The Gauteng Tourism Authority (GTA) is the official destination marketing authority for the Gauteng province, operating within a clear mandate to promote, foster and develop tourism within the province. As the implementing agency of the Gauteng Department of Economic Development (GDED), the GTA is firmly focused on driving sustainable long-term travel and tourism within the Gauteng province.
Client profile and the challenge at hand
The Gauteng City Region Integration Marketing Strategy established a draft framework to guide the GTA’s organisational activities and deliverables, focusing on marketing, promotions and sales activities to support local, regional and international tourism audiences. The strategy established four key focus areas – international tourism marketing, domestic tourism marketing, visitor information services and the Gauteng convention & events bureau.
The GTA strategy serves as a roadmap to achieve organisational goals while remaining compliant with objectives and responsibilities set forth in the GTA Act. As structure follows strategy, the GTA experienced some friction points in meeting its required organisational objectives and tasks. A comprehensive investigative review of its strategic plan, annual performance plan, organisational structure and service delivery model was needed to help align the GTA with its new strategy, while remaining compliant to the GTA Act.
Stone approach to meeting the need
Stone became a valuable partner to the GTA, engaging with stakeholders at all levels of influence, from within the authority to the board. The project was conducted over six weeks and working alongside project team members Stone was able to facilitate the strategic planning process and review of the annual performance plans in the context of the current tourism mandate and in line with the Gauteng government planning frameworks.
Two sub-processes were followed in the overall strategic planning process. The first planning process involved a two-day strategic planning session with EXCO and the board to gauge expectations, gather meaningful input from all stakeholders. The session was successfully held and included participation from representatives of the GDED, Office of the Gauteng Premier. Stone then reviewed all insights in line with the current tourism landscape taking into account the competitive positioning of the GTA and any factors affecting its effective functioning in this context. Following further consultation, the first draft version of the revised strategic plan and annual performance plan for 2020-25 was produced.
Following approval of the draft version, two subsequent sessions were held first with leadership, and then with EXCO and the board. At these sessions the strategic document and annual performance plans were approved as final with input and active participation of all members present.
Results achieved and value added
The final document provided the GTA with a thorough five-year strategic plan and annual performance plan with clear indicators of measurement of progress. The new functional structure developed with the facilitation guidance of Stone featured throughout this process.
Stone fully adhered to the steps and timelines as per the issued TOR which was perfectly aligned to our methodologies and delivery parameters. The entire project was conducted in line with and based on industry standards and best practices both locally and internationally. The activities of the project occurred as per the agreed project period and drew meaningful insights from stakeholders in all levels of leadership, EXCO, and finally the board. Stone ensured that there was integrated planning (targets and budget) and provided links to other plans, taking into consideration the new functional organisational structure.
The final project deliverables included a complete document of a strategic plan (with all relevant annexures per the government planning framework), a complete document of an annual performance plan (with all relevant annexures per the government planning framework), a complete document of links to other plans (taking into consideration the new functional structure), and a complete document of the risk register.