In the spirit of giving back during the global pandemic #lockdown, the Caleo Foundation has launched a #bednightsforfoodparcels fundraising initiative to support vulnerable communities in South Africa. The Caleo Foundation is a non-profit conservation organisation established in Switzerland. In South Africa the Caleo Foundation is custodian of both Sanbona Wildlife Reserve and Jock Safari Lodge.
Using the format of a Silent Auction that will run for five days between 18 and 22 May 2020, members of the public are invited to bid on luxury getaways via Facebook, Instagram or email.
Auction items include an all-inclusive 2-night stay at Jock Safari Lodge for two persons sharing. All proceeds from this highest bid will be donated to food parcels for the Do More Foundation. Jock Safari Lodge is situated in the south-western corner of the Kruger National Park. Steeped in history, it is known for its warm hospitality and unforgettable wildlife encounters. Accommodating only 30 guests at two unique lodges – Main Jock and Fitzpatrick’s at Jock – it is a perfect choice when planning a post-lockdown safari adventure, a special occasion, or a vacation the whole family can enjoy.
Sister-property Sanbona Wildlife Reserve has sponsored an auction item of a 2-night stay at flagship Dwyka Tented Lodge within the Sanbona Wildlife Reserve, including all meals and safari activities for two persons sharing. All funds raised from this winning bid will be donated to two worthy causes in the Little Karoo – Breede River Hospice and Helpende Handjies. Sanbona is situated an easy three hour drive from Cape Town, providing an authentic safari wilderness experience with a choice of three different lodges, including the child-friendly Gondwana Family Lodge, as well as the seasonal Explorer Camp.
The value of social media during times of crisis was highlighted by a new travel trade community initiative that was launched on a facebook platform during South Africa’s lockdown, called #tourisminmyblood.
The facebook group has received global attention. Within the first 10 days, membership had grown to more than 10 400 travel industry professionals in 99 countries, with more than 100 member posts per day.
The group is open to all people in Tourism. The forum is the brainchild of Greg Smith, Sales & Marketing Director of Johannesburg digital marketing agency Zebra360Online. and Richard de la Rey from Dark Giraffe Marketing. Smith says: ‘The Travel and Tourism industry is in survival mode and we need to stick together and share ideas on how to best deal with this global crisis. The #tourisminmyblood network focuses on sharing positive stories and marketing initiatives through creating a platform for industry colleagues to help and support one another. Information is exchanged about a wide range of topics, from member surveys and technology platform recommendations, to health and safety tips for hotels and lodges post-Corona. We can learn from one another’s experiences in how to cope and build strategies to survive the disastrous impact that the pandemic is having on the travel industry.’
While the world is in chaos and industry has ground to a halt, the travel trade is preparing for post-lockdown and looking at ways to promote travel products and stimulate sales, including boosting domestic travel in the short and medium term. ‘During times like these, the human factor comes to the forefront. Travel is all about people and experiences. This is a time to re-connect with acquaintances, re-establish business connections and explore new opportunities’, Smith says. The #tourisminmyblood platform invites agents and operators to share information on destinations and products within this network, with the view to forging solid working relationships that will be mutually beneficial to all parties in time to come.
‘It may be too early to say, and of course people are bound to have more frugal spending habits post-Covid-19, but there is potential for the rise in free independent travellers (FIT) business. With an influx of irresistible travel deals coming on line, we could even hope for some ‘revenge spending’ on travel. Either way, the travel industry has to be ready’, Smith concluded.