Stellenbosch 360 2015 AGM Highlights
Prof Andreas van Wyk, chairman and Ms Annemarie Ferns, CEO, congratulating Stellenbosch 360 staff members “with the organisation’s best year ever” during the AGM at Lanzerac.
These are the highlights of our financial year 2014/15, held at the Lanzerac Hotel in Stellenbosch on 3 September 2015.
The Chairman of Stellenbosch 360, Prof Andreas van Wyk, presented the following aspects:
- The past year was again one of challenges for the organisation, but it brought greater stability for STB 360, several successes and steady growth was achieved.
- The lengthy process of establishing a related organisation with the name Stellenbosch 360 Development and Training npc (360D&T) has been completed at the Companies Commission (CIPC) in Pretoria.
- For the third year in a row STB 360 has received an unqualified audit report.
- The financial management of the organisation was easier this year as there were fewer problems with the annual municipal funding.
- The directors of STB 360 changed the structure of membership fees to align them with those of similar organisations. This led to greater financial sustainability.
- STB 360 will continue to lobby the municipality for a more realistic acknowledgement of the key role that tourism plays in the town and its environment.
- One of the most important and very successful developments in the last two years has been the establishment of a marketing joint venture with Stellenbosch Wine Routes called the Stellenbosch Experience Campaign - which is to be continued.
- The Board of STB 360 met regularly every quarter. The members of the board have given invaluable advice and guidance as well as exercising strict supervision of management. Two new board members were welcomed. They are Mr Thumakele Gosa of Kayamandi and Mr Wendell Lawrence of Kylemore.
- Apart from the board meetings, there is the weekly meeting with management every Thursday morning (known as the “vergaderinkie”) at which current issues are discussed.
- There are three special advisory committees where all the stakeholders talk and work together: art, culture and heritage with chairperson Francé Beyers, development until recently chaired by Heidi Newton-King, and marketing with chairperson Craig Seaman.
- Ensuring adequate and sustainable financial and other resources to guarantee the future development of the organisation remains the main challenge. The Chairman thanked the Municipality of Stellenbosch, British American Tobacco, the Cape Winelands District Municipality and Stellenbosch Publicity and Marketing (SPM), the entity which collects voluntary tourism levies in Stellenbosch hotels and guesthouses. Without SPM’s financial support there would have been little marketing of the town, nationally and internationally. Members were called on to join SPM for the benefit of the town and themselves.
- Extending and maintaining STB 360’s partnerships remain a priority. STB 360 values the relationship with the University in particular. STB 360 will renew its efforts to improve STB 360’s network in the business sector and with community organisations.
- Finally, STB 360 should continue to improve its interaction with its most important stakeholder: STB 360 members. Members will soon be approached to complete a questionnaire on their experiences and perceptions of STB 360’s service to them.
FINANCES (presented by Mr Riël Meynhardt, STB 360 Board Member)
- There is positive co-operation with the Municipality, but municipal funding is still insufficient and STB 360 has to generate 50% of its income itself.
- Stellenbosch Publicity and Marketing npc (SPM) has contributed R750 000 to the marketing of Stellenbosch in the past year. Without this funding it would have been impossible to create brand awareness of the destination, generate business and create jobs, and thereby contribute to the economy of Stellenbosch. It is therefore essential for STB 360 members to support SPM.
- Moore Stephens gave STB 360 an unqualified auditor’s report for the 2014/2015 financial year.
- The 2014/2015 audited financial statements were submitted and approved by the members present.
CEO REPORT (Ms Annemarie Ferns)
- The past year was 360’s best year ever and members were thanked for making it possible.
- The major role of SPM in generating income through a voluntary levy to market Stellenbosch nationally and internationally was highlighted.
- The successes of STB 360’s world-class Visitor’s Centre included: R90 000 worth of postcards and maps were sold; Walk-ins between January and June 2014 compared to January to June 2015 grew by 19%; and R1,7million of accommodation was booked. The CEo thanked Steinhoff who refurbished the Centre.
- The staff of the visitor’s centre also excelled. The CEO thanked the manager of the visitor’s centre, Jenna Moses, and the three consultants, Rhea Michau, Veronica Menze and Glenda Gordon.
- The Stellenbosch Experience campaign, a joint venture between the Stellenbosch Wine Routes and STB 360, is a remarkable venture and the blogger campaign generated a ROI of almost R20 million.
- Stellenbosch 360 PR and media also performed exceptionally well and #visitstellenbosch had a 500 000 reach in June.
- Marketing: Trade Relations: STB 360 embarked on trade activation at Indaba, WTM Africa, ITB, China, Tokyo and Korea and visited 63 tour operators in Europe; 3 joint marketing agreements, with DER Tour (Germany), ITG (Netherlands) and Knecht Reisen in Switzerland, were signed; Studiosus, ITG and Knecht Reisen are marketing Dine-with-the-Locals; other community packages are also selling.
- STB 360 is now targeting the USA and SPM paid for the CEO to do trade activations in Los Angeles and Las Vegas and to attend the APTA conference in Scottsdale, Arizona.
- Development: The Development team, Ann Heyns and Marina Lord, laid an excellent foundation and 4 community tourism forums have been established and each of them identified a project to stimulate the economy in their community: Jamestown (Jamestown Strawberry Festival), Ida’s Valley (Hiking Trail), Cloetesville (Breughel theatre, crafts centre and coffee shop) and Kayamandi (Creative District).
- Events: STB 360 will soon be entering into an agreement with one of the event booking platforms to do live event bookings; STB 360 now offers packages to event organisers, including accommodation, activities, pre and post tours, etc; STB 360 initiated a “living Stellenbosch conference centre” discussion group with the University, Municipality and Wesgro.
- Website: Nora Thiel was thanked for her assistance in upgrading the website.
ELECTION OF DIRECTORS STB 360 2015/2016
- Following the resignation STB 360 board of Heidi Newton-King from the board, Mr Tony Romer-Lee (TR-L) of Spier was elected.
APPOINTMENT OF AUDITORS
Moore Stephens were reappointed as auditors.