30 Oktober 2020 | Natur & Umwelt

Hansen’s booking agency delivers a sterling service

Focused to become a trusted tour provider

Michelline Nawatises



Hansen’s Booking Agency is a family-run business in Windhoek, registered with the Namibia Tourism Board. The agency was founded in October 2017 by its six members.

They specialise in creating the ideal tour package for guests within Namibia and also in Botswana.

Dalene Hansen, the managing director of the agency , says the great thing about using a tour facilitator, operator or booking agency is that they take care of all bookings, planning and queries for you and provide you with all the information you will need to travel to your preferred destination.

She says many people want to travel and might not know about all the destinations that they can visit.

“What they do is give us their budget, and all information required and then the agency creates and books their travel for them at the establishments in the different destinations, including car rental, airport transfer and activities. We also do give travelling advice which is the best for a specific client,” Hansen says.

“We know that to get a satisfactory turnaround we would need to be in operation for a while before really employing an outside member of society into our developing company without hurting that individual financially – which was the risk we simply did not want to take,” they say.

“We started getting bookings in 2019 for 2020, and 2020 was going to be our year to thrive in this business, but we all were unlucky and hit by the Covid-19, whereby most of the guests cancelled their trips to Namibia.

“We are hopeful, and see ourselves being one of the top tour facilitators in five years, taking on Zimbabwe, Zambia and South Africa, as well as opening internship projects for the market and having employed at least a couple of Namibians.”



Culture

The company believes that one cannot sell a destination if you have not been to that destination, thus they focus on visiting destinations and learning as much as they can about the type of car required, the time it takes to get there, and the service and product of an establishment.

Hansen says that entering the working industry as an intern where everyone was busy and where she was just existing trying to find her way helped her see that there is a need to train staff from the most basic information and to keep on explaining why we do what we do until you have created a specialist.

“This allows your staff to know what it is that is required of them to do which illuminates frustration because they know exactly what to do,” she says.

For now, the agency has only been sponsoring its employees to visit the different destinations to educate themselves.

They would love to give back to the community – mostly the homeless community. The agency would love to set up soup kitchens in the most disadvantaged locations, Hansen says.

Covid-19 has woken them up to the fact that they should plan for the unexpected. The agency registered in 2017 and officially started marketing in 2019. This year was supposed to be the year for growth and success, but the pandemic put paid to that.

“Nonetheless, we are hopeful that we can officially start in 2021 and this will be determined on the number of guests travelling per month through Hansen’s Booking Agency and the type of clients we get per month going through the year.

“We would also love to build stronger bonds with our suppliers because without them none of us would exist. We’ll also try to get better rates from suppliers to cater to our Namibian clients,” Hansen says.

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