TGCSA: A means for driving biz travel

Duty of care, especially relating to traveller safety, should be one of the most important factors for corporates when choosing accommodation for their travellers. But just last year we reported how only 19% of organisations were implementing safety and security checks for the accommodation their travellers are sent to, as well as the rise in safety concerns by female business travellers.

The Tourism Grading Council of South Africa (TGCSA) is the only legally mandated entity in South Africa authorised to implement and use the star grading system to quality assure accommodation. It does so across numerous categories and product types, including large corporate hotels.

The TGCSA identifies safety as a core requirement when grading [corporate focused] accommodation. This was done considering safety-related criteria specific to the category or type of accommodation such as in-room facilities, door-locking mechanisms, safes, peepholes as well as those for the property as a whole, said Darryl Erasmus Chief Quality Assurance Officer of the TGCSA.

In addition to its mandate of quality assurance, of which safety is a requirement, the TGCSA also considers inclusive growth elements such as transformation to be key drivers behind its business practices. “The TGCSA, in association with the National Department of Tourism, also makes available incentive funding for grading support, and one of the criteria associated with access to this funding is the BBBEE level certification of the establishment or entity,” said Erasmus.

When a potential customer is in the process of choosing a supplier, the customer’s own BEE level is affected by the supplier’s level. And the higher the supplier’s level, the more the customer can claim toward its procurement spend. This means that if a company procures mostly from BEE-compliant entities with a high score, it results in the company’s procurement score being high. A BBBEE certificate does not only offer economic benefits, it also shows clients and business partners that the company is committed to transformation.

However, Erasmus noted that the TGCSA’s mandate was to assure quality standards in the hospitality sector.  The level of BBBEE compliance for a property is not part of the standard assessment completed.

Customers looking for corporate hotels graded by the TGCSA can find a hotel within a specific region and with the preferred star grading directly on TGCSA’s website through a filtered search engine.

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