As of today (July 1), Tourvest DMC – which falls under the umbrella of Tourvest Destination Management (TDM) – will be rebranded as Sense of Africa, South Africa.

“Although it will no longer trade as Tourvest DMC, the business will continue to operate in the inbound destinations that it has always been known for,” said Martin Botha, Chief Operating Officer of Tourvest DMC.

He told Tourism Update that Sense of Africa (SoA) had a “long and rich industry in the inbound African leisure market”, and had been within TDM’s house of inbound leisure brands since 1997.

“Establishing its foothold in Namibia in 1968 – and originally known as Oryx Safaris – the business earned its position as the region’s undisputed market leader before expanding into Botswana, Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania.”

Botha added that, as its network extended further afield to include Ethiopia, Lesotho, Eswatini, Rwanda, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Zanzibar and Mozambique (through its sister company, Sense of Oceans), it truly did have Africa covered.

This exciting change means that Tourvest Destination Management is able to consolidate its African footprint under one banner, Sense of Africa, with a strong on-the-ground expertise in each of the countries in which we operate.”

Botha pointed out that, over the years, the shape of Tourvest DMC had changed in line with the dynamic local inbound leisure industry. A brand within Tourvest Destination Management’s Inbound Leisure portfolio, Tourvest DMC launched three years ago and successfully merged three leading global inbound leisure brands. “The time has now come to further simplify the business.”

Sense of Africa’s formula for success, according to Botha, is that it owns much of its product, and has established infrastructures – including local offices, people, products and service providers – in each of its primary destinations.

This, coupled with its consistently exceptional human service to travel business partners in every market around the world, had supported the company’s goal to become Africa’s leading inbound travel brand, said Botha.

Changing face of DMCs

Botha, as COO of Sense of Africa, South Africa, and Paul Brinkman, COO of Sense of AfricaNamibia, Botswana and East Africa, will work closely together on the brand.

CEO of TDM, Martin Wiest, said their leadership and the well-established “on-the-ground” presence provided the company with the competitive edge to reach that goal as the ‘traditional DMC’ evolved in a post-COVID era.

Wiest said, pre-COVID, DMCs were mainly process-focused – serving as choosers of product, booking channels and payment gateways.

“In a post-COVID world, DMCs will need to provide solutions and peace of mind to clients, ensure the fulfilment of more stringent terms and conditions and choose product offerings that comply with the implementation of strict health and safety protocols,” he explained.

“This means moving from a colder, sterile environment to a warmer, more market-driven approach.”