News

02Mar 2018

Cost-efficient travel procurement is becoming increasingly tricky for corporate executives, particularly those who are encouraged by their travel management companies (TMCs) to focus on the cost and not the efficiency of the service they provide.

With budgets tightening and competition intensifying, many TMCs are discounting fees to unrealistic and sometimes even absurd levels, just to get the business. Once they have secured the account, they have to scramble to recover their shortfall from the client in other ways and cannot afford the manpower costs required to put in place the policies and procedures required to manage the total travel costs.

Procurement managers need to be aware of this common practice, which manifests itself in various forms. The TMC can mark up the accommodation cost, or can charge for different classes of fares in order to sustain their business.

The fact of the matter is that, globally as well as in South Africa, the travel management industry operates on paper-thin margins: a profit of 2% on total sales value is regarded as the norm.

There is a misconception that a TMC can supplement its fee income with commissions and overrides, and corporates often ask to share in these. However, a professionally managed TMC will already have factored those into its fee calculation. This is how it works. The TMC calculates the total cost, mainly manpower, of servicing the account. Overrides and supplier revenues are then offset against this. Finally, the TMC proposes a management fee which should deliver that 2% margin. So when a customer takes away the overrides or commission, the TMC in order to sustain itself, must increase its fees.

As a rule of thumb, any management fee which amount to less than 4% of the total travel programme should ring a warning bell. At that level, the TMC will simply not be able to provide the client with an effective service, let alone add value to the client’s bottom line.

Of course the end goal should be to keep a tight rein on costs and make savings where possible. But squeezing the TMC on its fees is counter-productive because inevitably the total cost of the programme will rise as the TMC will not be able to perform the level of service required to resolve the total travel spend.

It’s worth noting that a TMC’s on-line system can be the most cost-effective way of managing travel with its ability to extract all airline, car rental and accommodation options and compare these to the client’s preferences. The TMC’s recommendation – which will highlight potential savings, for example by taking an earlier flight – are communicated electronically to the client’s travel approver, who authorises it electronically, after which all vouchers are also issued electronically.

The key focus of partnering with a TMC should be on value delivery and not cheap fees. A properly conceived programme will give the client total cost control over its travel programme, thanks to the TMC’s ability to deal with all vendors, negotiate discounts, handle the daily operation of the programme, develop travel policies and controls, and manage data and credit card usage.

These services all add value which extends beyond the management fee, which is why companies should look past the lure of a low fee, which will prove unsustainable in the end. Instead, they should take into consideration the very real contribution a good TMC, with the right skills and services, can make to the efficient overall management of their travel programme and spend.

26Feb 2018
Two oceans aquarium cape town

Tourvest Destination Retail, a member of integrated tourism group Tourvest, says its revamped gift shop at the Two Oceans Aquarium in Cape Town has raised the standard in retail story-telling.

“It’s new and refreshing,” says Allison Graham, chief executive. “It takes its inspiration from the geometries and polished edges of a conch shell, adding some magic to the aquarium experience as opposed to simply being an afterthought,” she says.

Tourvest Destination Retail is a world respected destination retailer with 61 stores located at key tourism hubs in Southern Africa, from Cape Town to Victoria Falls. It also owns a further 16 stores in the Caribbean as well as two Out-of-India outlets in the magnificent Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport in Mumbai, India. A new outlet, Encante Alicante has just been opened in Spain as the business continues to leverage its unique skills across the globe. Its Out-of-Africa shop at OR Tambo International has twice been voted the best destination retail shop at any airport in the world by the prestigious Moodie Davitt Report.

Graham says the new design was prompted by a number of developments, including the aquarium’s own recent refurbishments and the successful renewal of Tourvest’s contract to operate the gift shop.

“Our commercial success has always been underpinned by our ability to capture the essence of a destination in a retail environment. Our target market is driven by the travelling consumers and when they enter one of our shops, they must be immediately reminded of the place they are visiting. In revamping the gift shop at the Two Ocean’s Aquarium, we wanted it to be a visual extension of the aquarium’s slogan – explore, experience, engage,” she says.

At the same time, Tourvest has stocked the store with fresh, new merchandise that reflects the aquarium experience with a wide range of clothing, souvenirs, locally sourced arts and crafts, jewellery, books and stationery.

