To our valued customers and friends,
I wanted to take this opportunity again to thank each of our key stakeholder groups particularly, our employees who have worked tirelessly, our clients who have been empathetic, patient and supportive, and our supplier network who have been responsive and co-operative whilst navigating their own significant challenges. In light of some of the negative publicity that has surrounded our industry and in particular, travel agents, I want to assure you this is not a reflection of our clients’ interactions with us nor our practices.
As an organisation we are very clear in our purpose – “to enrich lives through human connection and the power of travel”. Whilst for some these may merely be just words, for us they are much more. We are driven to enrich lives based on our ethos of Ubuntu – an African word which means “I am because of you” or in our parlance “we are because of each other”. Accordingly, it is our firm belief that as humans we have an intrinsic responsibility to each other. Hard wired into our company DNA is the desire, commitment and passion to emotionally connect with each of our key stakeholder groups (employees, clients and suppliers) as demonstration of this shared responsibility and to ensure that every connection truly does count.
As this pandemic evolved, we were, and importantly remain, very clear and confident in our decisions and actions. We quickly took a stand that as a “united family” we will cross this bridge together. Whilst many of our competitors chose in the first instance to retrench or stand down their employees, we chose to ‘stand up’ for our family. As a privately-owned company this has and continues to come at considerable financial cost however, we will remain steadfast for as long as we possibly can sustain it.
However, it is not just our employee cohort which plays a critical part of our travel eco- system. We also have client relationships. You trust us to provide unique insights and experiences and to provide maximum value for the investment you are making. To that end, I want to assure each and every one of you, that we have worked tirelessly, going above and beyond, not only to ensure that your bookings have been actioned, but where refunds and cancellations have been necessary, we have actioned the appropriate requests, contacted the relevant suppliers on your behalf and sought a refund of monies in order to minimise the inconvenience to you.
The margin in which we operate is small, but we distinguish ourselves by dealing with reputable suppliers across the breadth of our market leading brands, including Executive Edge Travel, CT Connections and Totem Group. I am absolutely certain that we have communicated often and with compassion and empathy with each and every affected client. We are proud of our reputation for integrity, reliability, and loyalty, which we have worked so hard over 20 years to earn and which has been validated time and time again through numerous industry awards.
In this time of unprecedented disruption in the travel industry we strongly believe it is only through a collaborative approach across all sectors that we can emerge from the COVID-19 crisis, stronger and better placed to provide genuine value to our clients.
Therefore, to facilitate broad discussion and a unified outcome, we have established a platform wherein the various stakeholder groups can share unique insights, opinions and importantly “connections” so that we can all learn and strategise. It takes the form of our inaugural virtual conference – UBUNTU LIVE 2020.
I invite and encourage you all to join and express your voice at this event which is running on 11 & 12 June. It is an opportunity to help shape the travel landscape going forward. Register here.
In closing, thank you all for your ongoing support, friendship, understanding and loyalty.
We look forward to liaising with you throughout this time and into the ‘new’ future that lies ahead.