Okavango Wilderness Safaris (OWS) on Wednesday engaged local travel trade based in Gaborone for a dedicated training session designed to unpack more on the Wilderness brand and experience. This comes as part of a series of training sessions across the tourism and hospitality value chain designed to ensure that travel trade specialists are best equipped and empowered to sell the unique wilderness experience on offer in Botswana, and indeed across the wider Wilderness footprint.
“On an ongoing basis, we always strive to ensure we have industry-leading guides as part of ensuring exceptional guest experiences as well as the growth of our people, being the talent and skill of our all in our talent ecosystem – this includes our guides, our in-camp staff and back office, and of course our agents in the travel trade space. When COVID-19 hit the world, the Safari industry was the first – and amongst the hardest – to be hit hard. Now that guests are starting to travel once again, we want to ensure all in the Wilderness ecosystem – the veritable world of Wilderness – are as equipped and ready to ensure we provide truly unforgettable experiences,” said Kabelo N. Binns, OWS Chairman.
Travel trade representatives from across leading travel agencies in the country were trained on the Wilderness new brand, brand philosophy and purpose, and intricacies of what makes a Wilderness experience – a prime example of Botswana’s low-impact and high-value tourism model at work. This included insight into the logistics and processes for booking, creating “wow” experiences and more.
“With a number of Botswana properties in the heart of the Okavango Delta and the Linyanti regarded as the very best in the world, local guides were already recently trained in the Linyanti, drawing Wilderness guides from across each of the Wilderness camps in Botswana. OWS will continue to train, empower and support those in the tourism value chain that the business is able to support. It is something we are unwaveringly committed to and truly passionate about, for these are our partners in every way,” commented Dawson K. Ramsden, OWS Chief of Staff.
Amongst the key themes ideated upon by attendees was how to ensure seamless experiences from booking to return hope at every step; celebration and appreciation of community, language and culture as part of travel experiences and how to open the eyes, hearts and minds of domestic travellers to the untamed beauty that awaits them in addition to international guests.
“It has been an incredibly rewarding day engaging with our trade partners, sharing more about our product as Wilderness and indeed hearing about their experience as agents actively promoting and selling travel experiences. The better those within the value chain can share our story of how to discover Earth’s ultimate untamed places, the greater the value created for the entire tourism industry, and indeed associated and supporting industries. This is something we all have a role to play in, and indeed all benefit from as a nation, for tourism is such a strong contributor to our national GDP, and we believe stands to make an even greater contribution in the future,” concluded Kabelo.