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South Africa continues to trend, and with the dollar still being at an all-time high against the South African Rand, it is also extremely affordable. As high season for bookings to South Africa approaches, the biggest challenge clients face is securing availability in peak season. Goway’s Africa Experts have a number of tips on hand to help agents make sure their clients are not disappointed. “Book in advance, collect deposits, offer alternatives and upsell,” says Kirsty Perring, General Manager of Africa and the Middle East. Booking trends are changing yet again, and it is not unusual to be booking 18-24 months in advance for South Africa if you want to secure a particular lodge or hotel.
Goway holds allocation at many preferred properties and have negotiated excellent exclusive rates and deals, so often deluxe hotels that clients would typically not consider due to budget restraints can actually work out more affordable!
Collecting a deposit up front enables Goway to thoroughly check availability before quoting, and present the best options to suit the client’s needs. That said, the consultants have access to a variety of live online availability portals, and will not quote on anything they know to be full. Likewise, they will automatically look at altering the order of an itinerary in order to make it work.
Agents should not be afraid of upselling. Sometimes a higher room category may be available, and the extra amenities may be worth the additional cost to clients, especially if they are travelling for a special occasion.
Goway’s Africa Experts are on hand to have a conference call with agents and their clients at any time to answer questions or give their personal first-hand knowledge of a destination.
The Kruger National Park, although the most well-known, is certainly not the only place to see wildlife including the Big 5 in South Africa. There are a number of private reserves across the country all offering as good a, if not a better game experience. When planning a safari Goway takes many things into consideration. Are there children travelling? Do clients have a desire to see a particular animal (wild dog are more prolific in certain reserves)? What’s the client’s budget (overall pricing can be reduced by travelling to different areas)? “The most memorable, exclusive and unique wildlife sightings I have had are in the private reserves of the Eastern Cape,” says Perring. “Think white lions, cheetah, wild dog, and meerkats.”
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