BEST IN AFRICA: HAYWARD’s MOBILE SAFARIS

Preceding finalists from 11 African countries and excelling over 47 000 votes, Hayward’s Grand Safari Company has clinched The Safari Guild’s Best in Africa Award for top Mobile Safari at the 11th The Safari Awards, announced by CEO Henry Hallward at a glittering awards evening held at World Travel Market, London recently.

With a roll call of beating drums and the popping of champagne corks, owner Peter Hayward and his agile team were delighted to receive this well-deserved accolade:

“Twenty-five years before the famous explorer David Livingstone arrived in Africa, my great, great grandfather, 24-year-old James Hayward, arrived on the tip of Africa on an adventure into uncharted territory. He was one of the first true pioneers into a landscape that teemed with vast herds of wildlife. Today, we are proud to carry on the tradition of bespoke, authentic group mobile safaris in a tradition that originated in 1685. Today, the Grand Safari continues to play a pivotal role in preserving the continent’s environmental heritage and showcases Africa’s unique natural capital.”

Hayward’s Grand Safari Company is not a new contender to The Safari Awards. They previously received Best Mobile Safari Company in South Africa two years in a row and were Highly Commended as Best Mobile Safari Company in Africa. Having now reached the pinnacle achievement on The Safari Awards platform, Hayward said: “This award is not just a quick pat on the back for us. It sets a standard in the industry for Africa. It’s not about ego either; it’s industry validation that all our hard work over the past 20 years is finally paying off. Currently, we consistently continue to receive an average 9.6 out of 10 across 22 points of guest satisfaction feedback from our delighted customers who experience a Grand Safari expedition, so to have this internationally recognised and acknowledged establishes our reputation abroad and helps our employees take pride in their work and continue in their efforts. Further to that, it instills confidence in customers regarding the quality and professionalism of our organisation and raises the profile of the continent of Africa as a travel and incentive destination within the tourism industry globally.”

Established in 2008, The Safari Guild was formed to manage The Safari Awards as a platform to recognise excellence within the safari industry and it encompasses a vibrant community of over 5 000 safari specialist agents sharing product knowledge on over 1 200 safari lodges, camps and operators.

CEO Henry Hallward says:

“The Safari Guild and these awards have an important role to play by influencing the debate on how best to manage and protect dwindling wildlife resources, by working with the people who own it. Our expectation is that travel professionals who engage with The Safari Guild will, in time, use their influence and buying power to reduce unnecessary exploitation of wildlife resources and encourage and support safari operators to share their gains equitably with the local communities and wildlife conservation entities that enable primary protection of wildlife for future generations.”

Representing Hayward’s Grand Safari Company to receive the award on the night, was Sasha Ella, Group Marketing Manager of Mantis Hospitality, who brought the award home to the African continent and into the hands of Peter Hayward and the Hayward’s Grand Safari Company team.

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Pop-Up Camps SA in the Overberg

We recently visited Pop-Up Camps SA’s pop-up camp at the De Hoop Nature Reserve. Oh, what a magnificent and eye-opening experience! 

We were able to spot a few whales and got to experience the coast on a whole new level. Pop-Up Camps SA is famous for their unique settings such as De Hoop and we are excited to see which spots they choose in 2018. 

Here is a glimpse of what to expect. Be sure to visit their webpage, popupcamps.co.za, to see where they’ll be popping up next! 

Also keep your eyes pealed for the Beeld newspaper (South Africa), where you will be able to read more about this rare and wonderful experience. 


Written and recorded by: Renate Engelbrecht

Stap in Magoebaskloof

Magoebaskloof is een van Suid-Afrika se mooiste dele en tog is daar min mense wat werklik weet wat dit het om te bied. ‘n Onlangse staproete het my liefde vir die area opnuut weer laat blom.

Die Magoebaskloof Staproete is ‘n sirkelroete van 60 km wat oor 5 dae gestap kan word. Inheemse woude, bergstrome en plantasies maak van die roete een vir die boeke. Jy kan ook kies hoe ver jy wil stap, met opsies van 2-dag roetes tot 5-dag roetes.

Wat kan jy hier sien?

Die huilklip, ‘n natuurlike rots wat soos ‘n gong klink wanneer dit met ‘n ander klip gekap word, is een van die bekende en gunsteling besienswaardighede op die roete. Net so is die dierespesies wat jy op die roete kan gewaar, baie indrukwekkend. Van samango ape, bosbokke en bosvarke tot ‘n wye verskeidenheid voëlspesies – veral in die Grootbosch Woud. Kyk ook uit vir die hoogste geplante boom ter wêreld.

