Business & Finance

Interview with Private Safaris

Tourism Tattler met with Kuoni subsidiary Private Safaris CEO Frank Glettenberg for an interview during the 2015 Indaba Trade Show in Durban, writes Des Langkilde.

The Private Safaris team at Indaba 2015.
The Private Safaris team at Indaba 2015.
Following my interview with Matthias Leisinger, Vice President of Corporate Responsibility at Kuoni Travel Holdings Ltd (see page 11 May 2015 edition or online here) I met with Kuoni subsidiary Private Safaris CEO Frank Glettenberg for an interview during the 2015 Indaba Trade Show in Durban.

But before I go into the interview, here’s some background information on Private Safaris:

Private Safaris started in 1976 with an office in Nairobi, Kenya, and subsequently opened another office in Mombasa, Kenya and one in Arusha, Tanzania, which enabled the company to diversify into other markets all around the world, becoming one of the leading and most reliable Destination Management Companies in East Africa.

Another and very successful office opened in Cape Town, South Africa in 2003, and a fifth office was opened in Windhoek, Namibia in 2007.

Private Safaris arranges all aspects of destination management services in South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Malawi, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Zanzibar, Rwanda, Mozambique, Madagascar, Mauritius, Republic of Congo and Angola. Private Safaris’ source markets have grown continuously and now include Europe, Asia, Africa, South and North America.

As an exclusively owned subsidiary of KUONI TRAVEL LTD in Switzerland, Private Safaris have the advantage of being a member of this internationally established professional organisation, while retaining the personal touch of a small company, representing quality and service excellence. Private Safaris’ credibility is further certified through its memberships of these travel industry associations:
Southern Africa Tourism Services Association (SATSA);
Tour & Safari Association of Namibia (TASA);
Kenya Association of Tour Operators (KATO);
Society of Incentive & Travel Executives (SITE),
Southern African Association for the Conference Industry (SAACI);
International Gay & Lesbian Travel Association (IGLTA);
Association for the Promotion of Travel to Africa (APTA);
Anerkannte Spezialisten für Afrika-Reisen (ASA);
United States Tour Operators Association (USTOA);
African Travel & Tourism Association (ATTA); and
North America Travel Association (NTA).

Private Safaris arrange custom-designed specialised tours for more than 2 000 groups annually as well as offer accommodation, city-breaks, safaris, tours, trains, regional and domestic flights, fly-drive packages, cruise-ship handling, excursions and transfers for both groups and individual travellers.

I (TT) asked Frank Glettenberg (FG):

TT: Kuoni Group’s corporate responsibility page reads; “You can delegate authority, but not responsibility.” How does this statement apply to Private Safaris Responsible Tourism initiatives?

FG: “We comply with ILO (International Labour Organisation) mandates, and support and engage with local sustainability initiatives in the countries in which we operate – we’re hands-on rather than voyeuristic in our approach.”

TT: What are your key inbound markets, and have you seen a shift in demand?

FG: “Obviously, with our Kuoni relationship over 50% of our inbound clients come from Europe and Asia, but we now have a presence in the USA and are seeing growth in bookings to Africa from this market.”

TT: What about the BRICS markets?

FG: “India is our number one source market into South Africa, although bookings from both India and China have slowed due to the new visa regulations that came into effect since last year.”

TT: What are your thoughts on WTM-Africa and Indaba?

FG: “I doubt that there are enough buyers to sustain three travel trade shows in South Africa. The quality of buyers at Indaba is down this year, although ILTM (International Luxury Travel Market – Africa) was very good. Of the three, We Are Africa was best.”

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