Thebe Tourism Group streamlines organisation, aligns with new partners

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Thebe Exhbitions and Projects Group and Thebe Conferences and Events have merged to combine their strengths, pool resources and better serve their target market.

MD Carol Weaving says: "This merger makes good business sense as it embodies a natural synergy of expertise to the benefit of the exhibitions, conferences and events business, a huge contributor to the South African economy."

She says that in addition to providing greater capacity and an enhanced service offering to the industry, it will yield logistical benefits.

The two companies now operate from one office and pool technical equipment, saving on costs and overheads and enhancing client benefits.

This move follows a recent announcement of a joint venture between the Thebe Tourism Group and Serokolo Health Tourism to promote the medical and health tourism market.

Head of inbound tourism at Thebe, Heather Gutierrez, says: "Many tourism operators shy away from this type of tourism due to the associated health risks, possible post-operative complications, insurance costs and unexpected delays, but Thebe is very comfortable and confident to be working with a medical organisation of the calibre of Serokolo Health."

Dr Tshepo Maaka, founder and MD of Serokolo, says some 500 000 visitors last year came to the country for medical reasons and believes this area of tourism needs to be nurtured to grow it further.

Wellness tourism includes visitors seeking surgery (including cosmetic, routine and life-saving surgery) as well as other tests, treatment and spa-type pampering.

Due to the unique requirements of each client, medical packages will be individually tailored, including experiences like spa treatments and visits to tourism destinations during recuperation.

This new tourism and health alliance is unlikely to become a core function of Thebe Tourism Group, but rather "a very valuable element of tourism that has, to a large extent, been overlooked," explains Gutierrez.

She has a specific team of experienced staff to deal with the medical tourism side of the business.

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