The benefits of being global

Posted by Nicola Benson on


When a South Africa Familiarisation trip with African Pride was announced at conference last year, no one was more excited than me. South Africa had been on my wish list forever and I was determined I would be on that plane!


January was an incredibly busy month and with our Travel Counsellors team challenge also taking place, it was mega hectic.  I was team Captain of a group of 32 TCs from around the world including Gail and Marijke from South Africa. Our team made it through to the final and so very nearly won the trip to Antigua but it wasn’t to be this time around.


So of course, when the SA Fam trip was finally released at the beginning of February, I emailed Gail and Marijke in South Africa straight away telling them I was applying! We kept in touch and when I heard I’d got a place on the trip and the itinerary was announced, I got in touch with David at African Pride to ask his permission to meet the girls.


Once we had the date and time sorted, we arranged it all. I’ve always wanted to visit Boulders Beach, so Gail offered to take me and 3 of the other Travel Counsellors on a little trip down there. We met up on the Saturday afternoon, she presented us with a map, highlighted where we were heading to and off we went!  We had a busy afternoon visiting various lovely places and it was so great being taken by someone who knows the area so well! It was so nice to spend time with Gail, we had spoken for months during all the competitions but never thought we would ever meet!


Our party then headed up to the Kruger and we only had two hours in a hotel in JNB on the way home before going to the airport.  Marijke arranged to come over to meet us and we had an hour or so to chat, enjoy a beer and catch up. We got on so well, I am just so sorry we had so little time! I can’t explain how special it was and I feel so lucky to have been able to meet them – I hope they remain in my team for the next competition.


The fam trip was so brilliant and I have fallen in love with South Africa, but it was that extra bit special to have met up with colleagues I would only normally. Being part of a global company is a great benefit when it comes to sending our clients to destinations we have other Travel Counsellors in. Numerous TCs email their colleagues and can ask for personal recommendations for hotels, restaurants and places to visit. It helps us give the superb personal service we provide and an edge that no other travel company can offer.


My family are due to travel to South Africa next week and Gail has given me tips and advice I just couldn’t get from the internet. I know that should they need anything Gail will be there as back up for me – it’s a comfort knowing that and not just because its family but for any clients I have travelling there.


Should any Travel Counsellor worldwide have any issues with their travellers in the UK, any 800 of us would of course help in any way we could. Not because we have to but because we care and want to as that’s what being a TC is all about.


Our technology allows us to message our colleagues around the world at any time – when our Travel Counsellor Team Challenge is on, our Australian counterparts stay up for little early morning chats and we still meet up for International TCTV for a coffee and are all on a group instant message for an hour. We all feel like one big happy family! 



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