Wenke:

  • Maak seker dat jy die Dokolewa poele en die Waterval Hut by jou roete insluit. Dit is twee van die mooiste dele van die roete en jy sal spyt wees as jy dit mis.
  • Die 2-dag roete is ideaal vir ‘n familie wat graag die woud wil verken. Die 5-dag roete is meer gevorderd en jy moet redelik fiks wees om hom aan te pak.

Wat om te pak:

  • ‘n Hoed is ‘n moet
  • Oordentelike stapskoene – Ek het my hi-tecs van Cape Union Mart gedra en hulle het perfek gewerk.
  • Dik kouse
  • ‘n Waterdigte baadjie – Dit raak soms mistig en mag selfs reën.
  • Ekstra klere.
  • Kos
  • ‘n Gasstofie met genoeg gas, vuurhoutjies en ‘n potjie waarin jy water kan kook.
  • Plastiekborde, bamboo eetgerei, eko-vriendelike papierservette en ‘n beker.
  • Die nodigste items vir noodhulp – Verbande, pleisters, Detol, ens.
  • Voorgeskrewe medikasie, maar ook medisyne vir allergieë, hoofpyn en naarheid.
  • ‘n Multifunksionele instrument, soos ‘n Leatherman van Awesome Tools.
  • Sonbrandroom en ‘n sonbril. Hoewel die meeste van die roete onder digte woude is, is daar wel dele waar die son jou kop warm sal brand.
  • Slaapsak en kussing.
  • Water
  • ‘n Koplig – Trappers het ‘n wye verskeidenheid waaruit jy kan kies.
  • ‘n Pak kaarte – soms kom ‘n mens vroeër by die slaapplek aan en dan wil ‘n mens bietjie speletjies speel en ontspan.
  • Indien jy kontaklense dra, kyk uit vir Dischem se oulike reispakkies met kleiner botteltjies kontaklens skoonmaakmiddel. Ek gebruik altyd die Bausch & Lomb Boston Multi-Action Solution, wat ‘n spesiale vlugpakkie is. Dit sluit selfs ‘n Zip-Lock sakkie in, wat handig te pas sal kom. Dischem het ook baie oulike ander reis items soos kleiner botteltjies sjampoe, stortseep, handeroom en meer.
  • ‘n Buff is altyd ‘n goeie item om byderhand te hê. Soms is die oggende maar nog koel. Kies jou gunsteling buff op Adventure Inc.
  • Gemaklike plakkies of sagte skoene vir wanneer jy jou stapskoene uittrek. Gewone inglip plakkies soos Cotton On se thongs, sal die ding doen.
  • ‘n Rol toiletpapier
  • ‘n Swartsak of twee
  • Jou kamera. Verkieslik iets wat lig is om te dra. ‘n GoPro is ideaal – probeer bietjie die GoPro HERO Black 5.
  • ‘n Handoek en ‘n lappie wat vinnig kan droog word.
  • ‘n Kaart van die roete
  • Twee planne van die roete – een wat jy by ‘n vriend los en ‘n ander wat jy in jou motor los.
  • Insekweerder

Vir meer inligting oor die Magoebaskloof staproete, kontak: ecotour@klf.co.za of 013 754 2724

Geskryf deur: Renate Engelbrecht

Foto krediet: Alicia Maree

The #IDoTourism Movement

How can we do tourism? How can you do tourism? And why should we?

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To build a greater nation and to show off South-Africa’s potential globally. South Africa Tourism has started a movement to show the importance of every single South African in our tourism industry. The ability of this industry to create jobs and the effect that tourism has on the entire country has been greatly underestimated.

We have a beautiful country and South African people are amazing. By standing together, we can improve our entire economy by supporting this movement. On the 5th of October, Margie Whitehouse from South Africa Tourism highlighted the importance of this movement at the Tshwane Tourism Association’s meeting, which was hosted at 012 Central. Travelling Mystery Guest supports this movement.

Are you going to do tourism? Remember to use #IDoTourism if you share it online.

