Bench Africa’s new 2019/20 brochure reflects the company’s approach to its business: Africa, in big bolds. Bench, secondary. Experiences matter here. And above all else, in its wide breadth, the destinations matter.
But Bench Africa, formerly Bench International, has approached its business like this for a long time. Fifty years, in fact. So in some ways this brochure is no different.
Speaking to Traveltalk at its Melbourne launch, Bench general manager Martin Edwards said the new 100-page booklet reflected the growing popularity of Africa as a destination, as well as the changing habits in booking travel to the continent. Not only are customers booking further and further in advance, he says, demand has grown and availability has shrunk.
But Bench is prepared: a new feature of this brochure is the inclusion of 2019 and 2020 rates, a move few - if any other - African wholesalers have made.
With the increased demand for Africa travel has come increased competition. According to Edwards, there are now around 44 companies selling travel to Africa in Australia alone.
But rather than follow its competition, Bench bends to its customers. Speaking to agents at the launch, Mr Edwards said the company had listened to clients in crafting its new brochure, with many tours based around requests from agents and client feedback as well as recommendations from its own staff of African experts, of course.
Among the new tours is a journey to Cape Town, Kruger National Park and Victoria Falls, which was born from customer demand. The new trip joins Bench best sellers like its 13-day Highlights of East Africa tour and 15-day Grand Tour of South Africa tour.
The Bench Africa brochure launch sees the company head to Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth, where it has just appointed a full time reservations consultant to go along with its WA sales staff.
As well as being treated to some fine food and wine, attendees at the events have the chance to win great prizes. In Melbourne, where the event was held at the cool Carlton Club, the company gave away an amazing 9-day famil to a lucky Travel Associates consultant.