Two divisions at the Department of Trade and Industry help small businesses in the tourism industry: The Enterprise Organisation (TEO) and Trade and Investment South Africa (Tisa).
They offer incentive schemes that will help finance expansion costs, marketing assistance and training and development.
Two incentive schemes that small tourism operations can contact are the Small Medium Enterprise Development Programme (SMEDP) and Community Public Private Partnership (CPPP).
The SMEDP gives grants to new tourism businesses, but can step in only when an operating business wants to expand.
The programme funds businesses operating inside South Africa.
Accommodation, or tourism transport ventures must show they can grow by at least 25percent in the first financial year.
Providers of short-term accommodation - hotels, bed and breakfasts, lodges and chalets - might apply for funding, as well as businesses that own private railways, aerial cableways, boats on dams, and lakes.
The programme will provide up to R3million as a tax-free grant for two years based on the costs of your investment in buildings, furniture, equipment and vehicles. An additional grant for a third year can be provided if the payroll constitutes at least 30percent of operating costs.
An information brochure is available from DTI, or The Enterprise Organisation.
Ensure you understand the criteria for the different programmes before submitting an application for funding.
For more information call the SMEDP call centre at 0861-843-384, or at 012-310-1288/1279. Fax them at 012-322-0115, or e-mail queries to firstname.lastname@example.org. Detailed information is also available at www.thedti.gov.za.
l Information for this article came from www.safrica.info/doing-business and the DTI website