Wildness Safaris is looking to breaking into growing Asian market for fresh business opportunities, according to its Managing Director Kim Nixon.
Speaking in an interview on the sidelines of a media tour of some of Wilderness Safaris, Nixon said the process of moving into the largely diverse markets has been an ongoing one, but the South and Eastern Asian market has US millionaires who English speakers, which makes it appealing for Wilderness Safaris business.
He said that they were targeting four countries in English speaking countries in Asia. Nixon said Singapore is one of the countries that Wilderness Safaris is targeting adding that” one in six Singapore citizine is a USD Millionaire.”
“Other countries that we are targeting from Asia are Philippines, Indonesia, Thailand and Japan. To succeed in Asia you have to be focussed and for us it makes a lot of sense to focus on English speaking countries,” said Nixon.
He said the shift in consumer behaviour in English speaking countries in Asia is also making the market more interesting in terms of growth opportunities for growth.
Nixon said there is need for more Batswana companies to conduct marketing in English speaking countries in Asia.
“We are currently looking for partners in those countries who have knowledge and passion to sell Africa,” said Nixon.
He added that “We need to have conservation with government to ease issuing visa.” Touching on a topical issue, Nixon said there is need to diversify the tourism industry in Botswana by exploring opportunities in other parts of the country.
Nixon cited the hunting ban saying on its own it provided an opportunity for the diversification of the tourism industry.
“The question is how you develop other areas to become mainstream; how do you make places like Makgadikgadi and Tsodilo become part of the mainstream. There is also opportunity in National Parks and camping sites,” he said.
He said Wilderness Safaris has decided to engage local communities to help them set up a soap project so that they can supply the industry as a whole.
“We have thus far approached some people from the local communities so that they can do training in South Africa and also identified local companies to see how we can collaborate,” he said.
On concerns that high end camps in the country only cater for foreign tourists because a number of locals cannot afford their prices because they are highly priced, Nixon revealed that they have introduced the Citizens/Resident’s Programmecalled Wilderness Safaris Members Club. Through the programme locals and other citizens of SADC are offered 50 percent discount.
The membership is for 2-years and the fee is a donation of P4500.00 to Wilderness Safaris’ Children in the Wilderness Charity (CITW) and members get a 50 percent discount.
The membership is for an individual his or her spouse/life-partner as principals and entitles him or her to travel with four guests on the members rates as long as they are also African residents (requests outside of this parameter will considered on a case by case basis as we do understand the requirements of our members in Botswana).
If one prefers to travel in larger groups, he or she is welcome to purchase more than one membership. Members are not permitted to sell or dispose of any bed-nights they are entitled to by virtue of programme membership.