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Individual Employment Opp Travel Writer South Africa
Travel and Marketing Copywriter:
KwaZulu-Natal, Mpumalanga or Southern Limpopo, South Africa
November 1 , 2009
1. The WHL Group (WHL) invites qualified individual Consultants to apply for the following
position: Travel and Marketing Copywriter
2. WHL is requesting communication from interested individuals. The communication
must be submitted in writing and signed. They must contain:
a) Expression of understanding of the assignment;
b) A writing sample, Demonstration of dedication to sustainable tourism or sustainable
c) Consultant details, with CV or resume;
d) The assignment is expected to take approx 3-4 months in the field, beginning sometime
in February / March 2010 . Consultant to indicate availability during this time period.
3. All communications must be submitted in the English language and contain all
information requested above in reference to the attached Terms of Reference.
Individual consultants are welcome to bid.
The deadline for submission: Wednesday 30th December at 5pm, email to eet-
firstname.lastname@example.org All applications must remain valid for three weeks. For any
clarifications or further inquiries about this notice, please send by email before 18th
December 2010 to email@example.com
4. Preference given to citizens of South Africa.
5. The Selection Criteria are:
(i). Demonstration of experience in the type of work required by the 40
(ii). Demonstration of understanding of the assignment (as per the 40
Terms of Reference)
(iii). Qualifications and competence of the consultant for the 20
TOTAL 100 Points
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6. An individual consultant will be selected based on the above selection criteria. The top
three candidates will be shortlisted for final comparison. The minimum score required
to be shortlisted is 70. The individual consultant achieving the highest score will be
invited for negotiations. Subsequently, a contract will be issued.
7. Confidentiality: All data and information received from WHL Consulting for the purpose
of this assignment are to be treated confidentially and are only to be used in
connection with the execution of these Terms of Reference. The contents of written
materials obtained and used in this assignment may not be disclosed to any third
parties without the expressed advance written authorization of WHL Consulting.
Further details on the services are provided in the attached Terms of Reference. This
assignment is expected to commence in the middle of February 2010.
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TERMS OF REFERENCE
PROFESSIONAL TRAVEL WRITER
WHL Africa (WHLA) is the regional branch of the WHL Group (WHL). WHL Africa is the executing
agency of the project, Elevating Experiential Travel – Empowering South African Low Income
Tourism Providers Project (EET-SA) through The Shared Growth Challenge Fund, which is a project
under the Business Trust. This project is being run in association with WHL Consulting (WHLC), a
specialized unit of the WHL Group, which focuses on technical assistance and capacity building for
enterprises at the destination level. WHL has developed a unique business model for enabling micro,
small and medium-sized enterprises (MSME) to be listed and sold online, whilst limiting revenue
leakage. The business model involves having locally owned and operated e-marketplace web portals
connected to a global network (providing hosting, payment gateways, booking engine and web
marketing) and utilizing a common management system.
This e-marketplace model was designed and built from the ground up to meet the special needs of
MSME accommodation providers in the developing world, and has proven to be very successful in
reaching a community of accommodation providers who have not been well served by existing e-
marketplace models. The new model has also allowed booking commissions to be retained on-shore
in the developing countries, further reducing the “leakage” of tourism profits from the developing
world. New ratings schemes called “caring for the customer” and “caring for the destination” have
been added to the WHL sites to encourage MSMEs to improve customer service and to engage in
proactive sustainability initiatives.
WHLC works with the product providers in the developing world (mostly the smaller local hotels,
guesthouses and tour / activity operators) to assess market readiness (readiness for groups like
whl.travel, Expedia, Orbitz and others to sell online); to develop high quality digital content needed
for global distribution in the online world; to build capacity; leverage renewable energy practices;
and to assist with access to finance. WHLC also has a strong commitment to sustainable travel and
has built a focus on sustainable development into all the consulting products and programs in
With the Business Trust, WHL Africa is implementing a project in the Mpumalanga, Southern
Limpopo & KwaZulu-Natal provinces. The goal is to provide tools to MSME product owners to be
able to participate in the global online marketplace through a variety of activities and tools unique to
WHL and WHLC. To meet the overall goals WHL Africa with WHLC has devised a set of tools and
activities that will be rolled out in each of the destinations. The WHLC tools to be employed are
Market Readiness Assessments, Content Collection Exercises and Market Access Training Seminars.
In addition, WHL Africa will be constructing e-commerce websites. Finally, jointly the two entities
will be developing a tool called the Tourism Development Bank which will allow for this program of
activities to be replicated in other destinations.
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The overall objective is to improve market access for MSME accommodation and activity providers
through a cluster marketing strategy. The WHL will help them to more effectively market to the
growing independent traveler (FIT) market. The proprietary tool to assess the SMEs, Sustainable
Market Readiness Assessment (SMRA), has the objective to identify accommodation products ready
to participate in marketing directly to a global audience via e-commerce channels, as well as those
nearly ready or not ready at all. For those that are nearly ready or market ready, they will engage in
the next step of the program: the Content Collection Exercise.
