The inaugural Bushtracks Academy – a stunning success

“The first edition of the Bushtracks Academy provided great value for tourism in Africa, offering agents a unique opportunity to learn about the incredible variety of tourism available in Southern Africa. It demonstrated how we, as Bushtracks Africa, operate in the middle of a tourism hub, surrounded by incredible national parks and authentic cultural experiences.”

Christopher Tett, Managing Director of Bushtracks Africa

The inaugural Bushtracks Academy was an astounding success, showing positive signs for expansive growth in the future. Hosted by Bushtracks Africa, the Academy invited the top high-end British tour operators and travel agents to learn about Southern Africa in a captivating way that reflects the heart of the region.

An enriching and innovative presentation was given in London’s Covent Garden Hotel on 04 October. The enthusiasm received from the event is still evident as the 40 attending agents continue to share their ignited passion for Southern Africa with their potential travellers.

The heart behind the Bushtracks Academy is to equip and educate top British agents about the diversity and culturally rich tourism opportunities in Southern Africa; with a key focus on Botswana, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

The Academy placed a huge emphasis on stimulating visuals and the in-depth sharing of knowledge whereby distinctively authentic insights were imparted.

The value of the Bushtracks Academy

At times, tourism in Southern Africa can be very focused and limited to certain areas. The Academy gave agents an opportunity to expand their offerings by exposing more of the region. Hidden gems were showcased to indicate the variety of activities, lodges and cultural experiences in these areas.

Comments Megan Conn, Digital Marketing Manager and Project Co-ordinator, “A lot of people were asking very open-ended question about areas that they didn’t know as much about. They got to learn that there were areas beyond Okavango in the region that are worth visiting”.

A increasing number of seasoned travellers are beginning to view Africa as a key tourist destination. Now, because of increased accessibility, more people are revisiting Africa and demanding a more unique and authentic experience. Bushtracks Africa has the ability and insights to provide these experiences. 

The positive feedback both during and after the Academy highlights the value of the knowledge that was shared. Attendees commented on the enriching learning experience, and the enthusiasm that it inspired.

Comments Geraldine Morelli, one of the attending agents, “If I had a magic wand, I’d love to live this day again. I really can’t come up with words other than ‘passion’, ‘emotion’, ‘inspiration’, ‘adrenaline’ and ‘excitement’. The presentations were outstanding. They immersed me in Africa and made me travel along the journey presented by Chris, Megan and Simon. Simon’s presentation even brought me to tears”.

The knowledge imparted by the presenters and the panel was communicated in an innovative and visual manner. The interactive presentation has been described as “unseen” in the UK tourism industry, and has increased the expectation of communication standards in a way that no trade show has been able to do.

Added value for the agents

In addition to an authentically curated and visually powerful presentation, attending agents were given additional opportunities to experience the theory in a practical way. South African Airways (SAA), dedicated partners of Bushtracks Academy, offered five agents the opportunity to experience a curated itinerary in Southern Africa.

SAA’s generosity sponsored air tickets for five agents to fly return from London to Johannesburg, and on to Victoria Falls, for a FAM trip. The itinerary includes an 8 night trip to experience the wonders of Zambia, Zimbabwe and Botswana for two adults sharing.

The future of Bushtracks Academy

Although the Academy itself is over for 2018, the post-academy experience continues through the likes of newsletters and shared databases. The hope is that agents will start using the academy as a resourceful tool.

Comments Megan, “There will definitely be events like the Bushtracks Academy in the future – they need to happen. There is talk of the Academy branching out into the rest of Europe and the world. This thinking is incredibly encouraging considering that the first event was only recently (successfully) executed”.

The Academy will maintain its exclusivity by connecting with preferred suppliers, but the passion behind the event is expected to contagiously spread further around the world.  We are very excited to see how the future of the Bushtracks Academy positively influences tourism in Southern Africa.

Leave a Reply