With expanding routes into Africa, world class corporate travel services company HRG reflects on the changing face of business travel in the region
Boosted by a plethora of new airline routes into Africa and a successful football World Cup in June 2010, the continent is gradually emerging as a desirable destination for business travel. With its overall economy set to grow 5.3% and sub-Saharan Africa GDP projected to grow 5.1% in 2011, it is no surprise that airlines such as Virgin Atlantic, United Airlines and Delta Airlines have recently launched or increased routes into the region. Likewise, Africa has seen an increasing presence of global hotel brands catering to the growing demand from business travellers across the region.
HRG’s experience this year reflects these trends, especially as high profile international names have been added to its client portfolio including Barclays Mauritius, PwC Zambia and Ericsson in Mozambique, Nigeria and Ghana. HRG has diversified its sector portfolio in Africa with client wins in pharmaceuticals and healthcare including Hoffman–La Roche in Cameroon and UNAIDS in Senegal.
HRG has responded to increased business travel in Africa by expanding its offering; it is the first travel management company in the Nigerian market to deploy AeTM (the Amadeus online booking tool), which is being used in Nigeria for key clients. Additionally, the company offers a central E-ticket reclaim solution, developed for HRG Africa partners who use Amadeus.
HRG Nigeria is the only travel management company in the country to be ISO 9001 certified, whilst HRG Kenya is taking steps to achieve the award, as the certification is becoming increasingly important throughout the region. Another first and unique fact for HRG Nigeria is its airport office which provides additional value and service to clients.
Bronwyn Philipps, Regional Managing Partner, HRG Rennies Travel in South Africa and HRG’s Strategic Partner for the region comments: “Technology is improving all the time in response to the rising client demand in Africa. E-auctions are increasingly being used by corporates, and online booking tools are becoming commonplace. Our expertise in the region has helped us win new high calibre clients but also consolidate our regional offering for many clients operating in the region, helping them maximise efficiencies. Our growing portfolio in Africa is testament to HRG’s reputation for offering good value, high quality expertise and cost-saving initiatives for clients.”
HRG’s presence in Africa is well-established and now covers 29 countries across the continent. Its unique business travel offering caters for the growing use of technology and online booking tools in the region, and the increased demand for data, including pre-and post trip travel reports.
In addition to client wins, recent extensions and retentions in the region have included Diageo Nigeria, Schlumberger Cameroon, Ericsson South Africa, UBA Nigeria, Baker Hughes Nigeria, Maersk Line CDI, Bechtel Angola, MI SWACO South Africa and IBM Mauritius.