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Wilderness Reservations & GEL Operations Manager

Closing: Jul 12, 2024

This position has expired

Published: Jun 24, 2024 (26 days ago)

Job Requirements

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Work experience:

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Job Summary

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  • To manage the overall reservations sales performance of the team by primarily improving room occupancy figures to all Wilderness camps. Inspiring a team to build strong relationships with our Owned Brands, ensuring a positive reservations experience and an excellent guest journey with each reservation enquiry.
  • The core purpose of this position is to help, support and assist with the daily operational duties of the Guest Experience team, ensuring a once in a lifetime safari through a high-touch guest experience service delivery during travel. Working efficiently and accurately to manage the flow of information between various parties during travel to ensure superior and personalized bespoke service delivery to guests.
  • The candidate is specifically accountable for the performance and leadership of the Travel Designers, Journey Specialists & Guest Experience Liaisons. Ensuring their high service standards with a goal to generate more revenue, achieve high guest satisfaction and improve our service delivery to our Owned Brands and guests pre, during and post travel.
  • Collaborate with the other Owned Brands & Guest Experience Managers to align SOPs, service delivery and team dynamics.
  • Dual reporting to the Head of Operations & Global Integration

Qualification:                

  • Minimum Tertiary certificate (Higher Diploma or Degree in Travel & Tourism/hospitality)

Experience:                       

  • 8-10 years in the travel & Tourism industry in either a Sales or Direct client engagement position.   
  • Computer Literate (Microsoft Office, email, Internet) 
  • Proven English literacy 
  • Excellent product knowledge on East Africa and knowledge of Southern Africa an added advantage 
  • Personal or educational travel experience advantageous within Africa in the luxury travel circuits.  
  • Excellent attention to detail 

Skills:                                   

  • Has a strong Sales & Service-driven mentality and be capable of problem solving, pro-active, level-headed and high empathy skills being essential.
  • Be able to drive high sales performance.  
  • Excellent communication skills both written and oral.  Be able to actively listen and communicate clearly.
  • Be guest focused and deliver efficient solutions and credible service to all internal and external stakeholders.

Personal Abilities:           

  • Models' commitment to the team, motivates and grows team spirit and remains result oriented.
  • Precise, organized and good communication skills.
  • Ability to work well under pressure without compromising accuracy.
  • Ability to pace oneself and prioritize demands.
  • Team player and ability to interface with various departments.
  • Consistent approach to quality of output and high levels of integrity.
  • Dedicated to guest satisfaction and is achievement orientated.
  • Self-starter with high energy levels.
  • Treating people with respect.
  • Has a positive attitude and impact on everyone around them.


Responsibilities
  • To manage the overall reservations sales performance of the team by primarily improving room occupancy figures to all Wilderness camps. Inspiring a team to build strong relationships with our Owned Brands, ensuring a positive reservations experience and an excellent guest journey with each reservation enquiry.
  • The core purpose of this position is to help, support and assist with the daily operational duties of the Guest Experience team, ensuring a once in a lifetime safari through a high-touch guest experience service delivery during travel. Working efficiently and accurately to manage the flow of information between various parties during travel to ensure superior and personalized bespoke service delivery to guests.
  • The candidate is specifically accountable for the performance and leadership of the Travel Designers, Journey Specialists & Guest Experience Liaisons. Ensuring their high service standards with a goal to generate more revenue, achieve high guest satisfaction and improve our service delivery to our Owned Brands and guests pre, during and post travel.
  • Collaborate with the other Owned Brands & Guest Experience Managers to align SOPs, service delivery and team dynamics.
  • Dual reporting to the Head of Operations & Global Integration

Qualification:                

  • Minimum Tertiary certificate (Higher Diploma or Degree in Travel & Tourism/hospitality)

Experience:                       

  • 8-10 years in the travel & Tourism industry in either a Sales or Direct client engagement position.   
  • Computer Literate (Microsoft Office, email, Internet) 
  • Proven English literacy 
  • Excellent product knowledge on East Africa and knowledge of Southern Africa an added advantage 
  • Personal or educational travel experience advantageous within Africa in the luxury travel circuits.  
  • Excellent attention to detail 

Skills:                                   

  • Has a strong Sales & Service-driven mentality and be capable of problem solving, pro-active, level-headed and high empathy skills being essential.
  • Be able to drive high sales performance.  
  • Excellent communication skills both written and oral.  Be able to actively listen and communicate clearly.
  • Be guest focused and deliver efficient solutions and credible service to all internal and external stakeholders.

