The Eastern Cape has massive tourism advantages, such as malaria & bilharzias free water sport friendly rivers, endless safe beaches, an unspoilt spotless beach frontage and an abundance of game parks of all type on our doorstep. As such, tourism accommodation opportunities are indeed enormous.
A Little History
The Port Elizabeth Metro B&B Association (PEMBBA) was founded in 2002 during a time when smaller SMME accommodation establishments were beginning to flourish and assuming a more prominent role in providing a variety of credible accommodation services in and around Port Elizabeth.
The density and growth of B&B type accommodation was uncontrolled, often illegal and a free for all accommodation services explosion. Some products and quality of services in this tourism environment were being questioned.Hence, a group of concerned establishments/ proprietors got together for purposes of establishing good order, minimum quality standards and sound administration.
They founded the current non-profit voluntary association, drummed up a constitution, elected a management committee and started getting membership enthused about minimum quality standards, local authority approval in the form of zoning and operating within a licensed, legal business environment.
Managing product quality and reliability of services is not only essential but also a condition to membership.
Quality accreditation, however, can pose further unproportional costs to smaller establishments and in this regard PEMBBA created, and manages through internal auditing a minimum standards schedule as a service to its members.
Any additional quality gradings above the minimum standards are naturally a credit to the individual establishment. The rationale is simple; to survive in this competitive industry the legal playing fields needed to be levelled and certainly no customer, tourist or corporate visitor should leave a PEMBBA member establishment having had a bad experience.
It is of utmost importance that participating membership be recognised as operating above questionable tourism ethics and within our PEMBBA Code of Conduct.
The Association objectives require a platform to be heard and have now achieved recognition as the representative spokes body accordingly. The Association has grown rapidly and currently boasts in excess of one hundred members, including associate membership of suppliers to the tourism and hospitality industry.
The benefits of networking at monthly meetings, information flow on legislation and exposure to suppliers in the industry are substantial, providing insight into the needs of running a successful establishment and satisfying tourism. Participation in PE community development including charity support and membership of the Nelson Mandela Bay Business Chamber adds value to PEMBBA’s credibility.
As in the case of quality management, marketing costs can also pose varied un-proportional costs to smaller establishments and whilst PEMBBA cannot and does not market individual member establishments, facilitation of very cost effective marketing platforms are provided via the PEMBBA dynamic web site www.pembba.co.za that is linked in turn to individual member’s web sites for reservation purposes and the annual upmarket membership listing brochure.
The web site, reflecting a wide choice of quality-regulated establishments, furthermore provides both accommodation and associate members with a variety of marketing/advertising opportunities. Social media links accommodate modern day communication and awareness levels.
Regular executive management communication via a mentorship structure keeps members well updated on all tourism activities, products and services to the industry, legal issues, criminal activity, and incidents of fraud and bilking in the industry – a very real and daily threat.
In the interests and benefits of organised representation within a rapidly expanding hospitality industry providing credible services to local and international guests/tourists in the Eastern Cape, we extend an ongoing invitation and encouragement to all guest/holiday/tourist accommodation establishments to become part of the action by joining the Port Elizabeth Metro B&B Association – PEMBBA.