06 May 2009 Tourism creates income stream for ORT South Africa In the first deal of its kind for ORT South Africa, a prime eco-tourism destination is donating a percentage of its guests accommodation bill to the organisation. Mashovhela Lodge, nestled in virgin bushland near the northern end of the Kruger National Park, has established a solid track record of supporting ORT South Africa by sponsoring fundraising events. But this deal marks a significant step up in its commitment. Ingrid Hahn, Mashovhela Lodges Operations and Marketing Director, said: In these times everybody is battling financially, even more so organisations that rely on donations from others. It would be sad to see people who are doing so much for the community not being able to continue their valuable work owing to the lack of funding. Supporting ORT South Africa complements Mashovhela Lodges impressive record of social and environmental responsibility. We have always worked hand in hand with the people of the neighbouring Venda village, especially when it comes to education and training, Ms Hahn said. For this reason we decided to support ORT whose motto is Educating for Life. They are doing fantastic work living up to this.ORT South Africa National Director Michael Sieff is delighted with this development. Most of the time we have to go out and ask for money, Mr Sieff said. It is such a pleasure having people approach us. This is probably not surprising from a company that has already been recognised for its responsible tourism practices globally. We wish them success for the years ahead and look forward to a fruitful partnership. He said that ORT South Africa was exploring the possibility of striking similar deals with other service providers which are not in competition with Mashovhela Lodge. In addition to the long term financial gain for ORT South Africa there are also marketing benefits for it and Mashovhela Lodge. This has generated significant interest and I have already been interviewed about it by a television channel which broadcasts across Africa, Mr Sieff said. It provides an opportunity to tell a large audience about ORT as well as to promote the wonderful holidays to be had at Mashovhela Lodge. Indeed, ORT South Africa is promoting Mashovhela Lodge to businesspeople who will be attending a fundraising breakfast next month featuring Tony Leon, who during a lengthy parliamentary career led the Democratic Alliance and was Leader of the Opposition. People attending the breakfast will be entered in a draw to win a two-night stay for two people at the Lodge. The lucky winners will find themselves tucked away in 10,000 acres (4,000 hectares) of unspoiled bush amid the stunning scenery of the Soutpansberg mountains in the north-east of the country. Nearby are the Kruger National Park and the Mapungubwe National Park, which is an archaeological World Heritage Site. Full details can be seen at http://www.mashovhela.com/index.htm. I would hope that any ORT supporters who are planning a holiday in South Africa will spend at least part of their stay in this spectacular corner of the country in the knowledge that they would be able to enjoy the wildlife in complete comfort while helping ORT South Africa to maintain its education and training programmes across the country and in Namibia, Mr Sieff said.