When a needle falls into a well - All About PEMBBA

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Friday, 8th April 2022

By Marguerite Smit


"When a needle falls into a well, many people will look into the well, but only a few will be ready to go down after it." – African proverb 


There is an association in Ggeberha, The Port Elizabeth Metro Bed and Breakfast Association (PEMBBA) that has remained a voice to be reconned with when it comes to tourism related topics in the Bay. PEMBBA represents over 100 quality approved accommodation establishments and service providers in the greater metro area; consisting of Bed and Breakfast, Guest Houses, Lodges, Self-catering units, activities and hospitality providers that service this region. 

Although PEMBBA is not a booking agent, it does provide an on-line accommodation directory for their members, location maps, information on and direct contact details to accredited establishments and information on tourist activities in the area. A one stop shop really, for quality assured hospitality! PEMBBA provides opportunities to meet and engage with peers and colleagues, as well as addressing tourism related issues as one voice. To me, this is the most important benefit associations can provide. PEMBBA is made up of people who share similar challenges and opportunities in tourism. The exco are also all very involved in tourism, each in their own way, allowing for a very strong board to govern tourism related issues. Some of the tangible benefits of being a PEMBBA member —quality assured services, information and discounts which are all important.  PEMBBA provides credibility to establishments and experiences in and around the Bay, as they have been vetted and held to a level of excellence. Visitors using the PEMBBA website as a tool can rest assured that their trip won’t be booked at a fly by night establishment! These are all great reasons to become a PEMBBA member, but, there are just as many intangible benefits, such as networking and a sense of community and common purpose. 

PEMBBA has been acting as a conduit between the public and private sector in the Bay for many years. The association works closely with stakeholders and other tourism organizations to grow and develop tourism in the city. PEMBBA was instrumental in the outcome of the fish-farm PPO campaign, which, had it been passed, would most definitely have affected each and every one of us, especially those athletes using the Bay as their lanes with no limits! Pembba also did their part to stop Shell and their seismic blasting off our vulnerable coast line. Road closures with sporting events like Ironman, market and festival details are circulated to members. 


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During the pandemic, the tourism and hospitality sectors were certainly of the hardest hit. PEMBBA has done a phenomenal job of keeping members up to date on ever changing COVID-19 protocols and requirements to operate and maintain staff. PEMBBA is a great platform for sharing any safety issues or scams that happen within the B&B or hotel industry. Word gets spread quickly amongst members, an immeasurable service. PEMBBA also provide a social media presence for their members on major platforms like Facebook and Instagram. This marketing on behalf of its members is included in their annual membership fee – you don’t pay a cent extra for this service. Members get coverage on an interactive website making the booking process seamless and commission free, while ensuring quality. Associate members offer discounts to accommodation establishments, allowing properties to promote services in order to assist with their booking process, all free of charge and in turn associate members reach a wider audience.  One hand washes the other! 


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So enhance your network: For most people, creating professional relationships is important, and joining a group allows you to have a sense of security and trust. From this, you are able to support and help one another in reaching your professional goals. 

“If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.” —African Proverb 


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