Tourvest Travel Services have decided that there is a market for a dedicated VIP service – whether you’re a business or leisure traveller – to be added to their already extensive offering. They unveiled this new offering at an event hosted at the Palazzo at Montecasino in the north of Johannesburg at the end of February.
Tourvest CEO Morne du Preez is passionate about getting things right.
He’s also of the belief that today’s recurrent theme of cost reduction has resulted in a host of ‘VIP’ travellers being forgotten, despite having the means and willingness to pay for a more exclusive, high-end travel service.
“In our travel industry, it’s almost become ‘all things to everybody’,” he says. “Here’s an opportunity to differentiate slightly.”
That differentiation comes in the form of Tourvest’s VIP Service Desk, which it is offering to its most important executive travellers. Membership is by invitation only and members qualify for exclusive services and offers, all of which are available through their dedicated experts 24 hours a day.
“Quite clearly, a domestic consultant cannot give a VIP customer a round-the-world experience, and that’s what we want to try and give him or her – an all-round world-class experience,” says Du Preez.
These VIP consultants will be available to assist members with a variety of travel requirements, while ensuring travel policy compliance and quality control for all business travel. Over and above the standard services, members also qualify for:
- Traveller profile management
- Online flight check-in
- Priority check-in
- Flight pre-seating
- Additional luggage allowance on selected flights
- Flight, room and car upgrades
- Frequent flyer programme redemptions
- Flight waitlist priority
- Early and late hotel check-in and check-out
- Personalised passport and visa service
- Private luxury transfers
- Limousine transfers
- Airport valet parking
- Meet and greet for group travel
- Arrangement of meetings
- Booking of entertainment and sport tickets
“A customer who wants to pay a very low fee to have their travel bookings done cannot expect to have the same kind of service as a VIP customer, at that same low fee,” says Du Preez. “So, it’s been quite critical for us to create a clear differentiation between the two.”
Further enhancing the VIP offering are information services that include:
- Airport guides
- Travel advisories and alerts
- Destination and weather information
- Global health warnings
- Customs regulations
- Foreign exchange rates
- Embassy information
- Trip Concierge provided by Amadeus
Du Preez is convinced that the South African corporate travel market is primed and ready for this type of bespoke service.
“What we forget is that the type of corporates, customers and multi-nationals we have here are as good, and the individuals at the top are as important, as any multi-national worldwide,” he says. “I think this is something we’ve forgotten, and we’ve tended to try and put everybody in the same bucket. We’ve realised that we need to look after those people in the same special way as what they get treated when they are overseas.”
The launch function itself featured a few of Tourvest’s select clients and partners, with Virgin Atlantic and DSC Transport teaming up with TTS to deliver what they believe will be an unrivalled VIP product offering.