Phoenix Noman Africa

An ancient African myth states that every living creature embodies the significance of the name it carries. For that reason, parents and/or business owners on the verge of naming, choose names wisely. Like the bird, Phoenix Tour and Travel Rwanda has emerged through the hardships that the pandemic befell everyone globally. The question of whether or not it would still have been so having its owner decided on a different name remains a mystery.

Having initiated the company in 2015, Tuyisenge Lise Eugenie and her friend named it ‘Africa Wild Life Safaris’. As if leaning into the importance of the names and their significance’ myth, Eugenie decided on a different name after her friend’s departure abroad. In 2019, Phoenix Tour and Travel Rwanda was established as a Rwandese company that provides tour and travel services throughout East Africa.

“We offer different packages from leisure to business and educational packages to our guests from their arrival to their departure. These packages include all logistical support such as accommodation, flights, guides, concierge, and thematic excursions, to name a few. We organize and manage group and individual cultural and community-based tours, arts and historical tours, bird watching, hiking, and Gorilla trekking,” said Eugenie.

Eugenie had been in the tourism industry for 6 years before initiating her own company. Perhaps her savoir-faire is what contributed to the company being mature while still at its formative stage; cash flow was uninterruptedly doing well for Phoenix before the onset of the pandemic.

“We first heard about COVID-19 in December 2019. We thought it to be a temporary issue so we disregarded it because before this, business was booming. We were not open to assuming or accepting that there was even the slightest possibility of the worst taking place,” Eugenie said.

However, once the realities of the pandemic struck, precautions had to be taken. In-person work was placed on hold and they continued working from home organizing domestic tours with locals and internationals residing in Rwanda. Even this was not enough to keep the company’s finances afloat.

Later in 2020, the company was running out of financial resources, and for that reason, almost everyone had to be removed from the payroll.

“Our workflow revolves around our clients and the services we provide to them. If there are no clients to serve, there is, therefore, no money being generated. This affected our finances,” she said.

Nevertheless, this did not incapacitate her business operation. Rather than losing hope from the crisis, she held onto her belief that something needed to be done. Having her company’s best interest at heart, she did everything in her power to provide support and morale to her skeleton staff during these tough times.

“I enrolled myself and my staff in a few short courses and mentorship programs, to improve our skills and knowledge for better performance in the future. I made payments in the form of allowances to provide some sort of assistance at home. I tried by all means to organize meetings- that were inclusive of everyone- in which we set new business strategies,” she explained.

They took the pandemic as an opportunity to grow, by enhancing their existing abilities, acquiring new skills through mentorship and coaching programs, and learning how to build their network. This method of dealing with a crisis instilled hope in all their staff members and reassured them that there was indeed a way out after all. They also attended a few competitions and incubators that enabled them to make a little income.

Fortunately, as the fog that is the pandemic began to clear up, Phoenix was able to pick up from where it left off. The crisis has undeniably raised awareness of the importance of social media as a marketing tool. Between the airport being shut and the tourism industry being placed on hold altogether, she came to an understanding that social media can create a platform that would place the company in the public’s eye.

“At first, we had neglected media marketing because we had our contacts and word of mouth. As far as I am concerned, this was working for us. However, with the outbreak of COVID-19 and all its effects on businesses, we learnt that media marketing is the right way. We also learnt that making contacts through various social media platforms would broaden our networks and possibilities of partnerships with big companies. This would aid us to recover and grow, simultaneously,” she explained.

Upon taking social media marketing seriously, Phoenix was able to recruit three new partnerships with existing companies and they continued to reach out to more companies. At the rate that their partnership recruitment is going, extreme growth is guaranteed for them.

Now that in-person work has resumed, the working environment is not quite the same. The relationship between the guide and tourists has had a few adjustments due to adherence to the safety measures. This is slightly negative because both the guides and tourists no longer feel safe around each other and this has instilled a few limitations to having a good time freely.

“The phoenix must burn to emerge,” and Phoenix Tour and Travel Rwanda has indeed been burnt by the pandemic and emerged stronger. Perhaps Eugenie owes some gratitude to the practicality of the African myth after all!

The post Phoenix Travel & Tours: How we Rose Above the Pandemic appeared first on Nomad Africa Magazine | Celebrating the world’s richest continent.

Source: Nomad Africa Magazine