Looking to the future
The 2010 SAYTC Conference & AGM was held in the lovely Garden Route town of Storms River from 7 to 9 September. Tube ‘n Axe Backpackers started off the conference entertainment on the first evening with a delicious braai and music from a local reggae band. Most delegates were bright and shiny for the next day of activities, the higlight of which was Braam Malherbe, who inspired the delegates with his talk about the 2006 “Miles for Smiles” challenge in which he ran, walked and climbed the length of the Great Wall of China in just 98 days.
Henk Kleynhans, speaker from Skyrove and internet junkie shared his vision for a better and cheaper way for internet to be available everywhere! Lorraine Jenks, owner of Greenstuff, suppliers of eco-friendly hospitality supplies advised delegates on which products to use. Cany Bugler very kindly facilitated the teambuilding exercises that had delegates running all around Storms River planting trees, painting bins and in general getting hot, sweaty and dirty.
Wacky comedian, Mark Sampson, no stranger to SAYTC members provided his humorous services as MC, and freely made fun of delegates during the rock party night in which several Elvis impersonators entertained delegates.
Delegate & speaker profiles:Click here to download the 2010 conference program.
The fourth annual SAYTC Youth and Adventure Travel Conference, which was held in Storms River this year, was a huge success with everyone impressed by the location, the speakers, the organisation and of course, the parties. Everything was within stumbling distance, keeping in tune with the green theme.
Before I enter into the main body of my report I would like to say a few words on the aims of the SAYTC Conference, which is becoming bigger and better each year.
The aim of the SAYTC Conference each year is to:
- get maximum participation from all our members from all over South Africa;
- network our members to each other;
- form long lasting relationships, both professionally and socially;
- have informative and industry-related topics and speakers;
- have open forum discussions about pertinent issues;
- and finally, to have FUN!!
With the above in mind we embarked on the task of welcoming and the registering all our delegates to Storms River and to the Protea Hotel. On hand we had some hair-raising shots and some pre- conference visits and activities.
The Eastern Cape Parks and Tourism Association (ECPTA) was our main sponsor and all were welcomed by Susan Wilson shortly after registration. Delegates were feeling rather spoiled with goody bags consisting of gifts galore. The bags were knitted from recycled plastic bags by a community project in Plettenberg Bay (driven by Starling Village Backpackers). All the goodies were either locally produced or consisted of something related to our carbon neutral footprint. Not to mention all the free tours!
The evening entertainment was sponsored and hosted by Tube ‘n’ Axe who celebrated their 10th Birthday Bash. And a bash it was! We were treated to a yummy potjie made by local caterers and then danced the night away in front of the Reggae band. Those who had enough courage (or beer) attempted the mechanical bull ride – something that appears to be far easier than it really is!
The conference day began with an official welcome from Susan Wilson (ECPTA) with a breathtaking video of the Eastern Cape. We were all pleased to see that a few of our members feature in the video and it is encouraging to see that the ECPTA recognises our sector.
She was followed by an inspiring talk and session by motivational speaker, Braam Malherbe, who, together with a friend, ran the entire length of the Great Wall of China. Braam was incredibly inspiring and had all the delegates in tears.
You will, of course, all remember Mark Sampson for a while to come. He kept us awake in between the speakers with his very witty banter as the master of ceremonies. After a night of seeing all your industry friends at a big party, this is a tall order, but Mark did not fail for a second and even managed to auction off a few things during the day.
Some of the other speakers we had were Lorraine Jenks (Greenstuff.co.za), Lolla Meyer (FTTSA), Henk Kleynhans (Skyrove) and Andrew Phillips. Please have a look at the attached program to read more about them.
For the first time this year, we decided to move away from all-day speakers and instead participated in teambuilding activities with Tri-Active, facilitated by Cany Bugler. And what fun! We were sent running around Storms River, painting, sculpting, filling out crossword puzzles, hanging from ropes, and don’t forget the 300 trees we planted as part of a forest rehabilitation project. One team planted over 100 trees! We received great feedback and will definitely keep this in our program next year!
Thanks to Hostelworld, in particular the newly welcomed and now SA addict, Cliona, who sponsored the gala dinner on the second night. It was Rock ‘n’ Roll themed with our own Elvis (who really thinks he is Elvis) and we all dressed up with Michelle from Happy Hippo ( Elvis) and Sabine from ATC (Marilyn Monroe) sharing the coveted best dressed female prize and Braden from Face Adrenalin the best male.
