G’day to Goway’s Africa
“If You Only Go to Two Continents in Your Lifetime, Go to Africa Twice”

with Vickie Sam Paget

Allessandra De Azevedo tells agents about Jenman African Safaris.

Erin Healy shares the latest info about Virgin Limited Edition with travel agents from across the Lower Mainland.

Soran Prosad, Goway’s BDM for Western Canada, and Nicky Cox, Goway’s groups sales manager.

Wazha Dube of African Bush Camps and Themba Ndayi of Thompsons Africa.

Birhan Abate of Ethiopian Airways, the largest and fastest-growing airline in Africa.

Moira Smith, Goway’s general manager for Africa & the Middle East, with Jacques Smit, marketing director at Sabi Sabi Private Game Reserve.

The best travel professionals -- the ones who truly care about the experiences they’re providing -- can’t help but get passionate when they’re talking about their product line-up.

And that was certainly the case on Thursday evening’s ‘G’day to Goway’s Africa’ showcase at Richmond’s Sheraton Vancouver Airport Hotel. 

Moira Smith, the company’s general manager for Africa and the Middle East, gave an impassioned presentation to the crowd of 75 agents and 25 preferred suppliers. 

“In my heart and my soul I’m African,” enthused Smith, who hails from South Africa. “But even if I hadn’t been born there I’d be African, because Africa just gets into your heart and soul.

“Once you experience what it has to offer, it just gets to you. A lot of people think they’re going to go to Africa for a once-in-a-lifetime trip, but every time you go back you have a different experience.”

The event marked the launch of this season’s Goway Africa & the Middle East brochure, which features 250 travel experiences. To celebrate, Smith guided the crowd through a fascinating presentation that highlighted South Africa, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Zambia, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Egypt, Morocco and the UAE. Agents also had the opportunity to connect directly with suppliers during an extensive round-robin session.

Returning suppliers included: An African Anthology, Arabian Adventures, The Bushcamp Company, Cynab Voyages, Durban Tourist Board, Emeco Travel Egypt, Ilala Lodge, Isibindi Africa Lodges, Jenman African Safaris, Newmark Hotels, Reserves & Lodges, Rovos Rail, Sabi Sabi, Sense of Africa, Thompsons Africa, Tourism KwaZulu-Natal, Tsogo Sun, Tswalu Kalahari, Victoria Falls Safari Lodge, Wild Frontiers Safari Collection and Wild Horizons.

The impressive list of suppliers at the showcase for the first time this year included: Africa in Your Hands, African Bush Camps, Ethiopian Airlines, Imvelo Safari Lodges, Tourism Uganda and Virgin Limited Edition.

Smith emphasized the trend of clients seeking new and unique experiences in Africa, such and Heli & Harley tours in Cape Town: “I’m sure you’re seeing more and more that clients are not looking for the typical things to do,” she explained. 

“They want to try out different experiences, so we’ve included some very unique and special experiences in the brochure. What’s key is that when you talk to your client, find out what their interests are. We can certainly put something together for them that’s really going to appeal.”

Smith then ended her presentation with a smile: “I’m going to leave with my favourite saying in the whole wide world: If you only go to two continents in your lifetime, go to Africa twice.” 

Vickie Sam Paget

Vickie Sam Paget Western Correspondent

Hailing from the UK, Vickie Sam Paget is a travel and tourism storyteller located in Vancouver, BC. When she’s not on the road, creating engaging travel content or gazing at the North Shore Mountains, you can usually find her curled up with a good book or sipping a pint of the good stuff in her local Irish bar.

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