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Only best companies and brands which meet requirements of sophisticated and demanding consumers of luxury goods and services become the nominees and winners of the award.
The goal of this unique Award is to form an open, transparent and professional market of luxury goods and services on the territory of European countries, and development of international cooperation.

Greg Bows: “Uniqueness is always awarded”

Greg Bows, Founder & Director of Africa&You, tells about the challenges accepted by his company and the decisions that helped Africa&You to be defined as the Best Luxury Travel Company at the Luxury Lifestyle Awards.

In your opinion, how will participation in Luxury Lifestyle Awards influence company’s development?

As a young, boutique luxury Safari Company based in South Africa, winning this award is a hugely prestigious achievement for Africa&You. It highlights the huge steps we have made since our launch in 2013 and allow us to gain increased recognition and credibility in the international public eye for our dedication to providing outstanding luxury holidays and honeymoons with an eco-conscious, responsible approach.

To your mind, are there any opportunities for local luxury companies to reach international recognition?

Yes, absolutely. Africa&You is based in Cape Town, South Africa, but we offer unique honeymoon and safari experiences to the international market through the power of the internet, making it our mission to showcase Africa at her finest and to share our decades of expert local knowledge and expertise with clients from around the world. Africa has some of the most luxurious world-class hotels, luxury safari camps and lodges, exclusive beach villas and fine dining restaurants on Earth, which we include in the trips we put together for our international clients. Using the travel services of a luxury company based on the ground in Africa also provides the added benefit and reassurance of having dedicated local experts on hand at all times to provide an elevated level of service & first hand expert knowledge, in every aspect of the process, before, during and after you life-changing safari holiday, no matter where in the world you are.

What is “luxury” to you? How do you define it in your sector of business?

Luxury, to me means something out of the ordinary, beyond the expected, with acute attention to the finest details, providing the most unforgettable and unbeatable memories. It’s not necessarily about financial wealth, it’s about creating that exceptional once-in-a-life-time experiences that are tailored for you as an individual to enjoy – whether that’s dining on caviar & champagne in the privacy of your beach villa, or drinking a local craft beer whilst watching a herd of elephants march across the African savannah. Everyone’s idea of perfection is different and we go that extra mile to ensure we create a luxury experience that is perfect for you.

Is it challenging for you to compete with the companies of your own country? Do you feel ready to enter competition on international level?

There are many great travel companies in Cape Town, and in South Africa as a whole, but from the outset we have ensured that we are offering something unique, with a fresh, personal approach, addressing our clients from a personal perspective, and not as a faceless mass-market company. With a focus on honeymoons and luxurious safari holidays, we have set the benchmark for allowing clients to feel the timeless romance of Africa and with an online business model and we already reach our international clientele via web-based media marketing, using our local expertise & dedication to client service to meet international market expectations.

Lately the phrase “affordable luxury” is widely used, do you think that it is appropriate for your business industry?

Yes. No matter the extent of your wealth, everyone wants good value at every level. Using the services of a luxury travel operator such as Africa&You doesn’t cost you a penny – you won’t pay any more for our trip than if you were to book directly, yet you benefit from the additional guidance, travel advice and having a personal travel concierge to take care of your every need. We have access to preferential rates and exclusive special offers which we are able pass on to our clients, making it possible to stay at the finest hotels and safari camps without breaking the bank. In addition we contribute to conservation and community development initiatives with local partners via the trips we sell, and ensure the properties we work with operate with eco-conscious business models and leave minimal or no imprint on the natural environment.

What are the 5 pillars a luxury brand like yours builds its policy on?

Responsible Tourism

- We pride ourselves on giving back in terms of supporting conservation and community development, and local enterprise & sustainability via the properties and experiences we work with. We assist with reforestation practices through our partners Greenpop, and assist disadvantaged communities through The Happy Africa Foundation.

Authenticity

- Africa&You is partnered with Africa’s finest luxury safari camps, lodges & hotels, located deep within Africa’s finest wildlife destinations, ensuring a true African wilderness experience, with ecological sustainability at the heart of everything we do. We know Africa, and her hidden secrets, go that extra mile show you the real gems of this enchanting continent.

Personal service

- We get to know our clients personally, as friends, so that we can decipher exactly what kind of honeymoon or holiday would suit them best. Every itinerary we create is unique, tailored exactly to the wishes and expectations of each guest. We offer accurate first hand travel advice and recommendations, going above the call of duty to ensure a seamless and unforgettable trip, for all the right reasons.

Honesty

- Transparency is key. We don’t add mark-ups to our prices to profit from our clients; we negotiate great rates with our partner hotels and lodges and take every opportunity to pass these benefits on to our clients. We are a luxury brand and will not compromise on quality but it is our mission to provide the greatest experiences at an affordable price and make the luxury Africa travel sphere accessible to guests from around the world.

Innovation

- We are always thinking and researching ways to stay ahead of the game and bring our business into the forefront of honeymoon and safari travel; providing clients with digital travel portals, virtual itineraries, luxurious travel gifts and experiential inclusions that they would not find elsewhere.

Tell us 3 reasons why you decided to work in the sphere of luxury?

1) To share the incredible luxury products, destinations and experiences that Africa has to offer with guests from the world so they can see and understand the great wonders of Africa and contribute to its future.

2) I hadn’t experienced a travel company that offered a level of service from the outset that made me feel looked after and understood, that took the confusion out of the planning stage and that provided the kind of holiday experience I was really looking for. I decided to start a company that made this their mission, and it has proved to be extremely successful.

3) Without tourism and wildlife travel, many conservation initiatives, game reserves and protected areas in Africa would not exist. The biggest players and contributors to the protection of the environment, ancient cultures and endangered species are the luxury eco-camps and lodges that we work with. Therefore to support the luxury camps and reserves by sending visitors to experience them is to play a part in the conservation of Africa.

Where does your inspiration come from?

I experienced my first safari in 2000, when my love for Africa & its wildlife really took hold. I founded a company called African Impact, which allowed volunteers to contribute to wildlife conservation and community development throughout Africa, which has grown from strength to strength and still exists today. The need for a responsible, boutique luxury travel company, that offered guests an ethical, inspirational and valuable holiday experience in Africa’s great wildlife destinations became apparent and inspired me to launch Africa&You as a means of providing just that. I am inspired every day by people who work hard to conserve and protect Africa’s endangered wildlife populations & cultural traditions, and the luxury camps and lodges that have formed as a means of allowing guests to experience Africa in an ethical and responsible way. I plan to play a part in this exhilarating and inspiring industry long into the future.

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