New member Delina Alwanger is the first SITE member from Zimbabwe, Southern Africa. She is Managing Director of Call of the Wild Safaris, a Tour Operator based in Zimbabwe that offers adventure and fishing safaris into Southern Africa. Fluent in BA (Hons), English and French, her career includes positions in Public Relations and Marketing. Delina also writes for the largest digital fishing magazine in the US and has recently authored an article on Incentive Travel in Zimbabwe for a South African publication.
What/who motivated you to become a member of SITE?
Delina: My aim was to advance my education and attain a recognized level of proficiency in the Incentive Travel sector. I researched many industry associations and SITE was essentially the most welcoming of my options. Event Management has previously been part of my general portfolio but it was obvious that my general knowledge was insufficient so I decided to focus and retrain in this sector. Since I already run my own business as a tour operator this adds a new dimension to my scope of interest and experience.
What do you hope will be the greatest personal and professional benefits of being a SITE member?
Delina: The world is evolving at a dizzy pace, driven by continued advances in technology. For someone based in the middle of Africa geography imposes the biggest challenge to professional advancement. I am currently the only member of SITE in Zimbabwe. Thankfully, the many opportunities SITE provides to network, interact and learn from incentive travel professionals across the globe will keep me abreast of developments in the industry. Participating in the SITE LinkedIn group affords me the chance to contribute to a conversation about so many aspects of incentive travel.
What would you like to share with other members of the SITE community about why Zimbabwe is an ideal destination for incentive travel?
Delina: Zimbabwe achieved global recognition in 2013 when we co-hosted the UNWTO General Assembly. The success of this event put our small country back on the international MICE radar. Ours is a country blessed with 365 days of sunshine per year, a highly literate English-speaking workforce, no natural disasters, great natural beauty, abundant wildlife and no risk of terrorism. Improved airline connectivity is a priority for our government.
Victoria Falls continues to be the face of tourism in this country but its also represents a prime destination for incentive travel and meetings. There is a product to suit any budget with the added extras of adventure and safari experiences to complement the business component.