I've been involved in the African Travel Industry since 2004. I've worked for a range of tour operators and lodge operators specialising in sales and product development and at the same time getting to know the people on the ground who make it all happen. I briefly lived in the middle of nowhere running a lodge so know what that side of the business looks like as well.
I take on select projects for travel and lodge companies looking to refresh, expand or build their product offering from scratch. I also consult on redeveloping your communication and brand strategies. I strongly believe there is a huge amount of growth potential in the lodge industry. Many existing communication and marketing styles need to be updated to connect with a much broader market. Conservation communication in lodges desperately needs to be improved and we need to find a way to bring this front and centre without detracting from the traditional safari experience. Design and decor of lodges are also still rather stuck in an era that needs to develop to embrace a much broader sense of place. Photos of animals are a prime example of this very one-dimensional way of thinking and need to be replaced by local artworks and more awareness given to how conservation is a practise involving people, land and animals.
Redevelopment of your core beliefs is also something I have started to offer. A clear belief system does allow you and your staff to understand and work towards what your company is all about. Coupled with this comes the all important art of really listening to what your staff are saying about working for you, and trying to get them to discuss this with you openly and honestly. Creating this type of safe environment takes a lot of careful work that requires complete openness from management. The world is changing and ways of interacting are embracing a very new paradigm. Ego gets left at the door and collaborative working styles needs to brought into practise.
Companies I have worked for include: To escape to | Western oriental who merged with Rainbow tours | Go2africa | The Manda wilderness trust | Natural selection travel | Classic Portfolio