It is also supporting the aquarium’s “Green Your Footprint” initiative, aimed at raising awareness of the danger plastic poses to marine life by including a number of reusable shoppers, bottles and mugs in its inventory.

“As with our other stores most of our product is sourced from local artists and crafters, which positively impacts on job-creation and poverty alleviation,” she says.

“For more than a decade the Two Oceans Aquarium has enjoyed working with Tourist Destination Retail as our retail partners within the Aquarium.“ says Michael Farquhar, CEO Two Oceans Aquarium. “They have always brought a vibrant mix of merchandise which has added positively to the Aquarium visitor experience. They significantly upped their game when they transformed their old store into a modern ‘cutting edge’ retail concept which is extremely attractive and inviting. The new shop has transformed the feel in the foyer of the Aquarium and I have no doubt that it will be a hit with our visitors.”

13Jan 2018

Integrated tourism group Tourvest has developed in partnership with Chimp & Zee a new rope adventure park at the Valley of the Waves in one of many new tourism activities the group is offering through its Sun City based Mankwe-GAMETRACKERS business.

Scheduled to open on 25 November this year, the 45-minute long Chimp & Zee Rope Adventure Park will comprise individual elevated obstacles and challenges, interconnected to form an exciting aerial adventure course, and will include high balancing beams, zip lines, hanging spider nets and jungle rope bridges. It will have two access points to allow day visitors outside the Valley of the Waves to enjoy the facility too.

Mankwe-GAMETRACKERS chief executive Peter Dlamini says the introduction of a rope adventure park will greatly enhance the Valley of the Waves by introducing an additional activity to swimming and the waterslides. “The rope adventure park will add considerable value to Sun City’s value proposition as a sought after leisure and entertainment destination,” he says. “We feel that while guests enjoy the slides and the waves, their interest will be piqued by the activities above them and we expect the Valley of the Waves to draw larger numbers of people,” he says.

According to Dlamini, it is a double lane which will meet the demand and will allow guests to enjoy the experience alongside each other to the finish. “Safety will be a crucial aspect of this new activity and highly trained personnel will be stationed at the beginning and end of the rope park’s circuit to ensure the integrity of the cables and related equipment,” he says.

In another development, Tourvest says the first stage of its mountain biking track within the neighbouring Letsatsing Game Reserve has been completed and will also be opened to the public in November this year. The next stage is already underway and will add an additional 10 kilometres to the mountain biking track when complete. The reserve already has a quad biking track and the inclusion of a cycling track will offer guests the opportunity to experience a game viewing bike ride.

The track is 9.7 kilometres and has been divided into a beginners and experienced cyclists lane and offers spectacular views of Sun City, the Pilanesberg National Park, neighbouring communities and, on a clear day, Rustenburg. “The track has been built to international standards with a view to attracting international cycling events as the route is extended in the coming months,” Dlamini says. “Guests can bring their own bikes or rent them from our new Activity Hub, located at the old cultural village.”

The Activity Hub will serve as a central reservations point for all activities at Sun City, allowing guests to peruse, book and pay in one place. Activity combos will also be made available at a special discounted rate, Dlamini says, and guests can prebook and plan their days using Mankwe-GAMETRACKERS online booking portal. The hub is also home to Sun City’s Shebeen Restaurant, which offers light meals and refreshing drinks.

“All our new staff have been sourced within the surrounding community and will be taken through an extensive training programme as part of our skills development programme,” Dlamini says.

20Feb 2017

The City Lodge Hotel Group has begun the development of a 148-room City Lodge Hotel in Maputo (Mozambique) as part of its targeted African expansion programme.

Initial site works for the hotel began in late January and it is expected to open in the second quarter of 2018, taking the group’s number of hotels to 61, which will include three in Kenya, one in Tanzania, one in Botswana and one in Namibia, complementing 54 hotels in South Africa across the Courtyard Hotel, City Lodge Hotel, Town Lodge and Road Lodge brands.

City Lodge Hotel Maputo will feature seven storeys and a basement and will have four meeting rooms, a mini-gym and a swimming pool.

The group  is currently developing three other new hotels in Africa: the 172-room City Lodge Hotel Two Rivers in Nairobi (Kenya),  the 147-room City Lodge Hotel Dar es Salaam in Tanzania, and the 147-room Town Lodge Windhoek (Namibia).

courtesy: Business Traveller Africa

10Feb 2017

Tourvest East Africa has been awarded the full management contract for KIli Villas, situated near the city of Arusha in northern Tanzania. The contract comes into effect ਜਾਣ on 1 March this year.

