Victor Wahome, the tours director of Zakale Expeditions, had been in the tourism industry for over ten years before he started Zakale, a travel and tours company. During those years he visited some of the most magical destinations. While experiencing them, he felt that most people were missing out. He wanted to share his in-depth and personal knowledge of those destinations with the world and so in 2013, he started Zakale Expeditions.
Zakale, a Swahili word translates to ‘By gone Era’. Zakale Expeditions therefore focuses on offering their customers an experience much like that of the by gone era of safari. This, Victor says, is when Safari was great. The company first started as a safari /tours outfit only selling safari packages to the international market. It has since grown to include a travel department to meet their client’s airline travel, travel insurance as well as visa requirements.
This is what Zakale Expeditions does.
- Arranging International and local trips
- Provision of flight fare quotations and advice on “most cost effective schedule and fares.”
- Organize travel bookings and issue tickets or send PTAs (Prepaid Ticket Advice) on request.
- Book Hotel accommodation
- Provision of transport and airport transfers where required.
- Assist in processing of International Visas to various destinations on request
- Team building services for small individual groups to large corporate groups
- Organize international student tours
- Sell travel insurance
- Organize pilgrimages to Israel, Jordan and Rome as well as youth groups.
Expertise in incentive travel, conferences and organizing corporate meetings.
Like most travel companies their challenges include competition from other more established companies. Victor is however confident that Zakale Expeditions is the best. He adds that their dedication to personal and tailor made customer service is what sets them aside. “Through our custom-designed holiday packages and taking care of every other detail of a client’s travel we have positioned ourselves as a preferred agency in the market,” he says.
Victor adds that in the hospitality industry customer service is key. To him, having satisfied and loyal customers is more significant to a business than just having loyal customers. “At Zakale Expeditions, we dedicate as much time as necessary to ensure that our clients are satisfied through our product offering. Ensuring the satisfaction of customer needs therefore increases the potential for loyalty and successful continuation of our business as well.”
Zakale Expeditions market themselves mostly through social media; Facebook, twitter and through email marketing. He says it is more affordable and convenient compared to traditional methods of marketing. Target marketing and the need to get customer feedback is why Zakale expeditions registered on Yululate. “Yululate has helped in increasing our online presence both to specific customers looking for travel agents. The positive ratings and reviews received on Yululate website has also build our credibility, trust and reliability to customers looking for travel agents.”
He encourages other business to make use of such online platforms to get an idea of what their customers are thinking. “This way, you know how best to serve you customers.”
Clients using Zakale Expeditions are international and domestic tourists. Their source markets for international tourists are USA, BRAZIL & UK. While they handle individual clients in Kenya corporate travel makes up the biggest percentage for their domestic market. He refutes the misconception that Kenyans don’t do domestic tourism. He says that the trend has changed in the last three years and that locals now travel more than ever for business and leisure. “Online advertisement and platforms such as Facebook, twitter, Instagram have helped airlines, hotels, travel and tour agents to reach a wide audience for their products and industry players have come up with products/offers/discounts targeting local travelers thus boosting domestic tourism.”
When we ask him whether he is worried for the travel industry ahead on the 2017 elections he says, “Tourism is a very sensitive industry. It’s highly depended on the stability of a country. Industry players hope that we will have a peaceful election in 2017 as any form of conflict will slow down the international arrivals.”
You can browse through reviews by other customers using Zakale Expeditions on their Yululate profile.
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