Andre du Toit



The future of risk management is about taking ownership, controlling what we can, and preparing for the unexpected.


The understanding or expectation that one can transfer any and all risk to insurers or government funds, and they will pick it up, is now a thing of the past. It’s time to take control, plan for the future, and then choose very carefully how (and to who) you transfer the risk you can’t manage yourself.


Here Andre du Toit outlines the steps for effective risk management:


Take Ownership


All operators, establishments and businesses have a duty of care. Firstly, you need to focus on compliance – it is assumed that you follow the law of the land and industry best practice. Be it health and safety regulations or you and your staff’s legal responsibilities or qualifications, make sure all is in order.


After a lengthy lull there is no doubt that there’s a need for an operational reboot, so get staff trained up and refreshed, review standard operating procedures (SOPs), do dry runs and re-assess your operating environment in terms of hazards/risks.


Implement daily, weekly and monthly checks to ensure you have created a safe operating environment and be sure your Emergency Response Plans are in place.


Develop a risk ‘consciousness’ whereby teams are conscious of what could go wrong and work hard to prevent or mitigate any risks.


Review your Insurance


The events of the past 18 months have highlighted to many the importance of a specialist broker. Connect with the SATIB team and have the all-important insurance conversation now. Including:


  • Decide when to re-instate covers.
  • Declare changes in your operation (revenue/activities etc.).
  • Consider un-insured risks i.e. those that are relevant to your business but perhaps not previously considered.
  • Identify any gaps in your policy due to increase in domestic travel market (for example, does your policy cover theft by guests, malicious damage and bilking?).
  • Consider new risks, for example, cybercrime.


Cybercrime is rampant and South Africa is third on the list of the highest number of cybercrime victims worldwide. Don’t think that it can’t or won’t happen to you. Cybercrime has exploded in our new online world, and it affects us all.


Subscribe to an Incident Management service


Believe it or not, statistics indicate that 7% of tourism businesses will have an incident before the end of the year – one that could have a catastrophic impact on you or your business.


Unfortunately, your staff are not experts in incident management and by managing the incident yourself you are 100% liable for the outcome. Instead, make sure you do the following:


  • Subscribe to a vetted incident management company with a proven track record, for example, SATIB24.
  • Put a simple emergency response plan together.
  • Ensure you have operationally-specific emergency equipment/response kits – and that you have identified ‘first-responders’ in your team who are trained to use the equipment.
  • Build appropriate skills/capacity on the ground to meet the needs of your operation, you have a duty of care.
  • Share detail of the resources in your specific location with your incident management team.
  • Ensure you have a robust/reliable communications device (including adequate training) and equipment.
  • Make sure all in the party (i.e. staff and guests) are up to speed with your emergency protocol (including phone numbers, first aid kits etc.).


All SATIB clients have access to SATIB24, a specialist incident management team whose primary aim is to assist you with the management of emergency/crisis situations.


SATIB24’s core services include:


  • Telemedical consultations
  • Incident management plan creation
  • Remote management of rescue and medical staff
  • Medical evacuations
  • Post traumatic risk assessments
  • Media management (incl. crisis communication and reputation management)
  • Legal liability management


As the industry restarts and recovers, risk management has never been more important. Ultimately, we want to create a more robust community when dealing with risk because managing it in this industry is a given, and not only do you have a duty of care to your guests, but we all have a collective responsibility to ensure we strengthen South Africa’s tourism product to ensure our rightful place as a destination of choice.

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How to protect your tourism business from cyber risks

Cyber risks are a serious threat to the tourism industry. Hackers can target your business and steal your customers’ personal and financial data, disrupt your operations, damage your reputation, and extort you for ransom.