By Tshepo Mogwane
2010 is finally here! We’ve talked about it and dreamt about the fortunes that would accompany it. And now the time has come to make all those dreams a reality. If accommodation rentals are your game, then you have every reason to feel excited about 2010. Whether you’re a property owner or an agent, it means one thing: Big Bucks!
But if you one of those people that have been living under a rock for the last couple of years, then you can expected a challenging time. Between June & November 2007, MATCH the professional services company appointed by FIFA to manage the official accommodation solution, embarked on a national road show to address the issue around the acquiring of a grading status from the Tourism Grading Council of SA and address all the questions around the signing of agreements with the relevant local accommodation providers. The deadline set for the reservation system to be in place was 30 June 2008. But it’s not too late. You can take steps to make your money now.
- Firstly, make sure that your business is registered and/or has the relevant permit to operate in your residential area.
- Next get yourself in touch with the Department of Tourism and find out how you can get financial support in obtaining your grading status.
- The Department of Tourism together with the Business Council of South Africa and the Federated Hospitality Association of South Africa have recently launched www.rooms4u.travel, a South African accommodation booking portal aimed at assisting the industry in marketing themselves locally and internationally, with an easy to use point of sale service.
- Another initiative is South Africa’s first National Tourism Contact Centre (+2787 803 INFO (4636)) operating 24/7/365, with its new comprehensive website in English, French, Italian, German, Portuguese, Dutch and Spanish.
This brings us to the pitfalls. Every business has pitfalls and the accommodation industry is no different. The first pitfall is the pricing trap and with the World Cup the industry is currently going through a pricing hike war chasing short term profits. If you allow yourself to get caught in that type of thinking, your business may not be sustainable in the long term which will result in failure.
Secondly you can rest assured that SARS won’t forget to collect on those rentals. However, it doesn’t have to be all doom and gloom, because you’ll also have an opportunity to score on a few deductibles such as commission paid to rental agents, interest on bonds, electricity, water and service fees or levies.
And with all this information available to assist you, hopefully your business will be one of the shining stars of the World Cup.