Tourism is a strategic growth area for government and we need to ensure we are doing all we can to safeguard and protect this sector. In addition to reporting any criminal activity to the SAPS, it is imperative that the customer reports this information to Tsi who will ensure this is addressed.
Tsi is a private sector initiative and a vehicle through which we aim to address safety and security challenges faced by tourists/visitors and tourism businesses. It is a flagship programme of the Tourism Business Council of South Africa (TBCSA).
The Tsi comprises four pillars including information gathering and reporting, tourist/visitor emergency support, public relations and trade support services. With information gathering in particular, we encourage tourism businesses to report any incidents of crime against tourists or businesses on the TBCSA secure portal.
These incidents are then analysed on a system that we have, which assists in providing a web of information regarding the criminal suspects, vehicles and possibly cell phones that were used to commit the crime.
Because we have a relationship with the SAPS at both the National level as well the Provincial level in Gauteng, we are able to share this information with the police to enable them to effect arrests.
Reporting criminal incidents is beneficial to tourism businesses and the industry as a whole because it is through reporting of incidents that we are able to facilitate crime prevention and provide immediate support in an emergency with the help of the police service and other partners in the public and private sector.
Reporting assists businesses to improve their own security and be aware of possible crime hotspots. The Tsi will soon be developing a coding system for reporting which will ensure that businesses who report cases do not worry about reputational damage.