Brand SA is helping businesses to put FS on the map

Stakeholders who were talking to businesses at the event are from the left David Mkhabela, Thabang Selemela (Provincial Director of Tourism and Fevelopment), Makhotso Seekoie, Toni Gumede (Brand SA's Stakeholder Relations Manager), Senzenina Moroe and Owen Kumalo (Afrosonique Productions, Director: Marketing) PHOTO: SAZLY HARTZENBERG

This past week the Free State’s tourism sector came together in Bloemfontein to empower the various stakeholders to become Nation Brand advocates. The aim of the event was for all individuals who are looking into doing business in the tourism sector to be able to market their country as a competitive holiday destination.

The Brand SA’s stakeholder relations manager, Toni Gumede, told Bloemfontein Courant that the event was targeted at business people who have an interest in the tourism sector because they are ones who interact with people from other countries.

Gumede explained that they try to guide these businesses so that when they interact with the rest of world they are able to build a positive nation brand. “Our mandate as Brand SA is to ensure when we leave an audience such as today, we leave them with a view of the country that is coherent, cohesive and coordinated,” she said.

Many questions arose at the event from small businesses owners, pertaining to specifically the Free State’s tourism sector and the different holiday destinations. Businesses in the area wanted to know how the department is planning to give exposure to their businesses.

The Department of Economic, Small Businesses Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs’ provincial director of tourism and development, Thabang Selemela, said that the department has many plans up its sleeves to ensure that the Free State flourishes in this regard. They will be looking at how to help with funding and general marketing to ensure that the province is put back on the map.