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November 2011 | Angeline Albert
travel buying in Namibia has been described as “falling victim to unscrupulous
agents” who charge inflated prices because they are not properly quizzed by
instead of procurement professionals negotiating deals, secretaries do much of
to the African Business TravelAssociation (ABTA),
purchasingby Namibia’s local
businesses is “extremely immature” because it is too trusting of the hotel and
airline prices charged by travel agents.
Swart, founder of ABTA, which launched its first event in the country in July,
said despite Namibia having an infrastructure on a par with South Africa, its
travel buying is “like a third-world country’s and 100 per cent clueless”.
said: “Local businesses are not managing travel at all. There is no central
buying. Secretaries are still purchasing. Too much trust is placed in what
travel agents say. The result is agents are charging more, to the extent that
they are even doubling prices charged by airlines and hotels.”
said local businesses admitted they did not know what questions should be asked
of travel agents. In response, the association has urged businesses to request
a full breakdown of costs charged by agents, to become more active in dealing
directly with airlines and hotels in order to compare prices and develop a
travel policy for their organisations.
said local businesses, including banks, mining and fishing companies, are
lagging behind global companies and those with headquarters in South Africa
when it comes to having centralised travel purchasing, a dedicated buyer
appointed and a travel policy in place.
to its work in Namibia, ABTA plans to launch a travel buying awareness event in
Angola next year.