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 Journey to Service Excellence (J2SE)

Background to the Journey to Service Excellence (J2SE)


The conceptualization and the implementation of the proposed Journey to Service Excellence (hereafter referred to as the J2SE) was done in May 2013. The concept is in line with Pillar 3 of the Service Excellence Strategy namely Public Awareness. This mandates the NDT to come up with initiatives to create awareness and popularize Service Excellence. The project plans highlighted in this document cover the broad initiatives to be implemented in 2013/14 financial year.

Rationale for the Implementation of the J2SE

The underlying thinking in conceptualizing the J2SE was to develop a campaign with high impact on grass roots level linking all sectors that in some way or another relate to tourism through the services or products they offer. Strong consideration was also given to the following:-
  • Linking the implementation of the Service Excellence Strategy to that of the implementation of the Rural Tourism Strategy, local government and focus areas of key tourism agencies. It was then decided that the J2SE implementation should focus on a smaller town located within one of the rural nodes as identified in the Rural Tourism Strategy;
  • A project that apart from high impact on grass roots level will also have high media value and will assist the NDT and its partners through the J2SE to raise awareness of Service Excellence as a key driver in making South Africa become a globally competitive destination; and
  • Involve sectors, from the tourism value chain, that are indirectly linked to Tourism to become part of the project. This to raise awareness across different economic and service sectors of their contribution to Tourism and Service Excellence. 
What is the Journey to Service Excellence?

The J2SE will focus on nominating a small town in the rural tourism nodes and assisting the town to develop a service excellence-orientated culture in their organisations and different structures with strong media attention and focus during the activation. A town will be identified and the principles of Service Excellence will be communicated to all organizations. A criterion has been developed for the nomination and is outlined in section 4 of this document.  A number of activities will be implemented in anticipation of the big media event planned for March 2014.

At its core the J2SE aims to bring together the entire town including restaurants, accommodation facilities, tourist attractions, police, banks and petrol attendants, amongst others, to be informed, trained and  exposed to the four components of the SANS 1197:2012. A secondary objective of this programme is to establish a local Tourism Service Excellence structure or linking with existing structures to build a sustainable service culture.

Programme Approach

This will be done by hosting a number of workshops and training sessions over a four month period during the months of September - November 2013 and February 2014. The J2SE will culminate during the month of March 2014 with a number of key events.   

Awareness initiatives and access to information will be provided for the town through different stakeholders. The target audience for this approach is as follows:
  • Local Entrepreneurs and Businesses
  • SAPS and other law enforcing structures
  • Transport (Taxi Associations, Bus Operators, Car Rentals and others)
  • Banks 
  • Accommodation and other tourism structures
  • Tourist guides and Tour Operators
  • Petrol Stations
  • Shopping Centres
  • Religious Centres
  • Sports and Recreation Facilities
  • Educational and Training Institutions
  • Medical Practitioners
  • Local Attractions
  • Food and Beverage Service Outlets (Restaurants, Bars, Taverns, etc.)
  • Government Departments – all spheres
  • Other organisations in the tourism value chain
The Objectives of the J2SE

The objectives of the J2SE are to:-
  • Create awareness on the importance of Service Excellence;
  • Share information about the Service Excellence Strategy and SANS 1197: 2012;
  • Assist with creating a culture of service excellence in the town and  South Africa;
  • Bring partners together under one roof to highlight the fact that service excellence is a cross cutting issue;
  • Gather information and suggestions on how to improve service levels in the country; and
  • Develop sustainable quality products and services.
Nominated town 

A selection criteria was developed in order to identify the town where the J2SE will be piloted. The first criterion for selection is that the small town should be located within a rural node. In addition to the location within a rural node, the following elements have also been identified as critical in the nomination of the small town:
  • The town has to be on a tourism route or have a major tourist attractions;
  • The number of services from the tourism value chain provided in the town;
  • There should be cooperation from all spheres of government;
  • The town must have a local tourism association or business chamber;
  • The town should be accessible via air and/or road;
  • Some of the accommodation establishments should be graded; and
  • An added advantage will be if a training institution is located within the town.
Upington in the //Khara Hais Municipality was selected as the pilot town for J2SE.