53 charter planes, 118 flights and 160 pilots in just two days!Incentive travel reward programmes have become big business for South Africa. Dragonfly Africa and Green Route Africa, making up The Dragonfly Africa Group, are the leading companies in this highly specialized market.
Top sales achievers from a wide spread of industries - automotive, financial, IT, pharmaceutical, insurance - are rewarded with an annual trip, together with their partner, to reward them for their performance and to recognize them in front of their peers.
These top achievers are usually very well-travelled and have been all over the world, so their expectations are therefore extremely high.
The Executive Chairman of The Dragonfly Africa Group, Rupert Jeffries, comments: “A group size can be anything from 20 - 1200 people, with the average size group being around 250 people. Southern Africa delivers hugely well for incentive travel, because we are a well-polished, sophisticated destination, with top class infrastructure.
The short distances involved and the ease of our airports makes it relatively easy to combine more than one destination during the trip. It all depends on budget and number of people, but a typical incentive trip would include 3 - 4 nights in Cape Town, followed by a private safari, and then perhaps topped up with a trip to see the Victoria Falls.
On a worldwide basis, South Africa in particular, is rated extremely highly in terms of trip satisfaction and achievement in delivering the trip of a life time, and return visits are quite common, either by the company or by individuals who participated.”
In late November this year, Dragonfly Africa, with the assistance of Green Route Africa team members, successfully coordinated the largest ever movement of international incentive delegates in South Africa.
This operation was carried out on behalf of an American insurance company, and involved their top staff, as well as their top achieving insurance brokers.
A total of 118 aircraft (Cessna Caravans, Pilatus PC12, King Air 200, Beechcraft 1900 and Dornier’s) were utilised, and with these aircraft nearly 240 hours of flying was clocked up, covering a distance of over 60,000km.
In addition to these smaller aircraft, six Boeing 737s were used, and this added another 28 flying hours to the total.
To accommodate the 680 delegates, a total of 36 lodges were contracted, for exclusive use over 3 nights. These included lodges in the Sabi Sand, Thornybush, Kruger National Park, Phinda and Madikwe, spread over 11 concessions.
To give the delegates a true safari experience, 124 open air safari vehicles were used for game drives. Each manned by a professional ranger and tracker. A total of 844 game drives took place over the 3 days and there were multiple sightings of the Big Five (lion, elephant, leopard, buffalo and rhino), as well as many other species.
In addition to the safari experience, delegates spent a few days in Johannesburg and Cape Town. Between the lodges and city hotels we covered a total of 5440 room nights. In the cities we hired a total of 235 large and small coaches for transportation. In Johannesburg, we employed 55 tour guides, and in Cape Town 147 tour guides. A total of 33 staff members, as well as three photographers worked tirelessly, to successfully coordinate and record the whole event.
In addition 3 ambulances, with paramedics, were deployed in the game areas, as a precaution.
The logistics of so many aircraft, vehicles and staff were tough, however, the incentive programme ran extremely smoothly, with delegates rating the programme at one of the highest levels ever achieved.
The client quoted: “It was the most remarkable and successful incentive reward programme in our history - and we have been doing this for many, many years. It was so exciting, diverse and well organized. We moved around your wonderful country in a seamless manner. None of our top achievers will ever forget this trip.”