It is one thing to have a nice guesthouse or local homestay but it is entirely another thing to have the
professional and high quality digital content (photos and story) needed to sell the product. One of
the biggest needs for SMEs throughout the developing world is this content, without which it will be
impossible to reach a global audience. It is the minimum entry requirement for building market
access. The content needs to be high quality, in the correct format (e.g. digital images in both high
and low resolution formats), and also placed in the hands of the accommodation owners so that
they can use the material to leverage the multitude of distribution channels available to them. The
WHL Consulting Content Collection Exercise (CCE) is designed specifically to address this need. The
CCE consists of two parts (two separate consultants): A Travel Copywriter and A Professional
This RFP is for the Travel Copywriter position. For each tourism product a travel writer is needed
who has experience in writing copy for MSME tourism products. WHL has a particular interest in
sustainable tourism and has developed a new measure called Caring for the Destination. One of the
key components in this assignment will be for the travel writer to extract valuable stories to be
relevant to this branding opportunity for the MSME.
The CCE Travel Writing portion is essentially an interview and site visit that is conducted at the
MSMEs premises with the MSME owner or manager. Each CCE can take approximately 45 minutes to
1.5 hours, thereafter the content needs to be written as per the scope of work below. The
Consultant will need to manage the travel and interview schedule, calling ahead to confirm
appointment time so that at least 3 (average of 4.5) interviews can be conducted per day.
There will be 2-4 CCE Travel Writing consultants hired under this project, to cover different
territories. Each CCE Consultant will be assigned to interview between 100-200 MSMEs in total and it
is expected this target can be reached in 3-4 months time, with the expectation that 50 MSMEs are
interviewed, written up, re-written and text loaded to the CMS per month. In addition, the
destination blog and articles need to be completed during that time period. Every two weeks the
Consultant will need to report to the project coordinating office with status updates and to
coordinate the next two weeks of the travel and interview schedules. If the Consultant is able to
interview more than their agreed targets and if there are more MSMEs to interview once the agreed
target is reached, the consultant and the project coordinating office may agree upon a rate and time
frame for the Consultant to conduct the additional SMRAs.
The consultant will be required to undergo 2 days of training at the start of the assignment.
SCOPE OF WORK
Working closely with the appointed WHLC task team leader, tasks the consultant will undertake, will
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• Write two versions of quality English language copy for each product. WHL will provide the
Consultant with a questionnaire form which will include:
o General Introduction Text (100-300 words) - A catchy introduction of each
establishment of approx 8 lines, to encourage the person reading it to look for
more information on the establishment.
o Room Descriptions (General and Individual) (75-200 words each)
o Facilities & Amenities Descriptions (75-250 words)
o Location Description (75-150 words each)
o Host Details (75-200 words) - The host information page is an opportunity to
differentiate the establishment - Who they are, why they are running the
establishment, what their passions are, etc.
o Caring for the Destination Description, if applicable (75-200 words) - One of the
main focus’s of WHL is to promote sustainable tourism. Therefore we like to
promote establishments that are making CfD efforts. This could be related to
their community projects, effective energy conservation policies or practicing
carbon-neutral activities, for example. WHL has an interview prompting
questionnaire to help the travel writer see if there is a story here as often the
establishments are not aware of their CfD practices.
• Create a blog outlining your visits to the various establishments. A blog template and
instructions for use will be provided by WHL.
• Write two (2) destination articles for the destination – one focused on an aspect of the
destination, one on sustainable tourism related aspect of the destination; each
approximately 400-750 words and each in English.
The consultant will then be responsible for:
• Loading all the accommodation and destination content into a WHL software application.
The Consultant will need to provide all there own equipment (a laptop, ideally, for in the field data
entry). When the consultant is uploading the accommodation content to the WHL software
application, he/he will be required to have internet access.
The work done by the consultant will be performed at the consultant’s home base and in the field in
KwaZulu-Natal, Mpumalanga & Southern Limpopo provinces. The assigned territory will depend on
number of consultants hired under this portion, consultant/s home base and based on negotiation.
The anticipated travel schedule is as follows:
Task Number of Days Approximate Dates Location
Training 1-2 days 15 January 2010 Hazyview,
SME Site Visits, Writing 3-4 Months Start February / In the field, Home
and Data Entry March 2010 – Base
Completed by mid
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Successful Applicants should:
• Have 2-3 years of international travel and work experience.
• Have solid writing and editing skills for marketing purposes. (Preferably experience writing
up accommodation marketing content).
• Be able to evidence a strong knowledge of and understanding of the South African region.
• Be committed to a sustainable tourism industry and sustainable development.
• Able to work flexible hours and manage their own time efficiently.
• Regular access to email and Skype for correspondence, coordination and virtual training
with WHLC prior to and during implementation.
The contract will be a monthly contract at ZAR 10,000 per month with the expectation that 50
interviews and write-ups are satisfactorily completed per month and that all other deliverables are
submitted by the end of the contracted period. The contract is for three to four months depending
on the allocations of interviews. The coordinating office will review the completed write-ups at end
of each month to determine if quality standards were met. If more than the agreed interviews were
completed in a given month, the carry-over will count towards the second months numbers. If less
than the agreed interviews were completed in a given month, the Consultant will need to explain
the reason for not hitting target and/or present his/her plan for catching up. If the consultant is able
to do more than the agreed MSME interviews and the coordinating office has more interviews to
assign, the two parties may agree to additional pay and time to complete more interviews. All
travel and communication costs incurred in the course of conducting the Travel Write up’s will be at
the cost of the project either as a reimbursable expense or paid directly by the project. All
reimbursable expenses will be paid out at cost with corresponding documentary evidence. All travel
will need to be arranged and approved in advance with the project coordinating office.
The consultant will report to Anita Raw, Project Manager.
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