Tourvest East Africa operates the Lemala tented camps and Kuria Hills permanent camp in the northern Serengeti, as well as nfl jerseys shop the Wildwaters Lodge and Adrift river-rafting company on the River Nile in Uganda.

Arusha, located at the base of the volcanic Mount Meru, is a gateway to the Serengeti National Park and many other cheap Air Jordans sought after safari destinations in the area, as well as Mount Kilimanjaro.

Leanne Haigh, Lemala chief executive and Tourvest East Africa director of operations, says the property will be rebranded to Lemala Kili Villas so that it can fit into the company’s cheap nhl jerseys existing Lemala guest circuit. It is a perfect fit for families and its golf course has been listed in the “Top 10 Best Golf Courses in Africa” by the African Travel Market magazine.

The property comprises three villas with a total of 13 rooms, each of which is distinctively decorated to showcase the best of local African design and craftsmanship combined with colonial style furniture. Built around a central private courtyard, each villa boasts a reception, living and dining room with views of both Mount Meru and Kilimanjaro. The villas can be cheap nfl jerseys rented on a per person basis or on an exclusive-use basis.

Haigh says Kili Villas wholesale nfl jersyes is a welcome addition to Tourvest’s growing portfolio of properties in East Africa, adding that she plans to do an extensive refurbishment of each villa. “We look forward to adding considerable value to the daily operations and marketing efforts of this iconic property through our hands-on management approach,” she says.

Please contact res@lemalacamp.com for more information and rates, including golf and safari packages

25Feb 2016

South African Airways has amended its departure closing sa time for check-in to 40 wholesale nfl jerseys minutes before boarding on certain domestic flights operated from OR Tambo International Airport, effective April 1. Previously, SAA closed all domestic flights 30 minutes prior cheap jordans online to check-in.

The change will apply to flights from Johannesburg to Cheap Ray Ban Sunglasses Durban, Cape Town, Port Elizabeth and East London.

The change will allow the airline to conclude all departure procedures on fake oakleys time, this includes baggage procedures so that travellers will not have their baggage left behind.

The airline said flights would close sooner but that it would not have an impact on current boarding times, which would not be changed jordan retro 1 viagra europe.

21Oct 2015

SAA Voyager and TIRS (Tourvest Inflight Retail Services), which offers inflight duty-free services to British Airways, South African Airways, Kenya Airways, SA Express, Arik Airways, Precision Air and TAAG among others,  announced their improved partnership at an event today in Rosebank, Johannesburg.

Voyager members can now not only earn miles when buying duty-free products, but spend miles shopping for duty-free products online (www.flysaadutyfree.co.za).

Voyager Miles are earned on all inflight duty-free purchases made on SAA regional and international flights exceeding two hours.streaming film The Discovery 2017

The www.flysaadutyfree.com retail site now allows SAA Voyager members to earn and spend Voyager Miles when they “Buy Before you Fly” with purchases delivered to their seat by a crew member. Purchases can be made up to 14 weeks before flight dates, but  at least three days before departure. The site also includes discount offers and promotions.

The online retail offering also has the added benefit of SAA Voyager members being jordan retro 1 able to shop from the comfort of their own homes or offices, while earning or redeeming Voyager Miles. Products will be delivered on board, rather than them having to cheap jordan shoes rush around the airport with shopping bags.

The two brands are working towards enabling the spending of Voyager Miles onboard on a phased approach. At present, the onboard purchase concept offers an offline facility.

TIRS chief Cheap Jordan Sale executive officer Clive Jones commented:

“Often travellers fall below the number of Voyager miles required to purchase a flight.  Alternatively, these assigned seats are already taken up viagra est une pilule. In both instances the Cheap Jerseys From China member would then have to pay for their airlines tickets.”

He added:

“This partnership now allows travellers to still benefit from their loyalty programme membership by burning their Voyager Miles to purchase duty-free NFL Jerseys Cheap products. It is easier to part with your Voyager Miles to spoil oneself or purchase gifts for family and friends, rather than having to open your wallet to con reach for your credit card or cash.”

18Sep 2015

At a presentation to the media in Sandton on Wednesday (16th September 2015), Tourvest CEO Tommy Edmond drew a picture of a challenging trading environment.

