By Fifi Rhodes
Local travel management company, Rennies Travel (Namibia) (RTN), says it has managed to maintain a client retention rate of above 96 percent in an industry that is continuously undergoing changes. Speaking during their annual gala event, managing director, Heike Schulz said the success could be attributed to the company’s sound business principles.
“We do not hide travel management, service or consultancy fee charges but we operate transparently, fairly and with integrity,” said Schulz.
Schulz, joined by Rosie Routledge, the Regional Manager Africa for the Hogg Robinson Group (HRG), an international corporate services company and RTN’s global partner, said despite the changes in the industry and talks of airline reservation distribution channels changing with global distribution system (GDS) fees to be implemented, changes of IATA remittances, open skies and mergers, carbon dioxide emissions, ticketing taxes, surcharges and non-transparency in the market, her company sees the challenge as an opportunity.
“We place a huge emphasis on staff training and the employment of trainees in our business,” she said.
She said the company employs 50 members of staff at five branches and two in-house operations in Namibia.
Schulz also announced that their first official affirmative action report was handed in recently and was approved by the Employment Equity Commission.
On the social responsibility front, Schulz said that the company supports various projects such as the Hope Village Trust, school and sporting activities and funds had been raised for three Action Aids Projects via the HRG global network. The company’s black economic empowerment partner and shareholder, Women’s Action for Development (WAD), also receives assistance for their effort at grassroots level and 20 computers were donated to empower rural women.
“Over the past three years the partnership between HRG/RTN and WAD has developed into more than just a simple business transaction. WAD makes significant inroads into empowering rural women, thereby making a vital contribution to the country as a whole and HRG/RTN is proud of its association and has voluntarily devoted leadership time in addition to various other contributions,” she told the gathering.
The majority shareholder of RTN, the Bidvest Group, sees strong potential in Namibia and has consolidated its Namibian assets in preparation for listing on the Namibian Stock Exchange towards the end of this year, Schulz said.
Part of the change in the company’s structure, Schulz said, is that Globe Travel, a local travel agency, owned by Dina Rego merged with HRG/RTN earlier this year. Both Rego and Silke God??????’??