Fransisca is the Managing Director of Nature Responsible Safaris, a tour company specializing in responsible tourism and travel to eco-friendly lodges and camps. The company also links its customers directly to local community projects. A successful tour operator, Fransisca has come a long way from undertaking petty trade as a child in order to help her single mother support five children. With noone to guide her when she started out, Fransisca made many mistakes at the beginning but learned a lesson from each one.
Registered and operating in both Tanzania and Germany, Nature Responsible employs five full time staff in the Arusha, Tanzania office and seven freelance tour guides. The company also owns three safari vehicles valued at US$ 110,000 each.
What you’ll hear in this episode:
- How watching her single mother struggle to raise five children gave Fransisca a deep desire to support women and girls.
- The value of believing in yourself, ignoring the nay-sayers, learning from mistakes and putting in what it takes to achieve your dream.
- How Fransisca’s job in tourism, love for travel, dream of financial independence and desire to control her time motivated her to start a tour company.
- Starting a business with nothing but a dream, a laptop, internet access and family savings.
- Fransisca’s use of technology for online marketing (e.g. at www.safaribookings.com) and to keep in constant touch with her travel agents in other countries, her customers and staff.
- Delegation of responsibilities to her tour guides to free up time that she can spend with her growing
- Treat every customer well and maintain the relationship. A good relationship with a customer resulted in Nature Responsible Safaris GmbH Germany, where Fransisca has a 50% stake.
- Knowing the value of your brand name, in this case, Nature Responsible Safaris.
- Fransisca’s key markets: The Netherlands, France and Austria. A United States partnership is under development.
- Lessons learned: In business one needs to be organized. In tourism, marketing is number one! It is not enough to have a website. Attend the tour and travel trade fairs.
- Words of inspiration: Believe in yourself. Be confident. Focus. Take action. Surround yourself with people with positive energy.
- Fransisca’s willingness to mentor any women seeking to start a business in the tourism sector. Reach her on her Facebook page.
ITB Berlin: https://www.itbberlin.de/en/
New York Times Travel Show: http://nyttravelshow.com/
World Travel Market (WTM): http://www.wtm.com/