We all have a duty to give back, to mentor, and to help others flourish. If you are lucky enough to be successful in your industry, you need to find ways of sharing your skills and experience to help others grow.
“We understand that we have a powerful position of prominence in the province’s tourism industry and that we have a lot we can offer others in terms of practical support. It is for this reason we put a lot of effort into our enterprise development programme so that we can help others in the tourism space become as successful as possible and achieve their true potential. This, in turn, will help to stimulate economic growth within the province,” says Selma Hercules, Finance Director of Table Mountain Aerial Cableway Company (TMACC).
One recent beneficiary of this programme, she says, is the Cape Town-based tourism operator Halaal Hopper. Owner Fayrouz Holliday-October says her journey in the industry began 27 years ago although her company has only been in existence for the past five years.
“I always wanted to become an Ambassador for South Africa and be posted to some exotic diplomatic mission, but I never studied the right subjects that would allow me this opportunity. I have a huge love for people, places, and food, and that’s why I decided to focus my energy on becoming a part of the tourism industry.”
Her passion, she explains, is to showcase the beauty of South Africa to local and international guests and to encourage them to experience the warm South African hospitality and get immersed in what the nation has to offer.
“My agency specifically caters for a Muslim traveller although we encourage everyone from all religious and cultural backgrounds to travel with us and experience the many Halaal attractions that are on offer in Cape Town.”
But being a tour operator is not easy.
Holliday-October says the main challenge lies in finding establishments that cater for a Muslim traveller or Halaal consumer, which is particularly tricky to find outside of the provincial borders of the Western Cape. This is why she hopes the work done by the newly formed Halaal Tourism Association of South Africa will boost advocacy, training, and development in this market segment.
“I first met (TMACC Managing Director) Wahida (Parker) and her team about five years ago when I listened to her speak at a workshop. Since that day I have learned so much from the entire Cableway team about how to run a business and how to grow as a tour operator. I learned all the practical day-to-day things that people often neglect – such as financial planning and how to develop your own website.
“They especially helped me understand how to cater for communities that may have been overlooked in the past so that tourism can become as inclusive as possible,” she says.
Hercules believes that the Western Cape (and Cape Town, in particular) has already managed to firmly entrench its positive reputation among global tourists. If the city can make itself even more attractive to Muslim tourism, then the province stands the chance of tapping into a market segment that some estimate to have a buying power of around $3trn.
“Everyone already loves our gorgeous city and its attractions. By investing and supporting Muslim tourism operators such as Fayrouz, we can make even more people fall in love. Our economy depends on the success of every segment of our tourism sector.”
Hercules says TMACC recently received their Crescent Rated Membership from Crescent Rating, a global rating service that guides travellers on choosing destinations that cater for Halaal-conscious Muslim travellers.