Increase brand performance

How to increase your brand reach, performance AND save costs

Let’s talk about the “pivot”…

The buzz word I am hearing everywhere is ‘pivot’. More than likely you have too, it is over-used and quite frankly I find it annoying.

It is mostly heard when companies are explaining how they are managing to survive during lockdown by ‘pivoting’ their businesses. Here’s an example, a restaurant has pivoted its offering to now provide meal-kits, curbside take-aways and contact-free purchasing.

Our Model is already flexible

While this is trending, some of us have been operating in a commercially savvy way for years. Our model is based on co-operation which enables flexibility (read pivoting) to adapt to the peaks and troughs that seem to follow the hospitality and tourism sector. Remember unabridged birth certificates, Ebola, the recent drought …

Big Tree Marketing is a small business and being small makes us nimble. We have built our business on collaborations with a strong foundation of trust, respect and willingness to reach our common goal. Our approach is to increases performance while saving costs which makes good business sense in today’s ‘Coronacoaster’ world.

Collaboration is key

Collaboration increases brand reach, aligns resources and speeds up solutions. Buyers embrace the signal from one brand that another brand can be trusted, this is exactly how Big Tree Marketing brings new partners to the negotiating table of bona fida buyers.

Connect with heritage relationships built over 20 years, proven skills and experience at a fraction of the cost of paying a full-time marketing executive.

Cost-effective marketing solutions

So, if you are looking for a marketing solution that is cost effective, has an unbroken track record and is above all affordable contact us now.

50% rebate for September and October 2020 retainers on new clients – for more info email

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The Kelway Hotel Now Open

“Thank you for your hospitality…

…and for taking such good care of us!”

‘Thank you for your hospitality and for taking such good care of us’ This is some of the guest feedback at The Kelway Hotel.

The Kelway Hotel Now Open

The hotel opened on 22 June under strict Covid19 safety protocols with a small dedicated team offering full-service dinner, bed and breakfast and the utmost attention to detail. Despite the many challenges facing all suppliers into the tourism value chain, The Kelway Hotel were one of the first in Port Elizabeth to open its doors to guests.

Hands-on personal attention

Hotel General Manager Liezel Haarhoff said ‘Although we are obviously not filling all our rooms, we are open and guests are checking in. Our small team is very hands-on giving personal attention while ensuring guest and personal safety and we are very encouraged by the feedback and appreciation we are getting.’ With all businesses having to re-think operating logistics within severe safety processes the hotel team have learnt to streamline in some areas and innovate in others. All staff have been trained and are certified according to TBCSA guidelines and the hotel was granted the Stay-Safe-Eat-Safe badge giving guests peace of mind.

The Kelway is fully compliant with TBCSA guidelines.

Technology Solutions

Some of these processes include; signage indicating safe arrival procedures, check- in is paperless using QR codes with sanitized pens for anyone needing to jot anything down. Breakfast menus are also ordered through QR codes with options to eat in-room or at socially distanced tables in the restaurant. Rooms are cleaned using a new set of clothes with good quality cleaning solutions with high touch areas receiving additional attention. Once cleaned and inspected the rooms are sealed until guest check in.

Green Solutions

Some of the back of house changes include drastically reducing waste to landfills, composting and a view to growing some fresh produce themselves.

To read a full description of The Kelway Hotel safety protocols please Click Here.

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Game Lodge Specials

Post-Lockdown Safari Specials

Garden Route Game Lodge Specials

Safari Specials are back. Blessed with winter rains, the veld is looking truly magnificent this winter, with the Aloes in full floom. Nature never locks down and Garden Route Game Lodge’s prolific wildlife are waiting to welcome you back.

Peace of mind when you book your next bush break

Garden Route Game Lodge has been using this time during lockdown to prepare for the safe return of their valued guests. Whilst you may notice a few changes, their commitment to the safety and well-being of guests remains at the heart of their approach to hospitality.

Take advantage of these amazing safari specials, tailored for families and couples alike. Now is the time to experience our local offerings whilst international borders are still closed. Read our blog post on South Africa as an attractive long-haul destination here.

