The South African Youth Travel Confederation (SAYTC) is a non-profit trade organisation representing the youth tourism industry. Originally formed in 1998 under the name Backpacking South Africa with the aim of of cooperatively marketing South Africa as a backpacking destination, the organisation expanded in 2007 to include other youth tourism sectors.
SAYTC’s mission is:
- to market South Africa globally as a preferred youth tourism destination.
- to establish a professional youth tourism industry based upon accreditation and guidelines.
SAYTC is membership-driven and represents operators like you and addresses the concerns and interests of all operators throughout South Africa. Members are represented by the following sectors:
- Backpacking South Africa
- Education South Africa
- Tours & transport South Africa
- Volunteering South Africa
- Tourism services
Membership is not limited to South Africa, but includes members from neighbouring Southern African countries in Southern Africa.
Most youth tourism service operators in the region are independent, but recognise the need for a national body, that is looking after the needs of visitors to South Africa. All members have undertaken to abide by basic standards and work towards the common good of both the traveller and industry.
However, the Nelson Mandela Bay has been confirmed as the proud host city of 2017 SOUTH AFRICAN YOUTH TRAVEL CONFEDERATION (SAYTC) CONFERENCE #YTC2017 which is scheduled to keep off between the 12th and 14th September 2017 bringing together a total of180 delegates from across the nation.
Representation from across the country includes the Western Cape, Garden Route, Eastern Cape, Kwa-Zulu Natal and Gauteng which are the focus routes for the youth industry.
A fruitful collaboration between SATYC and Nelson Mandela Bay Tourism (NMBT) brings together youth from around the country to participate in dialogue and future opportunities for the industry during Tourism Month under the Tourism Month theme, “We do tourism sustainably.”
SATYC Eastern Cape Chair, Mr Aiden Lawrence shared, “I’m very excited as this is the largest SAYTC conference and is being hosted in Nelson Mandela Bay for the first time. We are ready to showcase the dynamic youthful energy and small businesses offerings in the area and hope the conference will encourage more national and international lengths of stays in the destination.”
The first day of the programme which commenced on Tuesday, 12th September 2017; at Werk Space- Chicky’s Yard in Baakens Valley includes registration and is then dedicated to showcase Nelson Mandela Bay to delegates who will visit various attractions that highlights the Nelson Mandela Bay Pass. The second day, 13th September, was held at Summerstrand Hotel, where robust panel discussions took place. Whilst the third and final day, 14 September, involved a South African Tourism Services Association (SATSA) speed marketing session at the same venue.
Discussions will include topics that affect the current situation in the Youth Tourism market such as Economic state in South Africa in tourism; Domestic and international youth travel market; Bridging the private sector with government, development agencies and tourism bodies and Social and environmental: Moving the industry forward, to name a few.
As the structure at this year’s conference is focused on social development, it has included the Eastern Cape Development Corporation (ECDC) as an important part of the first day of the conference.
The ECDC will hosted a workshop aimed at all entrepreneurs and staff from the youth tourism sector. The workshop is designed to be an engaging interaction with stimulating group discussions. It was a speed marketing initiative, to give front-of-house/frontline staff an opportunity to engage directly with business owners, government representatives, young entrepreneurs and activists from across the spectrum of the tourism industry.
The South African Tourism Annual report of 2016 showcases that the sector received 3.3 million visitors (travellers under 35), who on average stay 8 bed nights and spend an average of R8900.00 per trip. Furthermore, youth tourism in SA represents approximately 35% of domestic trips with 45% of youth travellers arriving from international destinations.
The conference brings together, youth tourism industry representatives, providing them with a marketing platform where various stakeholders are invited to be exposed to the Youth Travel Industry in South Africa. Through this interactive platform delegates will be participating in a networking session organised by SATSA in collaboration with SAYTC.
“We find it important to create a space where youth travel is encouraged in the Bay; and have created a platform through our #Sharethebay campaign to fast track engagements with the youth travel sector.”, confirmed Mr Titus Chuene, Nelson Mandela Bay Tourism marketing manager.
This year the conference has expanded the vision to involve a diverse group of delegates, bringing together an entrepreneurial spirit. The conference is also envisioned to showcase the crucial role the Eastern Cape plays in welcoming tourist as well as showcasing the diversity that exist.
Issued by NMBT