02 Jun Indaba 2007
The 2007 Indaba Tourism show in Durban was the largest since its inception and saw record numbers of exhibitors.
As in past years several of the commercial lodges on Welgevonden were represented. However, this was the first year that the Reserve had a stand at the show.
Although several of the lodges are household names in the industry, the name “Welgevonden” has, to date, not been that well known. There is no reason why this should be.
For this reason three delegates from the management team on Welgevonden represented the Reserve with the aim to promote Welgevonden as a destination and to enhance the Reserve’s name in the industry. Welgevonden can offer a product which is second to none, if not better, than any of the well known reserves in the industry. The scenery on the reserve won’t easily be surpassed, add to that excellent game viewing, a true safari experience and top quality, but still good value-for-money lodges. Becoming a well known reserve won’t only boost tourism to the commercial lodges, but will also increase the value of all the properties on the reserve.
The response to the Welgevonden stand at Indaba was excellent. A large number of tour operators visited the stand and have shown keen interest in the reserve, not only from a tourism point of view, but also in our management practices.
Being present at Indaba gave us an opportunity to inform people about some our ground-breaking projects, like the elephant contraception and vasectomies and our habitat management strategies. It gave us an opportunity to explain how we plan to marry the often clashing objectives of tourism and conservation with innovative management principles and ideas, and how to achieve a win-win situation for both tourism and conservation.
Reflecting back we definitely achieved what was aimed for when we first started deliberating about having a stand at Indaba, and in many instances far surpassing expectations. Experiencing the response at Indaba also gave management a boost by seeing what else is out there, realizing what the industry expects, and motivating us to continue with our efforts to make Welgevonden the top private reserve in the country.