Interview with Neiso Mophule, Repa Guest House MD
Can you introduce yourself and tell us about your tourism business?
I am Neiso Mophule, the Managing Director of Repa Guest House which is situated in Kimberley in the Northern Cape Province.
The Guest House is a four star establishment; we offer 21 modern rooms which accommodates 36 guests. We provide a conference facility with the capacity for 50 people. Furthermore, we offer shuttle services in and around town and fun bicycle tours to the township to experience the culture and history of Galeshewe Township.
Repa Guest House is an approved accommodation provider for FIFA Soccer World Cup. We won the Northern Cape Tourism Service Excellence Award 2009 in the Accommodation category as well as the winner of Northern Cape Emerging Tourism Entrepreneur of the Year 2009.
What were you doing before launching your tourism business and what inspired it?
I worked in the Human Resources Department at the Northern Cape Provincial Legislature as an HR Assistant, later promoted to HR Practitioner which included working closely with employees and politicians.
My husband and I identified a niche market in high quality accommodation establishments in Kimberley. Both of us come from the service orientated backgrounds which deals with clients needs. We have a passion of working with people from different backgrounds and satisfying their needs and ensuring that they receive high quality service.
What is your educational background?
I hold a degree in Human Resources Management and a National Certificate in Marketing Management.
What three industry blogs do you read daily to stay abreast of your sector?
To stay abreast of the tourism news, I read FEDHESA and Northern Cape Commerce of Industry Newsletter as well as searching for current tourism news on the internet.
Social media is the current buzz word, is your business active in that space?
Currently, we are not active in the social media, but part of our marketing strategy is to sign up with the various social networks like Facebook and Twitter.
What does a press release mean to your business?
A press release adds more credibility to the business as opposed to an advertisement and it is an opportunity for the company to increase sales and grow the business.
What role does the annual Tourism Indaba play for your tourism business?
To be part of Tourism Indaba is vital. It keeps you abreast of the current news and development in the tourism sector as well as networking to increase your client base, by connecting with travel agencies, accommodation providers and tour operators. Since 2007, our business has been part of the Tourism Indaba and I must say; it has contributed to our business’s successes. Tourism Indaba forms part of our staff development programmes, the employees have the opportunity of attending the show.
Does you tourism business belong to any professional trade organizational?
Yes, we are affiliated with FEDHASA, Tourism Grading Council of South Africa (TGCSA) and Northern Cape Chamber of Commerce Industry.
What are your short and long term goals for your business?
Our short term goals are to increase our client base, change our facility into a disability friendly environment and expand our staff development efforts.
Long term goals are to penetrate international markets and to renovate the premises for expansion and improve the services that we are offer.
What are major challenges that are a stumbling block in growing your tourism business?
The most critical challenge that we are faced with is the current global recession that has seen revenue drop.
What role does your website play in your business and are you happy with its current format?
The website plays an important role to our business; in terms of marketing, client enquiries as well as feedback from clients to evaluate our services. No, I am not pleased with the current format; we want to make it more accessible by introducing other languages, making it more user-friendly and attractive.
How do potential guests/clients reach your business?
Through our website www.repa.co.za, via the email address: email@example.com or alternatively contact us on Tel: 053 861 3132 or visit our establishment at physical address: 79 Aviva Road, Hillcrest Prestige, Hillcrest, Kimberley.