ASATA to launch business incubator to strengthen tourism development and drive transformation

A team discussing business solutions at a meeting. Picture: Unsplash

A team discussing business solutions at a meeting. Picture: Unsplash

Published Mar 9, 2023


According to ASATA, the business incubator aims to further strengthen and streamline the tourism sector’s B-BBEE transformation agenda in an impactful manner as it recovers from Covid-19 while also offering enterprise and supplier development services to ASATA members.

CEO Otto de Vries said the organisation had identified the need for an industry-led business incubator to build and further strengthen South Africa’s travel and eventing industry, particularly in a post-Covid environment, as tourism is a backbone industry and an integral player in our national economic recovery.

“By aggregating investment spend,, ASATA can have a much greater impact on the travel industry, while increasing transformation buy-in and reach,” said De Vries.

He said that the association’s business incubator will be established as a non-profit arm to enable members to earn enterprise development (ED points) and supplier development (SD points) towards their B-BBEE scorecard in an effort to drive transformation that will have far-reaching benefits across the industry.

“We aim for the business incubator to be industry-led, so that staff can be part of the beneficiary selection process and transformation journey led by their employers. ASATA can also nominate beneficiaries on a business’ behalf with some guidance as to the intentions of their transformation spend,” added De Vries.

ASATA members will help sponsor up to 60 beneficiaries per financial year at a cost of R95 000 (excluding VAT) and provide custom-made (needs based), programmes suited to each of the beneficiaries and their businesses, for a period of one year (aligned to the financial year -end of the funder).

It will allow travel businesses the flexibility to contribute towards the transformation of a number of small-, medium- and micro-enterprises (SMMEs) that are at least 51% black- owned, rather than channelling their transformation funds to a single organisation.

ASATA has also revealed that it partnered with Sigma International, a level 1 B-BBEE company, to launch its travel business incubator. Sigma International has already established similar tried-and-tested business incubators for the Department of Tourism and a number of large industry stakeholders across various sectors such as tourism, mining and forestry and paper.

According to Sigma International CEO and co-founder Akash Singh, their six other travel incubators have already impacted 258 beneficiaries, big and small, across the entire tourism value-chain nationwide.

“We hope that once ASATA’s business incubator gains traction we will be able to welcome even more beneficiaries in the following financial year,” said Singh.

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