Travel & Tourism Awards 2021 Page 29 LUX 2021 Travel & Tourism Awards Established in 2013, URBAN GINGA is an owner-managed and operated performance improvement and destination management company that offers creative, practical, and truly memorable incentives, luxury travel and world-class events that surprise and delight qualifiers, while driving business results and improving the bottom line. Following its well-deserved success in the Travel & Tourism Awards 2021, we got in touch with Johan Venter to find out more. URBAN GINGA Leading Destination Management Company - South Africa Jan21113 With a true passion for travel, hospitality, and exploration, coupled with over 21 years’ experience within the incentive travel and destination management industries, URBAN GINGA is well equipped to deliver experiences which tick all of the boxes. To begin, Johan provides a brief overview of the firm and offers more insight into its clientele. “By focusing on our clients’ priorities, our goal is to offer exceptional experiences by providing custom-designed incentives, luxury travel, sustainable events and strategic meetings management. Executed with faultless precision and an uncanny eye for detail, we help unlock the power of an investment and will ensure that a sales incentive is a success from start to finish by utilising our extensive knowledge, as well as our professional relationships and local resources. Typically, our clientele consists of international tour operators, professional meeting planners and incentive houses, as well as local corporates in South Africa. Additionally, with professional sales representation in the United Kingdom, Australia, and Brazil, we are able to serve clients further afield.” Across South Africa the firm are in direct competition with several other destination management companies, however as Johan goes on to explain, its client-focused approach has enabled the firm to stand out from its closest competitors. “Through our meticulous approach we ensure that each and every experience is not only unforgettable but also offers a return on investment. Rather than offering an off-the- shelf experience, we aim to create programmes which will be remembered for years to come by closely collaborating with our clients.” With a strong emphasis on teamwork, everyone at UBRAN GINGA is encouraged to share their vision and opinions to help the firm achieve its goals as Johan points out. “As a business we live and breathe by our belief that experiences create memories. Which is why, to support this idea we foster a company environment where everyone is empowered to have a voice. By ensuring our employees feel appreciated, this leads to more productivity and greater sales. Having had the same core team in place since starting out, this has resulted in a dedicated group of individuals who complement each other in everything they do. “Additionally, by encouraging new ideas and empowering our staff to run with these, we support their personal growth by allowing them to take their creativity to new heights.” Despite the outbreak of COVID-19, the firm have still managed to succeed during these difficult and uncertain times as Johan explains further. “As a company we have spent a lot of time and effort during the pandemic to reinvent ourselves, expanding our brand and our business, with a strong emphasis on diversifying and broadening our reach. In addition to this, our team have completed comprehensive COVID safety training. Retaining our entire team has given our employees great job security during a time when a lot of companies have had to furlough staff or permanently lay them off.” Bringing the interview to a close, Johan signs off by commenting on the firm’s future prospects as we look ahead to 2021 and beyond. “Moving forward, we remain cautiously optimistic that travel and tourism into Southern and East Africa will slowly start to come back by Q3/Q4 now that vaccinations are starting to be rolled out into our feeder markets. Despite the worldwide economic downturn, we remain hopeful that 2021 will bring lots of exciting new opportunities for the business.” Company: URBAN GINGA Name: Johan Venter Website: