Established in 1999 with a portfolio of nine privately owned properties in South Africa, Southern Spoor Marketing celebrates 20 years in business this year. The company has grown to become one of Africa’s leading hospitality marketing enterprises, representing a unique collection of privately owned hospitality venues spread throughout South Africa, and a selection of hotels, resorts and game lodges in Kenya.
Anita Foxcroft, founder of Southern Spoor Marketing, comments on what it means to her to be celebrating 20 years in the hospitality industry. “The following are the first things that come to mind. Gratitude to all the people that have supported us over the years and the wonderful collection of privately owned properties we have had the privilege of marketing, many of whom were part of the portfolio all those years ago. How much we’ve learnt over the years, but at the same time how the passion, commitment and enthusiasm remains the same. How much growth, potential and opportunity we still have – it feels like we just got started! How no business succeeds without the commitment and loyalty of an amazing team of people who believe in the company values and objectives. I am thankful that we have earned the trust of our industry through continuity, reliability and always striving to exceed expectations.”
To mark this significant milestone, the Southern Spoor team spent an exhilarating weekend in Cape Town celebrating in style and painting the town ‘orange’. From a fabulous lunch at the Pot Luck Club, to a thrilling helicopter flip over the Two Oceans, a stunning sunset cruise in a private yacht, and a unique Tuk Tuk Winelands Tour around Stellenbosch, the team toasted 20 years of fun, hard work and endurance in the southern African hospitality industry.
In honour of the 20-year anniversary, Southern Spoor will be launching Southern Spoor Supports in 2020, an initiative to give back to the hospitality industry by assisting a young woman in developing her career in hospitality through an annual bursary. “We are looking to support a young woman who is deeply passionate about the hospitality industry, but who does not have the means to cover the cost of tuition. In the long-term, we would also like the properties in our portfolio to embrace this initiative by providing an opportunity for training or employment,” says Foxcroft. Further information about this initiative will be released before the end of the year.
Another new initiative to be launched by the company before the end of the year is Southern Spoor Select, a range of ad hoc marketing services that will be available to privately owned, boutique properties that are looking for short-term assistance and guidance for their products as an alternative to entering into long-term retainer-based contracts. “Whilst we do recommend ongoing sales and marketing, we do appreciate that many properties have limited budgets and resources, but would still like to make use of our expertise, industry knowledge and contacts,” says Foxcroft. The Southern Spoor Select offering will include services such as hourly based consultations, short-term contracts, once-off industry-specific newsletters to a qualified database, once-off local and international sales trips, trade fair assistance, brand development, and marketing and sales plans.
The company has also welcomed two new staff members to the team: Valerie Streicher and Annemarie Lexow. Valerie, who will be managing Southern Spoor’s database and undertaking special sales research and projects, is no stranger to Southern Spoor, having worked for the company a few years ago handling the reservations on behalf of a property. “Valerie is extremely strong administratively, very accurate, a hard worker and a pleasure to work with, and I did not hesitate to re-employ her,” says Foxcroft.
Annemarie has taken up the role of account executive and will be managing travel agent, wholesaler, PCO and corporate accounts. “Annemarie has a good mix of experience in the industry, having worked in the travel logistics, agency and media sectors, and thus far has proven to be quick thinking and learning, shows initiative, works with integrity and gets on with things! I am confident that both Annemarie and Valerie will be great assets to the team, and I look forward to working with them.
“On behalf of my team and me, I would like to extend a sincere thank you to our properties, and the travel industry, for their ongoing support over the last 20 years. We look forward to continuing building on our partnerships and contributing to the growth and success of the South African tourism sector,” concludes Foxcroft.