by Jacques Maritz

Partners in SMME development

Tourism industry leader joins Tourism Enterprise Partnership

Craig Drysdale, CEO of Springbok Atlas Luxury Charter commits to support TEP’s Enterprise Development Portfolio.
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Dr Salifou Siddo, chief executive for the Tourism Enterprise Partnership (TEP), has welcomed the announcement from Craig Drysdale, CEO of Springbok Atlas Luxury Charter, about its commitment to support TEP’s Enterprise Development Portfolio (EDP).

TEP’s EDP allows companies to invest their enterprise development funds and receive recognition upfront.

Drysdale commented, “I saw firsthand what a little mentorship can achieve, through assisting TEP’s Durban-based SMME client, Kuhle Tours. Today, they form part of Springbok Atlas’s contract for indaba, ensuring delegates have one thing less to worry about.

"With this in mind, I met with Dr Salifou and saw a way of impacting on the tourism industry at large by investing with TEP and their Enterprise Development Portfolio.

"TEP has a proven and audited track record, making them a sector leader in the field of developing and supporting tourism SMMEs. The fact that the transaction was completed in a mere 24-hour cycle is another testament to TEP’s efficiency and proof that we made the correct decision,” he added.

Dr Siddo said: “A key pillar for job creation is the development of entrepreneurship. TEP supports the development of entrepreneurship by providing SMMEs with access to information, skills, markets and finance. Strong partnerships are required for expanded growth, and TEP’s EDP offers a proven and sustainable solution that allows any interested organisation to invest their economic development funds with TEP.

"The investing partner will earn upfront BBBEE points for enterprise development and, with business development offices situated in every province, TEP has the infrastructure to expand investment contributions to the most remote areas in South Africa.”

In response to the announcement, Minister of Tourism Marthinus van Schalkwyk said: “I would like to commend Springbok Atlas Luxury Charter for stepping up and reacting to my call to action of the industry – in September 2012 at the first South African Travel & Tourism Industry Conference in Gauteng – to achieve measurable results through building stronger public-private sector partnerships.

"With this support, Springbok Atlas has joined the ranks of HRG Rennies Travel, City Lodge, Gooderson Leisure and the Thebe Tourism Group, to name a few, as private sector partners to TEP and therefore the government.

"Enterprise development is crucial not only to growing domestic tourism, but in creating sustainable jobs. The Department of Tourism looks forward to welcoming more partners who can support TEP to keep up with the good job it has been doing within the tourism SMME sector.”

Moeketsi Mosola, CEO of Imperial Tourism Division, said in conclusion: "Imperial Tourism Division and its subsidiary Springbok Atlas Charter are proud to be associated with TEP in enterprise development within the tourism industry. Imperial, as an entrepreneurial company, is committed to the development and support of SMMEs.

"This sector of the tourism industry is critical to the creation of jobs in our country. We are looking forward to an exciting partnership and would like to call on the rest of the tourism industry to join us.”

TEP is a not-for-profit company and a flagship public-private partnership. It is one of the longest standing and most successful SMME development initiatives in South Africa.

Since inception in 2000, TEP has provided support to over 4 000 emerging tourism businesses which, collectively, have created over 70 000 jobs and generated over R5-billion in turnover within the tourism industry, as audited and verified by PricewaterhouseCoopers and SizweNtsalubaGobodo.

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