Mr. Edmond said that in the past, a plummeting rand always translated to a spurt in inbound tourism, but the current obstacles facing the industry left it unable to capitalise on the exchange rate, despite that rate being at its lowest ever. While South Africa should be experiencing a growth in tourist arrivals of 10-15%, it was recording losses.

He said the Ebola outbreak in West Africa had had a massive impact on the American market, while the effect on the European market was marginal. Tourvest’s operation in East Africa, heavily reliant on fickle American business, had felt the brunt of this, and the company would now adopt a strategy of growing its European client base for East Africa.

South Africa’s biometric visa requirements and the inefficiencies in the application process had seriously affected the Chinese and Indian markets, which are down 40% and 13% respectively. The South American market, where Tourvest had spent a fortune in marketing, had dwindled to the point where the company was considering withdrawal. The lack of direct cheap ray bans flights to the region further compounded the situation.

Mr. Edmond predicted that tourist arrival figures from June, when the unabridged birth certificate regulation came into force, would show a drop of 10%. He said 20% of groups travelling from Europe to South Africa contained members under the age of 18, and these groups would holiday elsewhere.

Incidents of terror, such as the Garissa University raid in Kenya in April 2015, were on the increase across the continent and were further affecting tourism. Safety and security in South Africa, and corruption, were damaging the country’s reputation, and with most Southern Africa-bound tourists having to access the region via Johannesburg, neighbouring countries were also feeling the stress.

For the moment, South Africa was still featured in brochures of overseas tour operators, said Mr. Edmond, but its placement was not secure and if dropped in the year to come, the destination might battle to get back in.

Despite current challenges, Tourvest had chalked up many milestones wholesale jerseys china and wholesale football jerseys was recognised for its expertise in destination retailing, global sports events, duty-free retail both on the ground and in the air, destination management, hotel and lodge management, activity management and online travel management solutions. Achievements included its status among the top three onboard duty-free retailers worldwide; Cheap Jordan Sale its position as the second largest travel management company in SA and largest inbound leisure wholesaler in SA and Namibia; and its holding of exclusive franchise rights to the American Express Travel Services brand in sub-Saharan cheap nfl jerseys Africa.

For the future, Tourvest would continue to expand offshore with Cuba, Spain, Abu Dhabi and Ethiopia in its sights. The company had recently opened an office in Russia ahead of the 2018 FIFA World Cup. It would leverage its online travel management solutions, which were highly effective, for improved efficiency and service. The company was seeking licensing or Team partnership arrangements with companies overseas.

04Sep 2015
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13Jul 2015

South African Airways’ loyalty progamme SAA Voyager and leading inflight duty free and travel retail concessionaire Tourvest have formed a cheap oakleys new partnership whereby Voyager members can earn Miles Cheap Jerseys by shopping for duty free products.

According to the two new partners, these Miles can be earned onboard all South African Airways­‐operated International and regional flights exceeding two hours flying time, or through the online duty free shopping facility of FlySAA Duty Free (www.flysaadutyfree.co.za).

At the same time, the Miles hockey jerseys earning structure of this offering is said to be linked to a member’s tier status.

Clive Jones, CEO of Tourvest Inflight Retail Services added: “We are privileged to be part of the Voyager programme and very excited by the NFL Jerseys China many opportunities that this partnership presents. The foundation of our strategy is that of personalisation. This partnership with NFL Jerseys Cheap Voyager allows us to deliver on this strategy to meet the very specific retail needs of individuals that fly on SAA.”

For its part, Tourvest says that it offers the country’s leading tourism group the chance to directly interact with SAA Voyager members from the Inflight Retail Services standpoint.

The new partners plan to expand the agreement in future to also offer Voyager members the added option of using their Voyager Miles when buying duty free items.

The www.flysaadutyfree.co.za retail site allows SAA Voyager members to earn Voyager Miles when they ‘Buy Before you Fly’ with their purchase delivered to their airline seat by a crew member upon boarding the aircraft.

Purchases can be made up to 14 weeks before the flight date, but purchases must be completed at least three days before departure. The site also includes various discount offers and promotions.

Tourvest эмблему adds that this online retail offering has the added benefit to SAA Voyager members that they are now able to shop from the comfort of their home or office, whilst earning Voyager Miles, with the product delivered onboard.