In early April, the Beekman Group marked a symbolic and exciting return to the world of live business conferencing at the World Travel Market, signalling a renewed commitment to providing world-class holiday experiences to our customers.
We were proud to exhibit at the Africa leg of the 2023 World Travel Market, one of the world’s largest travel trade shows, attracting industry professionals from around the globe, and offering a platform for property owners, service providers, tour operators, travel agencies, and other stakeholders to showcase their latest products and services.
The team manning our presence at the Cape Town International Convention Centre this year was led by Group Director, Neville Beekman, and Executive, Tony Forbes, who were supported by Grayson and Alethea Ibrahim, who all made the trip to Cape Town to represent all the active sectors of the growing Beekman business; timeshare/ holiday ownership, rentals, exchanges, and management services.
“The industry knows the Beekman Group to be an influential player in multiple disciplines within the holiday and leisure industry, so our presence at WTM had to be representative of all those areas for the benefit of our peers, partners, and potential clients present” commented Neville Beekman.
“But with that said, we had a focused agenda to prioritise two particular divisions of our business – holiday rentals (Beekman Holidays) and property management (Vacation Management Services).”
While the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic on the holiday and leisure industry were widespread, some businesses were more significantly impacted than others, and the same can be said for customers, most of whom were forced to reconsider their vacation priorities between the start of the pandemic to the present.
“What this has done is create sort of ‘sandtraps’ in various sectors of the industry” explains Alethea Ibrahim, of the Business Development team. “On the customer side, rental demand has shot up due to the requirement for flexibility and pay-as-you-go holidays. While in the property sector, many smaller resorts, hotels, and lodges were drained of so much of their liquidity during that time that many are in desperate need of assistance in many management functions like maintenance, construction, strategy, cashflow, or even advertising.”
For the Beekman Group, our decision to exhibit at the WTM was a no-brainer, as the company seeks to reconnect with its existing customer base and engage with new partners. The World Travel Market provided an ideal opportunity to showcase our various products and services, as well as to engage with industry peers and role players on the latest trends, concerns, and opportunities within the sector.
“Don’t forget, as the Beekman Group, our traditional footprint is in timeshare. And the rental division is a lot younger than most of the rest of the business, which means that there’s an entire generation of older agents and tour operators who came into the industry with the impression of the Beekman Group being associated strictly to holiday ownership,” adds Grayson Ibrahim, who attended as representative of the Beekman Holidays division.
“That’s why, from a rental perspective, the first-person engagement that takes place at these events is so beneficial – as it helps dispel these kinds of misconceptions in real time, and gives us the platform to boost the visibility of the Group as a whole to those external parties who we rely on, and who rely on us, to send people on incredible holidays.”
On the management side, our 50+ years of experience and innovation have made The Beekman Group a pioneering force in building successful resorts and holiday businesses, and that reputation was further elevated by our presence at WTM.
“We’re always looking for new opportunities to partner with exciting properties and developers,” concluded Tony Forbes when talking about the team’s goals. “But because we have so many iconic customer-facing legacy brands under our umbrella, we prioritise events like the World Travel Market to make sure that our B2B services remain as aggressively marketed as the B2C offerings for which we’re predominantly known.”
All four members of the Beekman Group “travelling squad” were ecstatic with the response and business generated at the World Travel Market, particularly noting that the ultra-modern digital displays and stall layout designed by Iain Lind and Thobani Msabala of the marketing team were instrumental in identifying the Group as the progressive industry leader we always strive to be.
We look forward to making an impression again next year, when the Beekman Group aims to once again be blazing the trail for the holiday industry of tomorrow.