TOURISM is big business, and conferences on how to make money from tourism are quite a big industry, occupying their own special niche. Just this week a special conference was held in Sandton covering such topics as business travel and leisure tourism.
The Gauteng Convention and Events Bureau, one of the many participants, kindly offered its help to professional conference organisations, known in the trade as PCOs, when bidding to host events in the province.
The tourism indaba (“summit” sounds too much like Mount Everest) was organised under the theme of “Value of the Traveller” and included talks by industry gurus, one of whom was described as a “trends commentator”.
“Barriers to travel and the question of how visitable is destination SA will be a focus of some of the tracks organised during the two-day platform,” a press release from the Tourism Business Council of SA stated (in rather tortured English) well ahead of the event, having promoted the indaba to a platform, but nothing as lofty as a summit.
The Insider wonders whether words such as “platform” and “summit” are the bureau’s way of subliminally promoting travel such as adventure travel (scaling summits) and rail travel (waiting on platforms to be taken to a summit).
DELOITTE associate director Alex Gwala did an interesting comparison recently. He took five resource-rich countries and compared their mining industry’s tax to gross domestic product ratios to see who is on top.
Russia won by a huge margin with its mining sector contributing 33%, followed by Guinea in West Africa with 26%, then South Africa with 18%, Chile 15% and Australia with 8%.
One wonders what the government would consider an “equitable share of mineral resource rents” because, in any reasonable person’s book, 18% is not to be frowned upon.
Seeking a celebrity
THE Insider is in receipt of a letter that is written with a worthy cause in mind.
The letter writer says that he is “trying to make a difference to the health and lives of the less fortunate, here in the forgotten Eastern Cape of South Africa (notably Nelson Mandela Bay) and is working with the councillors in townships of Zwide/Veeplaas to put on a health event on World AIDS Day, this will include testing and counselling for HIV, cancer awareness (breast and testicular), diabetes awareness, and need a celebrity to come onboard and rock up at the event to ensure that the message gets across. He can be contacted on 084 960-6258 if you want to help.”
So, if you’re that celebrity, give him a call, he sounds like a down-to-earth guy, who describes himself as an “Old, fat, bald, white man”, but you can call him David.
“A SIGN of celebrity is that his name is often worth more than his services.”
Daniel J Boorstin, US historian (1914—2004)
• E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org