Over many years of operating cultural and nature based leisure properties, the management of Thokozela have developed a thorough understanding of the key principals required to successfully operate facilities in this sector of the tourism market.
The services offered by Thokozela to the owners of leisure properties can be divided into three specific areas of responsibility.
Thokozela undertakes the day to day management of lodges/cultural tourism facilities. This service includes the following;
- The preparation of a business plan for the business which shall incorporate financial feasibilities, operating budgets, capital expenditure budgets, marketing plan, cash flow forecast, a summary of strategic actions for every ensuing year, etc.
- Developing HR Policies & Procedures and maintaining adequate and efficient staff for the conduct of the business;
- Staff training
- Developing an operational Policies and Procedures Manual for the business;
- Ensuring that the business is in possession of all such licenses and authorities as are required by law
- Maintaining proper records and books of account in respect of all matters relating to the business
- Installing property management and reservations systems
- Carrying out maintenance and refurbishment programs when required
- Furnishing the owners with a monthly operating report in respect of the operations of the business
- Central purchasing which drives high levels of cost control and increased profits
- Quality control procedures
- Guest relations
Marketing & Sales
A comprehensive sales & marketing strategy is clearly defined for each property. The key areas of the marketing service provided by Thokozela include the following;
- Brochure Inclusion - properties are included in all corporate brochures distributed to a comprehensive database of travel trade and corporate clients;
- Website – automatic inclusion in the Thokozela internet marketing strategy by way of its extensive web presence which has been engineered to generate maximum exposure.
- Trade Shows – In order to assure high visibility and market penetration both to consumers and the trade, Thokozela maintains an extensive promotional show program.
- Promotions – Thokozela’s promotional strategy includes innovative trade exchange initiatives with selected trade partners, which includes airlines, car hire companies, media publications, etc.
- Central Reservations – Inclusion in Thokozela’s Central Reservation system which also allows for room inventory to be distributed to all appropriate reservation channels in real time;
- Sales Representation – In recognition of a large trade and corporate based industry, besides the consumer generally, Thokozela retains a number of representatives who focus on converting companies, agents and wholesalers to group products and services. This service includes:
- Mailings of brochures to a database of all tour operators in the respective regions;
- Distribution of brochures on sales calls;
- Meeting with product/contract managers to get properties featured in their brochures;
- In-depth product training with reservation staff;
- Distribution of brochures to all consumer and trade enquiries;
- E-mailing news and rate distribution to the travel trade in the region;
- Promotion at media events;
- Arranging and escorting “educationals” for PCO’s and Tour Operators;
- Reporting on sales activities;
- Press releases to the media;
- Advising on best advertising opportunities.
Technical Support Service
In the event of property owners electing to retain their own management and marketing, but recognizes the need for a support structure from a specialist management company, Thokozela can offer the following Technical Support:
- Development of operational Policies & Procedures for the operation;
- Development of minimum brand standards for the operation;
- Provision and access to a central procurement service;
- Building a Mystery Guest analysis service;
- Action plans and audits to ensure that guest service levels are maintained;
- Regular Operational and Financial audits to ensure that full potential performance is realized;
- Preparation of budgets;
- Quality control and action planning to achieve and maintain the required standards;
- Developing Human Resources Policies and Procedures for the operation;
- Staff Training, in both operational rolls as well as senior posts in terms of skill transfer;
- Developing specialized accounting, property management and reservations systems;
- Full reporting and monthly action plans;
- Developing and monitoring the Food & Beverage action plan.
Thokozela has positioned itself as a leader in the field of Development and Management of community tourism products in mainly rural areas in Southern Africa by using a unique organisational structure which meets all the expectations and principles of the African Renaissance.
The services of Thokozela in this respect are:
- To assist communities operating Community Based Tourism ventures;
- To capacitate and empower communities in developing tourism opportunities and ventures;
- To develop and provide training programmes to communities for tourism opportunities;
- To manage tourism facilities on behalf of the owners of the properties;
- To market the tourism facilities;
- To determine the standards; and
- To establish a unique tourism brand for the various products.