Nelson Mandela Bay travel agency named one of continent’s top 30 companies

Lee-Anne Butler

PORT Elizabeth travel agency Uniglobe Bay Travel has been named among Africa’s top 30 companies in the 2011 Africa Awards for Entrepreneurship, paving the way for it to get a foothold on the continent.

More than 3300 applications for the awards were received from 48 African countries.

Managing director Gillian Roffe said: “We are very excited about this achievement, taking into consideration the calibre of companies who made it to the top 30.

“We are indeed very honoured, and proud to be flying the flag for South Africa, but especially for the Eastern Cape.” The top six companies will compete for a share of the $350000 (R2.8-million) grand prize to be awarded in December.

A panel of judges will announce the top 15 companies and the winners will be announced in Nairobi, Kenya, on December 8. A $100000 (R786108) first prize and five $50000 (R393054) prizes will be awarded to the top six companies at the gala event.

“This will give us the recognition and the foothold we need to expand our client base in Africa. We already have a client in Angola and we are planning on expanding into Mauritius,” Roffe said.

She said she believed it was her business and marketing strategies and attitude towards staff and level of customer service which had endeared judges to Uniglobe. “Part of the selection process was a 10-page questionnaire which we were required to fill in. They asked us very in-depth questions about our operations, our commitment to customers and how we treat staff,” she said. Since launching the business in September 2003, Roffe has won several awards for her individual work and for the agency’s work, competing with other agencies nationally and internationally.

From starting out with one travel consultant to managing two branches in Port Elizabeth, with 16 staff members, Uniglobe Bay Travel has corporate and leisure clients in Cape Town, Johannesburg, Durban and the rest of Africa over and above its Eastern Cape client base.

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