not-for-profit, member-centric organisation mandated with the task of:
TBCSA serves to unite and influence the diverse travel and tourism sector, to contribute to a competitive, responsible and inclusive South African (and tourism) economy.
OUR BACKGROUND AND HISTORY
South Africa’s travel and tourism landscape looked very different prior to the establishment of the TBCSA.
With the existence of only a few industry sector associations, namely ASATA (Association of Southern African Travel Agents), FEDHASA (Federated Hospitality Association of South Africa), SATSA (Southern African Tourism Services Association), SAVRALA (Southern African Vehicle Rental & Leasing Association, and SAACI (Southern African Association for the Conference Industry), there was no cohesive sector voice to tackle key macro-economic issues that impacted on travel and tourism. A co-ordinated structure was required in which industry could better interact amongst themselves, businesses, and more importantly government as well as key policy makers.
It was with this rationale that discussions began in 1995 to set up the Tourism Business Council of South Africa (TBCSA). The organisation’s primary aim was to provide a single-point of interface for government to engage with the travel and tourism private sector. The organisation’s mandate from the very beginning was to represent the ‘voice’ of the industry and its core functions included lobbying and guiding government in regards to policy making on behalf and for the benefit of its members.
The TBCSA was established in February 1996 by leading tourism businesses and associations to form a unified platform to engage with the South African government around the development of the sector. The following leading corporations were actively involved in the establishment of the TBCSA: Coca-Cola, SA Breweries, Johnnic Publishing Limited and Nedcor– referred to as Crown Members.
At the time, its primary purpose of establishing the Council was to involve all stakeholders in the development of macro-economic strategies that create an enabling environment for tourism development.
By maintaining influential relationship with sector stakeholders and government on behalf for organised travel and tourism businesses, the Council sought to fulfil the role of being a key conduit between public and private sector organisations in the country. Other core functions identified in the organisation’s foundation years included:
In 1999 the TBCSA expanded its mandate to include destination marketing and underwent a comprehensive review of the marketing structures for destination South Africa. It was through this review that TOMSA – Tourism Marketing South Africa – was born.
TOMSA was established with the premise that if the travel and tourism private sector can also contribute to the official (public sector) promotion of South Africa, it can significantly add to more domestic and international tourist arrivals to the country. The TBCSA would be used as the administrative and promotional vehicle for TOMSA.
In 2006, ten years after the TBCSA’s establishment, the organisation moved into a new era where different needs and approaches were implemented by the TBCSA Board to keep on par with the rapidly growing global trends and advances in technology. The Board identified the following 10 macro priorities for the TBCSA (in no order of importance):
To date the TBCSA has been operating for over 22 years and has and has helped lobby and guide the sector through a period of unprecedented growth and development. The sector has now entered an era of maturity and development aligned with the country’s democracy.
Composition of the TBCSA
The TBCSA is made up of fee-paying members from leading industry business; recognised sector associations and corporations that appreciate the economic value of travel and tourism even where their primary business may be outside of the sector.
The Council is governed by an elected management board serving a two-year term and run by dedicated team under the leadership of a Chief Executive Officer who is a member of the management board.
Current Board Leadership:
*Based on finance records
- 1996 : TBCSA is established
- 1998 : TOMSA is established
- 2007 : TBCSA hosts the inaugural Hospitality Investment Conference Africa (HICA)
- 2009 : TBCSA introduces Career Guidance Workshops
- TBCSA partners with Department of Tourism to launch the Tourism Service Excellence Initiative (TSI)
- 2010 : TBCSA launches the Tourism Business Index (TBI) in collaboration with FNB and Grant Thornton SA
- TBCSA is a signatory to FTT’s Tourism Child Protection Code of Conduct
- 2011 : TBCSA contributes to the National Tourism Sector Strategy (NTSS)
- TBCSA joins Business Unity South Africa (BUSA)
- 2013 : The Tourism Safety Initiative (TSI) is incorporated into TBCSA
- TBCSA partners with Department of Tourism to host Tourism Leadership Dialogues
- 2012 : TBCSA hosts the inaugural South African Travel and Tourism Industry Conference (SATTIC)
- 2015 : TBCSA hosts UNWTO General Secretary and WTTC President alongside SA Minister of Tourism
- 2016 : TOMSA launches the Sunday Times Finders Keepers Campaign
- TBCSA establishes an in-house Policy, Knowledge and Strategic Projects portfolio
- 2017 : TBCSA contributes to the National Tourism Sector Strategy 2016 – 2026
- 2018 : TBCSA contributes to the Tourism Month Repositioning Concept Document
- Collaboration with the National Department of Tourism to develop the Tourism BEE Charter, then a first of its kind in the country
- Contributing to the re-engineering of the Tourism Grading Council (based on the Team Tourism concept in collaboration with the then Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism)
- Contributing to the production of the SMME Empowerment series of “how to” books and the establishment of the ETEYA Entrepreneurship Awards
- Contributing to the establishment of the Tourism Enterprise Partnership with part of the funding coming from private sector
- Successful lobbying for the establishment of a dedicated National Tourism Department (NDT)
- Collaboration with industry stakeholders to develop the National Service Excellence Strategy, which formed the basis of the Tourism Service Excellence Initiative