Watch their inspirational video to learn more about the #IDoTourism movement:

 

 

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Written by: Alicia Redelinghuys

How to simplify business travel for your guests 

With the rise of conference-calls and video-conferencing systems like Skype and Google Hangouts, it may seem like the days of face-to-face meetings are numbered. But a lot of business leaders and industrial psychologists reckon that there’s no substitute for meeting someone in person, especially at critical junctures in a business relationship, like introducing yourself or closing a deal. So how can hotels make business travel less stressful and worth your while? Dawn Weir, head of kulula work, suggests the following:

Identify the business benefits for your guests:

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Weir says that business travel can be beneficial for the individual traveller and their business. British Airways On Business for example, enables your enterprise to earn points when you travel on BA, Iberia and American Airlines, and you’re entitled to members-only offers and discounts. BA Executive Club enables you to graduate to higher tiers where you can, for example, get cabin upgrades and access to business lounges and use the points to, say, take your family on holiday with you. Hotels can advertise these types of benefits to their business customers and even form an alliance with the airline to do advertising for them on their planes.

Assist them to be travel ready:

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In the current busy, always-connected corporate lifestyle, your guests can never be too prepared to travel at a moment’s notice. Weir admits to being a super organised individual and has a travel drawer with her travel necessities, ready to pack at a moment’s notice. This drawer includes luggage labels, extra ID and passport photos, toothbrush cover, toiletry bag with miniatures (shampoo, hand sanitizer and moisturiser), travel brush, neck cushion and eye masks. But not all your guests will be this organised. Offer a travel kit at an additional (not too expensive) cost. Things like ID copies and passport photos are not in your control, but you can add some toiletries and essentials to the kit.

Suggest apps to simplify their arrangements

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A few apps that you can advise your business travellers to use, include:

  • Scannable: This app enables the camera on your smartphone to record documents at a quality similar to those that have been scanned or photocopied. Take a picture of that all-important, game-changing, freshly-signed contract and the app straightens and neatens it up so you can email it. It’s quick and discreet and it’s also a way to keep track of your expenses. Take a shot of your receipts and mail them to your accounts department.
  • There’s no shortage of online project-management tools, but Trello has earned the loyalty of its 10m users through canny use of colour-codes, to-do lists and timelines.
  • AroundMe uses your mobile device’s GPS to find facilities like banks, ATMs, parking-garages, eateries and medical facilities, while Wi-fi Finder does the same, but for wi-fi hotspots.

Create a break room for your guests:

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Airport lounges provide a haven from the hubbub of departure-lounges, but not all are equal by any means. The best ones have space for some work, high speed wi-fi, a good selection of food, a decent wine-list, and facilities to shower and freshen up. The SLOW Lounges at a number of South African airports have these facilities, and there’s even one at the Radisson Blu Hotel opposite the Sandton Gautrain station (SLOW in the City), which provides boardrooms, lounges and the option to arrange for private areas to do business lunches and interviews, with the benefit of waiters on call for food and drink orders. A new lounge recently opened at Lanseria International Airport called SLOW XS and has, among its many attractions, wine-tastings offered by local drinks specialists, Winesense, and is exclusive to FNB/RMB cardholders and kulula passengers. When your hotel’s business rooms is booked, some of your guests might need a quick freshen up, and this is the perfect opportunity to incorporate the said “SLOW Lounges” at your hotel.

Lastly, remind your guests to hydrate and rest when flying:

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Weir says many business travellers tend to put in more working hours when away from the office and home and they might be so busy and tired that they forget to stay hydrated. A simple bottle of water can be given to your guests upon arrival and departure with a designed label to remind your guests to drink enough water and to get some rest during their travels. A nice personal touch can be to wish them safe travels on the label as well.

Edited by: Alicia Redelinghuys

 

WIN with HomingPIN

WIN a HomingPIN starter pack to the value of R200 by sharing the link of this blog post on Facebook and tagging @TravellingMysteryGuest and @HOMINGPINSA.

HomingPIN is integrated with the worldwide World Tracer system, which all baggage handlers have access to. For airlines, HomingPIN will instantly provide information on the bag’s whereabouts when it is found. The airline will then contact the owner to arrange transfer of the goods. What’s more, is that HomingPIN can provide reasonably-priced transportation of your found goods, from anywhere in the world.

HomingPIN tags, stickers and key rings allow you to tag a variety of items including, but not limited to, luggage, laptop computers, mobile phones, keys, wallets and passports. Easy-to-use and practical, they’re a life-saver for the whole family. With this handy tool, lost keys have a much better chance of being returned to their owners, and owners have peace of mind too!

The winner will be announced on 30 November 2017 at noon.

COLLABORATION, SKILLS DEVELOPMENT, UNIQUE EXPERIENCES – KEY TO CAPE WINELANDS TOURISM GROWTH

11. Lunch enjoyed at Spier by the speakers and delegates (HR) The recent edition of The Business of Wine & Food Tourism Conference saw those operating in the Cape’s wine, food and hospitality industries gather at Spier in Stellenbosch to glean insights from local and international specialists, and engage in informative discussions focused on growing revenue and loyalty for tourism in the Cape Winelands.

