Meet Tes Proos, Founder of Crystal Events Africa, president of SITE Africa and chair for the SA Events Council.
I love travel as it opens one up to other cultures and experiences. Travel is the greatest education on earth.
What is your #1 favourite Southern African escape, and what do you like to do when you are there?
This is such a difficult question to answer as there are so many! I think I am going to run with Victoria Falls. It is my little piece of heaven. I always have a complete feeling of tranquility, whether I am on the Zambia or Zimbabwe side of the border. It is fairly undeveloped, which is a great part of its charm, yet the people from this region are so amazing. They ooze hospitality and friendliness. One of my favourite things to do is a sunset cruise on the Zambezi river. It is peaceful and spectacular. The other great thing about this destination is that one is less than an hour’s drive between three countries, so a day trip to Chobe Game reserve in Botswana is so easy to do. In addition, they have the Kaza-visa, allowing access to all three destinations.
Please list your top 3 incentive activities, and what makes them so special.
This is something that really depends on the client and what their objectives are for the group. However, some of my personal favourites include:
#1 Hot air balloon safari. This is so unique, especially over the Maasai Mara during the migration.
Photo credit: Angama Mara, Kenya
#2 Conservation and CSR is quite important to me and many of my clients. One of my favourites is rhino notching which is aimed at saving our rhinos. This is a once-in-a-lifetime experience that one cannot buy off a tourist brochure.
#3 A helicopter ride over the Cape Peninsula is just phenomenal. We have some of the most beautiful scenery in Africa and a trip over the (almost) southern-most point of Africa is spectacular.
What’s the most unusual request you have ever received?
Well, in our industry almost nothing is unusual! However, we’ve have a few “impossible” requests, such as climbing Kilimanjaro in a day. The client did not have additional time, so we proposed a flight around the mountain and they went with it!
“People need motivation now, more than ever before.”
How do you think incentives will add value in a post-COVID landscape?
People need motivation now, more than ever before. Incentive travel has been proven to be the most powerful reward to drive business results. That said, there will be resistance to get a corporate group on an aircraft due to liability and other concerns. However, human nature will prevail and the yearning for WOW experiences will become increasingly important. As an industry, we need to cultivate client confidence in proving that our destination is safe at all levels.
Cover image: Breakfast next to Lake Elmenteita, a soda lake in the Great Rift Valley, Kenya