Robust business model keeps Gondwana Collection afloat
Gondwana Collection, one of the local hospitality groups with more than twenty properties countrywide, is firmly positioned and looking positively ahead to the days post-lockdown.
According to the outfit, one of the most hardest hit industries by the Covid-19 lockdown is the tourism industry.
Gondwana Collection said that it is fortunate to currently be in a stable financial position thanks to a robust business model, conservative financial management and a strong balance sheet. This is however not the same for many other tourism companies, who have either been forced to retrench staff or to cut salaries.
Gys Joubert, the CEO of Gondwana Collection Namibia displays confidence that the company can sustain all of its current employees and maintain their basic income for the foreseeable future. He however notes that this can obviously not be sustained indefinitely and will depend on some recovery of tourism towards the end of the year.
“We are fully aware that this crisis will not be over soon and our world will probably never be the same again, yet we choose to be positive and creative at this time, without denying the harsh reality,” Joubert said.
Apart from the successful business model they have been fine-tuning for the last twenty-five years, Joubert explained that their strength lies in their culture and values, ensuring that all Triple Bottom Line components – social commitment, financial sustainability and conservation of the natural environment – are well-balanced and satisfied.
“This has stood us in good stead and has placed the company in a strong position to withstand the Covid-19 storm and to create a new future for Gondwana,” Joubert said.
According to him, Gondwana has always valued its Namibian and South African guests, even in good times, and will continue to do so, having introduced its Gondwana Card approximately fifteen years ago, offering a permanent special of as much as 50% (Namibians) or 40% (SADC) to its some 80,000 members on accommodation and breakfast, and twenty-five per cent on dinner and activities.
The Gondwana properties range from camping and safari tents to a collection of attractive lodges, a hotel and an upmarket desert pod and floating river villa, providing accommodation for all tastes and budgets.
At the present Stage 2 of lockdown, guests have the option of staying at the Gondwana campsites or in the well-equipped Camping2Go tented accommodation. As restrictions ease, hopefully from 2 June, the lodges will gradually reopen their doors.
Gys said the company is confident about moving ahead and will continue to engage with travellers on all its platforms – digital and print – to promote the unique history and nature of Namibia through storytelling and content. The Gondwana video-clip ‘Namibia – a land of Dreams’, recently aired, has already reached half a million people worldwide.
The newest lodge in the company, Etosha King Nehale, is set to open to visitors on 10 June, making this area north of Etosha easily accessible and providing a springboard into the Kunene, Kavango and Zambezi regions.
On the front of social-corporate responsibility, Gondwana commits its ongoing charity programs, including its commitment to the Gondwana Care Trust (supported in part by the Capricorn Group) to provide nourishment to the most vulnerable of our society, including kindergartens, orphanages, communities and senior citizen homes. It also ensures that for now the contractual agreements with the conservancies where it operates will be honoured. This contributes to the conservancies’ ability to maintain basic social and environmental conservation.
“We understand our role in the livelihoods of the communities in rural Namibia and in conservation in Namibia, and we will endeavour to maintain these contributions,” Joubert added.
Caption: Gys Joubert, CEO Gondwana Collection Namibia.