Incentive - June 2008 - (Page 90)

Joanne Wadsworth, Managing Director, Tusker Tours, Cape Town, South Africa OFF THE CUFF BY JENNIFER JUERGENS H o w l o n g h a v e yo u b e e n i n t h e t o u r bu s i n e s s ? The short answer to this question is 22 years, however if it hadn’t been for the long road I have traveled or the options made available to me during difficult times, I would never have lasted or been as successful as I am today. I have been in the hospitality industry since 1986. After obtaining my Hotel Management Diploma in 1989, I was employed as food and beverage manager/assistant GM for a small boutique hotel in the Northwest Province, which was followed by a stint as itinerant trainer for waiters, barmen and chambermaids at various properties across the country. [The full version of her answer is available online at It runs from a teenager’s desire to break into the “men-only” South African tourism industry through Sun City and a stop at Relais & Chateaux. It’s worth checking out.] Wh a t d i d S o l K e r z n e r ( c h a i r m a n a n d C E O o f S u n I n t e r n a t i o n a l ) t e a c h yo u a b o u t t h e h o s p i t a l i t y bu s i n e s s ? The one thing that working for Kerzner taught me was that nothing was impossible— you are allowed to dream big and if you believe in your dream you can make it happen. Kerzner also never forgot the “little man.” I remember one day sharing a lift with him while still at Sun International head office, and him greeting me by name—we had met briefly six months before at a head office workshop when he was busy finalizing the opening of The Palace, so for him to remember who I was was quite a miracle. A f t e r yo u r s t i n t a t S u n C i t y, y o u we n t t o wo rk f o r Tu s ke r To u rs . Wh e n d i d y o u bu y t h e c o m p a n y ? I was approached by the owner of Tusker Tours to possibly purchase the company in approval to let us use one of the jetties in the V&A Harbour. The entire event was themed around the Cape Malays and the history of Cape Town, and guests were introduced to the sounds, sights and flavors of Cape Town. With Table Mountain and the City Bowl forming the backdrop of the evening, the guests were entertained by Cape minstrels as they approached the old immigration office and experienced what true South African hospitality was all about. 2005. The actual completion of sale took place on the 25th of September 2006. The reason [Bryan West and I] pursued buying Tusker Tours, and not starting a new company, was that I had spent seven years with Tusker Tours building and cementing relationships with USA incentive buyers and clients. Had we decided to start a brandnew company it would have meant that we were unable to approach any of the existing clients of Tusker Tours, and I was not prepared to walk away from years of sweat and tears! Wh a t ’s t h e o n e a t t r i bu t e yo u mu s t h av e t o b e a s u c c e s s f u l D M C ? An ability to think on your feet and stay calm in the eye of the storm is a “musthave” attribute for anyone working in the service industry—there is no opportunity for “make-overs,” and it has to be done right the first time ’round. Wh a t w a s o n e r e a l l y u n i q u e s e t t i n g y o u u s e d f o r a n ev e n t ? We had to find the most unique and special venue for their welcoming reception for a pharmaceutical company. We ultimately decided on approaching the harbour master of the V&A Harbour, and he kindly gave his Wh a t w a s t h e s c a r i e s t t h i n g t h a t e v e r h a p p e n e d o n a g a m e d r iv e ? The scariest thing that ever happened to me was during an evening drive in the Sabi Sands Game Reserve. We were tracking a young female leopard in the dark with the help of a spotlight. Finally she came to rest on a termite mound close to a thicket of thorn trees, and we were all very excited about this perfect photo opportunity. While our attention was focused on the leopard, our tracker suddenly went very still and told the ranger to try to get away as quickly as possible. Our ranger slowly tried to move the vehicle back onto the road, then came to a grinding halt and told everyone to keep as quiet as possible and not to move. This of course had completely the opposite result on the women in the vehicle as they all started nattering like a hysterical group of hornbills! After calming everyone down, he informed us that we had accidentally gone into a breeding herd of elephant, who were now extremely restless—these gentle giants of the African Bush don’t like cats, in any shape or form, and they were now trying to get rid of the leopard. Unfortunately for us, we were in the middle of all the action! JUNE 2008, VOL. 182, NO. 06—INCENTIVE® (ISSN 1042-5195; USPS 799-880) IS PUBLISHED MONTHLY BY NIELSEN BUSINESS MEDIA. CORPORATE AND EDITORIAL HEADQUARTERS: 770 BROADWAY, NEW YORK, NY 10003-9595. SUBSCRIPTIONS: US—$59, CANADA—$75, FOREIGN SURFACE—$95, FOREIGN AIRMAIL—$195, SINGLE COPIES—$10. COPYRIGHT 2008 BY NIELSEN BUSINESS MEDIA, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. POSTMASTER: SEND CHANGE OF ADDRESS TO INCENTIVE, PO BOX 1255, SKOKIE, IL 60076. PERIODICALS MAIL PAID AT NEW YORK, NY, AND ADDITIONAL MAILING OFFICES. 90 | Incentive | June 2008 |

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Incentive - June 2008

Incentive - June 2008
Editor’s Note
In The News
Cover Story: Seventh Annual Industry Roundtable
Incentive Interview
Case Study
Soft Incentives
Empowerment and Engagement
The Incentive Career
Incentive Primer
Travel News: Where To Go and What To Do
The Cook Islands
Field Report: Bermuda
Potentials: Here and Now
50 Top Motivators: The Best of the Best
Electronics: High-end Audio Equipment
Gift Cards: Should One Be Enough?
Advertiser Index
Off The Cuff

Incentive - June 2008