Apart from a few speakers, Lolla who informed us about responsible tourism, Henk who told us how internet geeks became Wi-Fi cowboys and Andrew making us aware of the heavy footprint all our beer drinking was causing, our last day was filled with sector meetings and the AGM. Please find the minutes of the AGM attached. We finished the conference off with Lieutenant X, a sexy band from the area, rocking tunes by bands like Kings of Leon and Pearl Jam and for the die hards, a drink with Gard (Garden Route mascot) in Tube ‘n’ Axe was in order.
And just when we thought our week of fun and adventure had come to an end, Island Vibe invited everyone to Jeffrey’s Bay for the opening of their new beach bar, which ended up as a hat party (if you’ve been there you’ll know what I mean). Respect to those who still had the energy!
All in all, the conference was incredibly informative, educating on cutting edge issues while at the same time being more fun than is healthy!
An event of this magnitude doesn’t happen without a lot of help from a lot of people. There are many people to thank:
In particular, we would like to thank our main sponsors: Eastern Cape Parks and Tourism Association(ECPTA) & Hostelworld It was really great to have ECPTA as one of our main sponsors as they have been of really good assistance to our industry for many years. Hostelworld, for the third year now, has been a wonderful partner. Without their significant financial injection the conference could never have succeeded the way it did.
Green Leaf Environmental Standard for assisting us with our carbon footprint.
All our exhibitors who educated our members on products and services available.
Thanks to the Baz Bus and Nomad Tours for providing a free bus/truck to help get our delegates there.
Acacia for the recycled lanyards.
The variety of teas (and indeed a variety of everything but tea) from Island Vibe, Penthouse on Long and 33 South Backpackers.
A special thank you to all those members who gave items so generously to be auctioned – and thanks to those who bid so enthusiastically.
All the companies who sponsored an ad in the program.
All the members who brought gifts for the children of the local creche that will be handed out at their Christmas party at the end of the year- we managed to collect 2 big boxes of toys.
Everyone in Storms River who welcomed all our delegates so warmly.
Thanks to Braam Malherbe, Lorraine Jenks, Candy Bugler, Lolla Meyer, Andrew Phillips and Henk Kleynhans for their challenging and stimulating presentations.
Mark Sampson who kept us on our toes (or rolling on the floor) at all times. Elvis (the real one) who entertained us some more, the Reggae Ambassadors on the first night and the band on the last night, Lieutenant X.
A special thanks to Marius from Tube ‘n’ Axe and his Garden Route team. Deborah, Marlene and Gavin from SAYTC. Jan, Anne and Antoinette from the Tsitisikamma Hotel who quietly made things run smoothly, but without whose help the job would have been much harder. Lyle from Afrovibe Backpackers for the well-supported annual SAYTC Golf day.
Thanks for Jacques and Sadia from the Alternative Route for the great job they did on the conference programme. The profiles of the members, speakers, etc. made it a programme to hold onto!\
Starling Village for the goody bags.
Jimmy Wayland Storms river Ratepayers and Residents Association (local communication to all residents and village clean up prior to the conference)
Ashley Wentworth Tsitsikamma Tourism Association communication to all tourism practitioners Tsitsikamma and liaison with ectb through TTA
SANParks Arbour event and tree sponsorship.
Neighbours of all the event hosts for their spirit of tolerance and understanding of the importance of the events.
All suppliers who gave special rates to conference delegates
And lastly the biggest THANK YOU goes out to all the fantastic SAYTC members who came out from far corners of the country and participated in this unforgettable event.
That you left the conference with twice the energy you arrived with and went back home to rejuvenate SAYTC & your businesses with many more friends to help you.
We hope that we achieved our aims of the conference and that next year we have more delegates, just as good speakers and the vibe to enhance the SAYTC brand.
- Number of delegates: 130-from all over South Africa.
- Amount raised at auction: R27 000.
- Total profit of the conference for SAYTC: estimated R40 000.
- Sponsorship money received: R120 000.
- Estimated spend in Storms River: R400.000.
- Estimated spend in EC and Garden Route: R400 000+