 

1. Margi Biggs, convenor of The Business of Wine & Food Tourism Conference 2017 (HR).jpg

Margi Biggs

Now in its second year, the annual conference is convened by seasoned travel and tourism specialist, Margi Biggs.  She believes that travel and tourism can potentially contribute significantly more than it currently does to South Africa’s national GDP.  The World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) has calculated that last year, the direct contribution of the travel and tourism sector to the South African economy was worth R127,9bn, accounting for 3% of the country’s GDP.  The indirect contribution was approximately 9%, according to South African Tourism.

 

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Rico Basson

Rico Basson, executive director of Vinpro, the non-profit organisation that represents around 3 500 South African wine producers and cellars, used the example of the Wine Industry Strategic Exercise (WISE) initiative, launched in 2015, to illustrate how collaboration is paramount to unlocking value and stimulating growth.  WISE was developed by the South African wine and brandy industry to help it reach a desirable future state by 2025. Its robust and adaptable approach is geared towards driving profitability, global competitiveness and sustainability. It is a collaborative effort driven by Vinpro, SALBA (South African Liquor Brandowners Association), SAWIS (South African Wine Industry Information and Systems), WOSA (Wines of South Africa) and Winetech (Wine Industry Network of Expertise and Technology). 

Basson mentioned key targets for the industry towards 2025, such as building a greater presence in strategic markets, specifically in the US and Africa; growing Cape wine tourism to increase visitor numbers by 25%; and increasing Cape wine tourism’s annual direct contribution to South Africa’s national GDP from R6 billion to R16 billion. He also highlighted the use of technology and research in continuing to create a sustainable future for the overall industry.

19. Tim Harris, CEO of Wesgro (HR)

Tim Harris

Tim Harris, head of Wesgro, the Western Cape’s trade and investment promotion agency, foresees continued growth potential in tourism for the region. He referenced the Fourth Industrial Revolution, its disruptive effect on all economies, and especially the necessity for Africa to adapt in terms of digital skills development, changing business models and public-private partnerships to advance its ‘Africa rising’ narrative.

 

 

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Linda D’Holt-Hacker

“The Cape Winelands offers a high quality slow product in a world where time is seen as increasingly rare and valuable. The Business of Wine & Food Tourism Conference provides an incredible opportunity to celebrate this,” Harris said.    

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Amanda Kotze-Nhlapo

Representing South African Tourism, Amanda Kotze-Nhlapo explained how the entity is rallying South Africans and the economic sector to fully support tourism growth with the launch of the ‘We Do Tourism’ movement, on 29 September 2017. “Every citizen of South Africa plays a role in local tourism. We are in a crisis if we don’t support tourism. It creates jobs, enriches lives and brings people together.”

 

 

 

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Jerry Mabena

Jerry Mabena, CEO of Thebe Services that owns the Thebe Tourism Group surmised that South African Afropolitans could boost the annual South African economy by more than R2 billion and grow tourism. That is if they are given appealing reasons to travel to the Cape Winelands.  He described Afropolitans as cosmopolitan Africans; global in their outlook, straddling the divide between African and Western cultures, and having the disposable income for travel. Yet they are not really targeted by the local travel and tourism industry.

Mabena suggested that wineries rethink and refocus their marketing efforts, and create events around wine drinking, activated in spaces that Afropolitans can relate to. “Make wine drinking accessible – take away the snob value and mystery but leave some ‘upmarket’ attributes.  Encourage Afropolitans to meet the owners and/or winemakers at cellars – make them feel like they are guests, not just random customers.

“Big events such as the annual Soweto Wine Festival have and continue to play a major part in bringing wine and wine-related experiences into the consideration sets of Afropolitans. Create more of these and combine wine with whisky, cognac and other spirit experiences. Experiences create stories. Polo and wine festivals seem to attract Afropolitans – expand those.”

 

10. Dr Robin Back (HR)

Dr. Robin Back

Dr Robin Back, a South African-born, US-based academic who conducts wine tourism research in both South Africa and the US, shared the findings of his recent research study that looked specifically at the effect of a winery visit on brand loyalty and purchasing behaviour. He explained that the results indicated that winery tourism does in fact have a positive long-term effect on brand loyalty and purchasing behaviour, but that the strongest effect of positive winery visitation appears to be on brand loyalty, which is shown not to diminish over time. He also mentioned the significant role of frequent and continuous communication with those who have visited, to further strengthen the bond between the brand and the consumer. Back added that wine tourism should be incorporated into overall winery marketing plans.

