Changes made to AA Travel AwardsJune 14th, 2011 by Susan Reynard | Categories: hotels, industry, technology, tourism
AA Travel Guides, convenor of South Africa’s only consumer-based accommodation awards programme for the past 18 years, has announced a number of changes to this annual competition.
Vanessa Sand, MD of AA Travel Guides, says the awards programme is keeping up with changes and trends in the accommodation sector so that achievers gain the maximum benefit from their participation.
The programme will in future be known as the AA Quality Assured Accommodation Programme, bringing it in line with the model followed by Automobile Associations across the world.
“All AA Quality Assured Accommodation members – of which there are currently just over 2 400 in southern Africa – will automatically be entered into the awards,” says Sand, “and feedback can be entered into the review section of each establishment’s listing on our website at no charge.
“We now have the technology in place for feedback received to go live within a week of it being received, making the system so much more user-friendly to both the consumer and the establishment. We will be holding regional training sessions later this month and in July to make sure that listed properties are able to make the best use of our technology and programming.”
Feedback received from consumers relate to aspects such as service levels, the quality of food, ambience and value for money.
Sand says another significant change to the awards programme will be the timing and location of the awards evening. “For the past 14 years the event has coincided with the tourism Indaba in Durban. However, there are now so many events held parallel to the exhibition that our achievers simply no longer get the attention they deserve. We are therefore moving the event back to Johannesburg. From next year, it will coincide with the Getaway Show, to be held from 31 August to 2 September.
“The Getaway Show attracts footfall of some 20 000 travel trade and consumers over three days and AA Quality Assured members will have the opportunity to exhibit extremely cost-effectively.”
Some 41 000 consumers commented on approximately 1 100 establishments across the country this year.
“With our new focus on AA Quality Assured properties only – truly our gateway product – we believe the awards programme will grow even further. The AA brand is associated with trust, integrity and quality and we are now creating a platform that members can use to market themselves even more widely and effectively,” says Sand.