Breaking Travel News interview: Robert Zgozi, chief executive, Absolute Zambia Safaris
Absolute Zambia Safaris has been honoured as one of the best travel, tourism and hospitality providers in the region by voters at World Travel Awards, with Breaking Travel News here chatting with owner, Robert Zgozi, to find out more about the company
Breaking Travel News: Congratulations on your victory at the World Travel Awards, with Absolute Zambia Safaris being recognised as Zambia’s Leading Travel Agency. How does it feel to have won?
Robert Zgozi: Thank you very much - it is an honour for us to have won this prestigious prize.
This is an amazing experience, and we feel great after working hard and offering the best service to our clients in 2019.
Then 2020 started on a bad note for Absolute Zambia Safari.
Our clients, who were looking forward to their travel and tours, have been hit hard due to the outbreak of the global pandemic.
Winning this award gives us the energy to keep doing what we like doing best and now, even better.
The team at Absolute Zambia Safaris have dedicated the award to our clients and everyone that has been affected by the global pandemic.
We understand that a safari holiday is a dream for everyone, especially travelling to Africa, but now a lot of things changed very quickly - we very eager to travel but right now it might not be possible.
BTN: How useful are the World Travel Awards when it comes to promoting the business to a global hospitality audience?
RZ: The award is useful in promoting our brand and our products, as well as the services that we offer, to our clients; it shows that we are doing a great job in our service delivery and looking after our clients.
World Travel Awards is recognised globally, hence for Absolute Zambia Safari to have been recognised gives us more credibility and gives assurance to potential travellers that we are among the leading service providers in this in industry.
This will also help us with the business-to-business marketing, as many travel agencies, tour operators and other industry players will now know us.
When they have clients wanting to travel to Zambia, or Africa in general for a safari, the World Travel Awards will help us to welcome them.
BTN: How would describe the mood in the tourism sector across southern Africa right now? Is there hope for a revival next year?
RZ: Well, travel is very important, and the travel and tourism industry is very resilient when faced with situations like this.
But we need to work together and make sure that people still travel to at least help protect wildlife and jobs.
Having said that, people are eager to travel though some of the restrictions that have been put in place to protect everyone.
There are a limited number of travellers who are willing to travel at this time.
In the past month or so we have seen an increase in inquiries for the end of 2020 and start of 2021 from the international and regional traveller.
That gives us a lot of hope and for quick recovery come next year, so long as the virus is kept under control.
This requires all of us to get involved and do our part by following the guidelines put in place by experts and health authorities locally and globally.
BTN: Do you expect an uptick in demand for safari travel, given its socially-distanced, outdoor nature, in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic?
RZ: Yes, I am certain about that.
From the research and surveys we have done, it has been shown that safari travel works well with Covid-19 guidelines.
Most lodges and safari camps are small and located in the bush, hence there are fewer people around.
There is even flexibility for private meals as a family, or as a couple.
Also, the activities are outdoors, and it has been proven that when you are outside, fresh air is constantly moving, lessening the chances to catch the virus.
Absolute Zambia Safaris is an owner-managed travel and tours company based in Zambia.
The organisation specialises in tailormade, private trips across southern Africa, including Malawi, Botswana, Namibia, South Africa and Zimbabwe.
Find out more about the company on the official website.