Tough times calls for new innovative ideas

Namibia Wildlife Resorts Limited (NWR) averaged an occupancy of 21%, which is 5% better than the average industry occupancy of 16%.

30 March 2021 | Business

It goes without saying that since we had more domestic travellers visiting our resorts, a few complaints were raised on various platforms. Matthias Ngwangwama, Managing Director: NWR

PHILLEPUS UUSIKU

Just over a year ago, Namibia, along with the rest of the world, was confronted by the devastating impact of Covid-19. During this period, the tourism sector was one of the hardest-hit sectors. Being the sector that Namibia Wildlife Resorts Limited (NWR) solely operates in, the company was forced to look at innovative ways to sustain its business over this period up to date.

This situation presented an opportunity for NWR to further enhance its domestic offering, which it had been doing so before the outbreak of Covid-19. Some of the incentives NWR offered the domestic market were discounted rates for Namibians and pensioners. Special rates for periods such as the Independence month and the festive season period, including a discount card that provides a discount on accommodation & activities at its resorts.

These offerings presented NWR with the base to realise relative occupancy, ensuring that its operations did not come to a standstill. For instance, during the financial period, 2018/2019, NWR averaged an occupancy of 49%, whilst during the financial year 2019/2020, NWR averaged an occupancy of 21%, which is 5% better than the average industry occupancy of 16% for the similar period. A great deal of these occupancies came from the domestic market.

Challenges vs solutions

“It goes without saying that since we had more domestic travellers visiting our resorts, a few complaints were raised on various platforms.

Our assessment shows that the two major areas that we needed to look into urgently were our response time, both via our emails and telephone lines, especially during the periods we offer our special rates, such as the Independence special or the festive season where many people would want to call us to make bookings. Another challenge was maintenance-related matters at some of our resorts,” says Matthias Ngwangwama, NWR managing director.

These two challenges provided NWR with insight into what their clients wanted to see the organisation improve on. Thus, earlier this year, NWR introduced a Peer Review and Quality Assurance Unit (PRaQAU) consisting of NWR team members from across the organisation to tap into their experience, allowing NWR to pick up customer service-related problems and address them before they get out of hand. The second initiative was the NWR call centre.

“The call centre will reduce the time clients have to wait to get in touch with us and also act as an information-gathering centre for possible improvements to customer service. Thus, these initiatives are geared towards our efforts of furthering our customer-centric approach as well as picking on matters we need to look into to avoid our clients not getting value for their money,” says Mufaro Nesongano, NWR corporate communications manager.

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