From : Tourismupdate.co.za

The Editor

27 Thu, Oct 2011

After a three-year relationship, The Hide Safari Camp in Hwange, Zimbabwe, and Africa Albida Tourism (AAT) have decided not to renew their current agreement. Effective October 31, AAT will cease to represent The Hide, and The Hide will continue with sales, marketing, PR and reservations functions direct with the trade.

The partnership was built on AAT assisting The Hide during a time when Zimbabwe was showing signs of recovery. Using AAT resources enabled The Hide to gain wider and quicker access to existing and new markets, and together with other AAT properties, create exciting and experiential circuits and packages around Zimbabwe’s key tourism destinations, along with linkages into Chobe, Botswana.

“We have achieved much of what we set out to in our relationship with The Hide, and current occupancies, forward bookings, average room rates and developments achieved all reflect significant uplift during the agreement, against the backdrop of an ever changing economic landscape in Zimbabwe, and various challenges that remain for tourism, not least access and perceptions,” said Ross Kennedy, CE of AAT.

“We know The Hide will go from strength to strength. AAT will now concentrate on its own existing properties in Zimbabwe and Botswana, and look to expand and develop in the region.”

The Hide Marketing Director, Gavin Rennie, said: “Significant strides have been achieved during this contract and this is a direct result of AAT’s and The Hide’s efforts.”

“The Hide has expansion plans in place. We are currently working on Tom’s Villa at The Hide, a new private lodge consisting of three large adult rooms with two interleading children’s rooms. Tom’s Villa, when booked exclusively, will package well with other safari houses in the region and will be open to families with children of any age, something that The Hide has not been able to offer in the past.”

Rates, packages, combos and circuits issued in 2011 will be honoured for their current validity until January 14, 2013 (as issued in 2011) and handled by AAT Central Reservations. Individual bookings per property, like The Hide or Victoria Falls Safari Lodge, should be channelled to that property.