4. Delegates listening to Don Shindle (HR)

Conference delegates learned about the art of impeccable service from Don Shindle, an expert in customer service from Napa, California’s renowned wine tourism epicentre. He explained the importance of expertly and thoroughly trained staff, empowered to act with confidence, in achieving top service standards.  “Everything communicates, so engage your workers and enable them to perform.  Be agile in practices to create loyalty beyond reason, and delivery your brand promise. Teamwork means I am you, and you are me.”

3. Don Shindle general manager of The Westin Verasa Napa (HR)

Don Shindle

Shindle’s thinking was echoed by Linda d’Holt-Hacker of South Africa’s The Touch Company, that assists large and small organisations in developing and fine-tuning outstanding customer journeys and brand experiences. Showcasing a model she calls ‘The Hosting Paradigm’ as a tool for effective decision-making, she also outlined how crucial it is for employees to understand very clearly why they do what they do – in other words, to have a sense of real purpose aligned with the brand they represent. In addition, she shared insights on how to align guest experiences with a brand’s core values, and highlighted the need for a shift in how service staff are perceived and think about themselves. 

 

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Kevin Arnold

Waterford Estate’s Kevin Arnold outlined best practice for winery tasting centres. He believes that wine brands are built in the tasting room and that unique, innovative and personal tasting experiences are paramount to creating memorable value. “At Waterford, we’ve found that we sell more wine and build greater loyalty when offering guests not only a tasting, but an experience such as a vineyard safari where they get to taste our wines outside, in the vineyards. Personalised experiences help us form real connections with our guests. Wine brings them through the door, experience brings them back.” Arnold views visitors as guests, not customers.  He also believes in in-depth training and development of staff, mentorship, building confidence and ensuring that employee aspirations fit with those of the brand.

 

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Kelly Jackson

General manager of Contiki in South Africa, Kelly Jackson, presented ways in which virtual reality could be very effectively used as a strategic marketing tool to bring a product or service to life. She however cautioned against using virtual reality as a gimmick, and suggested that brands use it only if it fits with the experience they aim to promote.

 

 

7. Andrea Robinson, master sommelier for Delta Air Lines (HR)

Andrea Robinson

Meanwhile, world-renowned US lifestyle TV personality, Andrea Robinson, one of only 23 female Master Sommeliers in the world, covered the process of choosing wines for Delta Air Lines and showed how the airline uses its marketing and media properties such as its in-flight magazine and on-board entertainment system to highlight specific wines and wine routes.  She also elaborated on other marketing activities including sponsorships and partnerships, themed wine region promotions in strategically located hubs, and the up-skilling of flight attendants in terms of wine knowledge and service.

 

9. Panel discussion headed by Dr Jaisheila Rajput, Jessica Shepherd, Luke Grant & Joe Stead (HR)

Dr Jaisheila Rajput, founder and CEO of Tomorrow Matters Now (TOMA-Now), an independent consultancy focused on developing the green economy with special emphasis on value chain management and growth, together with Joe Stead of the Spur Corporation and Luke Grant and Jessica Shepherd of The Table at De Meye in Stellenbosch, winner of the Eat Out Sustainability Award in 2016, presented a panel discussion focused on the role hotels, wineries, restaurants and consumers can play in promoting a sustainable future, particularly addressing the issue of food waste management.

 Rajput said that the sustainability movement had already started in South Africa, with clear examples provided by Stead, Grant and Shepherd. Stead mentioned that although waste management is a complex issue, the Spur Corporation has had major successes, from Spur restaurants recycling cooking oil to produce biodiesel, to John Dory outlets eliminating all plastic packaging in a bid to tackle the issue of ocean pollution.   

 

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Wendy Masters

Reputation management and strategic communication specialist Wendy Masters of The Phoenix Partnership, based in Cape Town, educated delegates on the key phases of crisis communication: prepare, respond and recover. She believes that reputation is about delivery, not promise, and described how pro-active approaches to crisis situations could actually strengthen brand reputation, citing the example of The Vineyard Hotel in Newlands, Cape Town.  “When the water shortage crisis in the Western Cape became evident, immediate action was taken to remove plugs from bath tubs and install low-flow shower heads in all guest bathrooms. These efforts clearly demonstrated the hotel’s commitment to sustainability, recognised and applauded by guests and other stakeholders such as local government,” Masters said.