The exciting World Travel Market (WTM) took place in the beginning of November: over three days, 5,000 exhibiting destinations companies and 51,000 travel professionals came together. Because of its size, the World Travel Market is an incredible opportunity to be inspired by industry leaders discussing trends, issues and innovations in the world of travel.
This year, Village N Life (VNL) participated in the event, sending two of its senior executives. Roelof Troskie, CEO Sales, and Kobus van der Westhuyzen, CFO Ventures flew to London to represent VNL. In addition, VNL also gave star employee Sesi Sibanyoni the opportunity to experience this exciting event.
Introducing the “Face” of The Bay Hotel – Sesi Sibanyoni
The Bay Hotel is the biggest product in the VNL range and one of its most iconic.
As the Host Manager Rooms Division, Sesi is the face of The Bay Hotel.
“I attend to every detail,” says Sesi. “Nothing that happens here is below my notice.”
A daughter of one of South Africa’s Human Rights Commissioner, Sesi started as a receptionist at The Bay Hotel in 2012. Since then, she has proven herself and moved up at Village N Life.
As well, Sesi is extremely passionate about The Bay Hotel: “The Bay Hotel suits my personality perfectly. I love it here!”
Sesi’s passion and position at VNL are what made her the ideal employee to benefit from what the World Travel Market had to offer.
Sesi is the Host Manager Rooms Division for The Bay Hotel.
Most importantly, Sesi said she learnt some invaluable lessons at the World Travel Market.
“Before the World Travel Market, I thought only of The Bay Hotel. Then, when you are there at the event, you see how many amazing products and destinations are available to clients. So when a client checks into The Bay Hotel, they have chosen us above all these other options. Therefore, it is vital that we absolutely exceed the client’s expectations.”
As well, Sesi says she had the opportunity to see the bigger picture of the travel industry.
“I learnt that there are so many steps before a client walks through the door at The Bay Hotel. First, Destination Management Companies have worked hard to sell The Bay Hotel to the client, then travel agents have worked hard to sell The Bay Hotel to the client. Consequently, the client’s happiness is important not only to us but also to those other parts of the industry. As a result, it is our job to make sure the client is exceptionally happy with their experience.”
Sesi at the Village N Life stand at the 2017 World Travel Market London.
Sesi says her London trip was an amazing experience.
“There were so many great moments. For example, I ran into former guests from The Bay Hotel at the World Travel Market who remembered me, which was wonderful. Also, I met the South African Minister for Tourism by accident in the bathroom – she said she liked my jacket!”
Finally, a favourite moment came before the trip started.
“VNL had me driven to the airport in The Bay Hotel’s Aston Martin. My staff were at the door of The Bay Hotel taking pictures of me and waving. I felt so touched. One guest asked if I was a South African celebrity and a staff member responded saying ‘No, but Sesi is OUR celebrity!’”
Travelling in style. Sesi getting into The Bay Hotel’s Aston Martin.
For Sesi, this was a trip of a lifetime. And the lesson she will carry with her?
“Go above and beyond for every guest. I see now that even more thanks to this trip.”
Read more about Village N Life’s trip to the 2017 London World Travel Market here.