You break my guitar, I break your airline

Having fun on the beach at the Swakopmund jetty despite cold, foggy conditions, are from the left, Dave Carroll, Richard Redecker and the Professors, Gavin Gold und Jo Popp.

Dave Carroll with the partners of ‘The Power of One Voice.’ From the left are Digu //Naobeb (Chief Executive Officer, Namibia Tourism Board), Wimpie van Vuuren (Senior Manager: Sales & Marketing, Air Namibia), Ina Spies (Group General Manager, Safari Hotels), keynote speaker Dave Carroll and his wife Jill, Riaan van Rooyen (Head: Corporate Communication & Social Investment, Bank Windhoek), guest speaker Donna-Rae Patricios (Gondwana brand strategist) and Mannfred Goldbeck (Managing Director, Gondwana Collection).

It was not a Gibson, only a Taylor but to the Canadian songwriter and singer, Dave Carroll, it was so valuable, he felt he had to retaliate against the airline, United Airlines in the USA, after they failed to explain why they broke his favourite guitar.

He then composed a song, United breaks guitars, which to date, it is claimed has been viewed by some 15 million people, causing the airline an inferred loss set at US$180 million.
This turned Carroll into a hero of sorts, a social media celebrity and an expert on customer service, or the lack of it. That same expert has been visiting Namibia for the past week to bolster local efforts to improve service standards in the hospitality industry.
The Canadian musician and speaker has been visiting several locations during this week on the invitation of Gondwana Collection and its partners Safari Hotels, Bank Windhoek, Air Namibia and the Namibia Tourism Board. Carroll is supporting the initiative ‘The Power of One Voice’ promoting a national awareness of service excellence.
Carroll arrived in Namibia last week Thursday as guest of a partnership of sponsors, all active in the hospitality trade. Following the guitar incident with United Airlines, Carroll has become a noted celebrity and spokesperson for service excellence. His Namibian hosts invited him over for an extended trip and two more serious presentations in Windhoek with the sole aim of driving home the point of how important service excellence in tourism is.
His Namibian trip was used to promote his service delivery message and to promote his travels through some of Namibia’s tourist highlights for people around the world who have been following his trip online. He was accompanied by the South African rock duo “The Professors” and the Namibian musician Richard Redecker.
The trip included visits to Sossusvlei, Walvis Bay, Swakopmund, Twyfelfontein and the Etosha National Park, which was infused with spontaneous jamming sessions and the heartfelt Namibian hospitality extended by the different Gondwana lodges.
Back in Windhoek Dave Carroll was the headline speaker at a breakfast presentation for 350 of Namibia’s business leaders, at the Safari Court Hotel. He delivered his message of ‘The importance of customer services excellence in today’s social media connected world.’ He was accompanied by his trademark guitar, again using his powerful music as channel for the special message.
On Thursday evening he was again be the keynote speaker in the Gondwana Hall at the Windhoek Showgrounds, where he shared his story with Namibian hospitality professionals. After the presentation, the guests were treated to the guitars and voices of Dave and “The Professors”.
“With ‘The Power of One Voice’, a group of leading Namibian brands have united in their shared purpose to enhance national and business leader awareness of the importance of service excellence” said the partners, Air Namibia, Bank Windhoek, Gondwana Collection, the Namibia Tourism Board and Safari Hotels, in a statement covering Carroll’s antics during his Namibian trip.