South Africa has just launched its Service Excellence campaign which is aimed at supporting the country’s Tourism strategies and policies.
The Deputy Minister of Tourism, Tokozile Xasa, launched the National Tourism Service Excellence Requirements (SANS 1197) in Johannesburg yesterday. They have the potential of being adopted by the International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO) into becoming an international standard.
Boni Mehlomakulu, CEO of the SABS said: “The South African tourism industry is currently growing three times faster than the global average, and, if we are to maintain this growth rate, there must be a collective effort to ensure that all tourism establishments maintain the highest standards to guarantee guest satisfaction, from the initial contact of booking until when tourists land in our country.”
According to a Government statement, “service delivery in the tourism sector is regulated in terms of the Consumer Protection Act, 2008 (Act No 68 of 2008), which places emphasis on the establishment of national norms and standards that relate to the protection of consumers by providing for improved standards of consumer information in order to prohibit unfair marketing and business practices.
The requirements have four key focus areas:
Marketing – provides guidelines for organisations on the importance of providing constant information to customers and ensuring that the information provided is a true indication of what customers can expect from an establishment;
Products – provides guidelines on the state of tourism products, the TGCSA grading criteria have been taken into consideration in developing this section;
Delivery of Service – provides guidelines on provision of excellent service;
Monitoring and Evaluation – provides guidelines on the importance of conducting research and gaining more information about your customers so as to gain a competitive advantage.
Xasa also introduced a National Service Excellence campaign with the theme Excellent Service Starts with Me. The campaign is aimed at creating awareness and educating consumers and tourism product owners about the requirements. It will be rolled out in the nine provinces from July.
The National Department of Tourism (NDT) and South African Tourism (SAT) have collaborated to present the NDT’s National Service Excellence campaign jointly with the SAT’s Welcome campaign.
Having officially launched the SE Campaign, the next step will be to create awareness and to encourage support for the campaign.
The aim of the SABS Tourism Service Excellence Standard document is to
a) introduce generic standards for planning, developing, implementing and improving service
excellence in the tourism value chain;
b) introduce specific minimum requirements for measuring organizational performance and for the
monitoring of service standards in the tourism value chain;
c) introduce a credible service standard that includes credible marketing, quality products and
excellent service; and
d) to introduce a performance system that enables effective monitoring and evaluation.