Media Release: SANParks preference for SA clients unwavering
Following a system error in the booking of accommodation for the June / July 2010 period in the Kruger National Park, South African National Parks has managed to make alternative arrangements for accommodating virtually all of the 17 affected customers. The affected customers’ bookings were accepted into the reservation system despite the allocated units having been already committed to a blocked booking arrangement made with MATCH for the accommodation of international customers that will be visiting South Africa during the 2010 World Cup.
According to Sydney Soundy, SANParks Chief Operating Officer, the system error was picked up early in the process when only 17 customers were affected, which allowed the organization to rectify the situation before it affected more customers. Soundy expressed regret and apologizes to all the affected customers for the inconvenience caused. He said that the organization proactively contacted all affected clients with a proposal to move their bookings elsewhere in the park. “Virtually all 17 affected customers were contacted and offered alternative camping sites within the Kruger National Park, with the exception of the two Gauteng families customers who refused alternative accommodation offered to them, and have instead taken their unhappiness to the media. We still want to find mutually acceptable solutions to these customers as far as are practically possible.”
Soundy said that SANParks entered into the contract with MATCH Event Services (Pty) Ltd in the middle of 2008 already, regarding 2010 FIFA World Cup accommodation “We therefore had sufficient time and planning to ensure that the relevant accommodation facilities were blocked out specifically to satisfy our agreement with MATCH”.
He said SANParks management communicated to its valued customers timeously and consistently about the fact that only three camps will be made available for exclusive use of MATCH, with about 70 percent of the park remaining dedicated to the South African market. As far as the specific problem in Skukuza is concerned, SANParks allocated 85 of the 102 sites to MATCH in a park that has 1000 camp sites. “The idea that South Africans have to step aside for foreigners is highly unfounded and very unfortunate.”
SANParks has always and will continue to value its South African customers who have always shown great support to the parks under its management.
SANParks Corporate Communications
For media enquiries contact:
Reynold “Rey” Thakhuli, GM: Media, Events & Stakeholder Relations, Tel: 012 426 5203 / 083 552 2020, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
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