Personal Abilities:           

  • Models' commitment to the team, motivates and grows team spirit and remains result oriented.
  • Precise, organized and good communication skills.
  • Ability to work well under pressure without compromising accuracy.
  • Ability to pace oneself and prioritize demands.
  • Team player and ability to interface with various departments.
  • Consistent approach to quality of output and high levels of integrity.
  • Dedicated to guest satisfaction and is achievement orientated.
  • Self-starter with high energy levels.
  • Treating people with respect.
  • Has a positive attitude and impact on everyone around them.


Team Management

  • Offer first line assistance to the team, develop and mentor staff’s talent to their full potential through performance development programs and be aware of capacity and general level of activity within the team as a whole.
  • Identify training needs and address product knowledge and training requirements to help the team improve sales performance.  
  • Manage teams leave, educational approvals, job performance as well as onboarding new staff members thus aligning the business admin duties required by line managers.
  • Optimize and consolidate collaboration with various stakeholders within the business, linking with the entire booking channel from reservations to camp operations, from across all regions and departments to ensure the ultimate guest experience is tailor-made and functions like a well-oiled machine.
  • Mentor and support the team according to their individual needs focusing mainly on excellent communication skills as well as proactive problem-solving skills.

General:

  • Attend regular management meetings to discuss day-to-day issues, assisting in finding solutions and possible areas of strategic importance, constructive feedback and best practices across the Wilderness group. 
  • TD/JS: Monitor, review and measure the teams' margins, sales targets and Wilderness bed nights sold, and promote up-selling without creating a negative experience for the Owned Brands team. 
  • TD/JS: Review and manage yield on owned product and AP (aligning with associated product strategies on improving business to strategic and preferred suppliers where overrides are in place). 
  • Assist GEM to continue to grow, define and shape the guests experience across all products, destinations, platforms and systems to ensure the highest service levels are implemented and personalized in both the B2B and B2C channels.
  • GEL: Develop and implement new Guest Experience Liaison offering/relationships in new and developing markets.
  • GEL: Enhance and grow the current VIP personal GEL offering by sharing in-depth knowledge and additional experiences that add value to our guests, agents and Owned Brands.
  • GEL: Feedback to reservations where services do not meet our minimum standards and ensure the reservations teams are kept informed of supplier trends and all elevated expectations are implemented at reservations level.
  • Based on guest feedback, use both positive and negative feedback to aid conversations with supplier’s and internal stakeholders for improvements and recognition, ensure all feedback is logged in the WW, including the trends dashboard.
  • GEL: Pulling monthly arrival booking reports weekly, to share with the team and making sure all Guest Experience Liaisons monthly calendars are loaded and updated with new bookings.
  • Working closely and assisting the Emergency After hours and Wilderness 24 teams with help, support and guidance with Owned Brands teams, guests and suppliers during travel.
  • GEL: Support, measure and improve the Guest/agents communication process, effectively recording the journey outcomes with the aim to resolve all issues on the ground while the guest is still travelling.

Reservations Booking Performance: TD&JS

  • Provide team guidance on detailed itinerary planning and inspire positive action. 
  • Close off bookings on a monthly basis; monitor and authorize any adjustments noting the reasons for these adjustments. Taking corrective/preventative measures to avoid or minimize these which have a financial impact on the business. 
  • Double check high risk itineraries – high risk due to volume, value or importance and work closely with the guest relations team. 
  • Assist the team with extensions, waivers, cancellations, ad hoc discounting required and approved by the Head of Yield & Revenue Management based on yield allowances. 
  • Proactively manage all guest complaints with care and efficiency to resolve and ensure our relationship and our brand come out stronger.  

Technology & Reporting

  • Optimize business processes – continuously striving to improve business effectiveness and efficiency with innovation, flexibility, and integration within the business’s technology. 
  • TD/JS: Ensure the use the Wilderness Window efficiently and correctly adhering to the functionality to perform accurately and with fast turnaround times, whilst being an expert on the systems as well. 
  • Use reports to analyze booking conversion ratios and agent trends. Feedback findings to the Head of Operations & Global Integration and Regional Travelshop Manager.  Identify training and/or upskilling where required for the entire team.  

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