Wild Winter Warmer

Wild Winter Warmer

Stay 3 Nights, Only Pay for 2

Family Fun Safari

Outdoor Adventure Safari

Love Safari

Rates are valid from June to September 2020. Garden Route Game Lodge’s Covid-19 prepardeness and cancellation policies offer you peace of mind when you book your next stay. For more information on the Covid-19 preparedness at Garden Route Game Lodge, click here.

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Tourism in Lockdown

Tourism in Lockdown

Tourism MUST move to a higher lockdown level to survive

After the initial shock that the Covid19 Virus had arrived in South Africa, the realization that tourism is probably going to be the very last sector to recover seeped into everyday discussions.

Based on the webinar from South Africa Tourism on 11 May here is an update of the current situation with links to submitting protocol guidelines that are urgently being called for to move tourism higher up in the lockdown levels.

Without doubt South Africans believe that although we have no clue when we are going to move between levels, this movement depends on the trajectory of the pandemic and the sliding scale is based on variables beyond our control.

Leisure tourism is projected to be active at level 1 with business tourism coming online slightly ahead in level 2. Based on the current trajectory with September 2020 forecast to be the peak of infection, it is therefore clear that level 2 will start in November and Level 1 in January 2021. Our industry simply cannot wait too many businesses will just not survive until then.

Government’s aim is to hold the pandemic back, on the other hand tourism is about moving people to different areas. What protocols in terms of health and operations can we put in place to de-risk the sector in order to move tourism into a higher lockdown level?

All Tourism Associations are calling for urgent submissions from members and non- members which will be collated and submitted to government through the Tourism Minister.

These guideline submissions (de-risking) will hopefully enable certain aspects of the industry to re-open before levels 1 and 2 thereby giving tourism a better chance of recovery.

Have your voice heard:

Here are the links to submit your recommendations:
Also visit or

Submissions close 12:00 midday Thursday 14 May.

Finally, SA Tourism believes that recovery will be led by domestic then regional, followed by international bookings. Key source markets will clearly also need to be in-line with destinations, no matter how prepared we are if those countries are not able to travel there is little chance of seeing business from those source markets.

VFR’s (Visiting Friends and Relatives) will probably start first and are categorized as
Phase 1, with not much revenue generation.
Phase 2 will generate revenue with overnights and air travel.
Phase 1 is expected to be mainly self-drive travel.Phase 2 being air travel across Africa. We cannot assume that the same airlines will be operating and in the same schedules. Re-negotiations will be needed because we will want to link with other countries that have managed their pandemic well.
International | Long Haul
Phase 1 International carriers resume flights under globally accepted safety standards (not yet in place)
Phase 2 full recovery in progress

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covid-19 and tourism

Covid-19 and tourism- An SMME’S thoughts

How is Covid-19 affecting tourism SMME’s in South Africa. What effect is the full lock down having on the smaller tourism players? Many tourism stakeholders are in shock and are scrambling to survive in the wake of the Covid-19 virus.

There is a mood of deep concern among industry players. There is also one of rallying around supporting one another with many group chats and emails sharing encouragement. Today, I was alerted to the possibility of creating a tourism support network into the healthcare system. This would involve collaboration between hotels, transport and catering suppliers. 

I understand from tourism authorities and large hotel chain management that we are looking not so much at recovery but rather towards re-configuration. The belief is that inbound tourism needs to look deeply at customer needs and reverse engineer offerings that suit demand. This is especially important when considering that the global competition is going to be strong.

The understanding is that recovery will be led by local consumption, with corporate travel probably leading the way. Personally, as a small SMME I am reliant on clients to pay their monthly retainers for my marketing services. As a result of my clients not being paid, the problem flows downstream and they, in turn, are not able to pay me.

Of particular concern, is that some of South Africa’s inbound giants are withholding payments to suppliers for guests who have already travelled, and in fact are back in their home country. These same corporations are asking my clients to also not charge cancellation fees – making this a double loss for suppliers into the tourism value chain.

This too will pass, but how long can we sustain ourselves until then? I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Keep up-to-date on the Covid-19 Situation in South Africa – visit

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