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Travel & Operations Manager

RemoteSouth Africa, Gauteng, Johannesburg / RemoteZAR 30,000 - ZAR 38,000 per monthOperations & Logistics

Job description

Lead the way in conservation travel with African Conservation Experience!

  • Are you an entrepreneurial thinker with the negotiating skills and experience to expand our travel product options?

  • Would you like a career supporting wildlife conservation and protecting ecosystems?

  • Do you have the confidence and skills to build unique and valued relationships with all kinds of people, from business professionals to conservation specialists?

  • Could you offer exceptional customer service to our global network of travellers looking to make a genuine difference in southern Africa?

  • Do you take pride in success and always strive to deliver the best outcome possible?

  • Are you always looking to improve your skills, from feedback to self-evaluation to using your initiative to come up with creative solutions and exciting, new opportunities?

  • Are you a natural leader with an eye for detail?

  • Are you the confident and commercial travel operations manager that we’re searching for?

We are looking for an ambitious and dynamic professional to work at the heart of our logistics and operations in southern Africa. If you are passionate about ethical and meaningful conservation travel, as well as outstanding business practice, this is your dream job.

African Conservation Experience (ACE) is a growing conservation travel company that offers people the opportunity to support wildlife conservation through inspirational travel. We want to work with those that are as motivated as us to make a difference in everything from the travel industry, to the projects we partner with, to the people who travel with us.

About the Role

As the interest and need for genuine conservation travel grows, we’re seeing more people than ever reaching out to us from all four corners of the globe. This is why we’re embarking on the next stage of our journey and need a talented travel specialist to help drive our established organisation forwards. This is where you come in.

Working closely with our international team of experts and the ACE Management Team, this is a multi-faceted position that is ideally suited to a flexible, organised and ambitious individual who is looking for an opportunity to step up.

Based in Johannesburg, your main goals will be to expand our transport logistics and travel options across southern Africa; build and maintain excellent working relationships with our conservation and travel partners; and support the sales team in the overall booking process.

Working alongside our passionate and professional team in South Africa, The Netherlands and the UK, you will ensure that we consistently provide the outstanding level of customer service we have become known for. This will mean being confident and supportive and showing genuine love for what we do as you engage with our travellers directly as well.

Combining exciting and varied tasks with an attractive employment / remuneration package (including a private health scheme), this is a one-off opportunity to fast-track your career development by working for an ambitious and supportive organisation, headquartered in the UK.

Please click here for the full job description

Working Hours

Flexible hours and hybrid working - we expect to open a new office in Johannesburg at the end of 2023 / start of 2024.

You’ll work 5-days a week (40 hours), with your normal working hours being 8:30am to 5:30pm. However, with the nature of this work, you will need to be flexible with your working hours, and be open to travelling 2-3 times per year, with each trip being 2-4 days in duration.

What we Offer

  • Monthly salary range: R30,000 - 38,000.

  • Optional Discovery Private Hospital Scheme.

  • Membership of our profit share scheme in the second full financial year of employment.

  • 21 days of paid leave per year plus South African public holidays.

  • A company laptop.

  • A contribution towards your personal cell phone costs.

  • Wi-fi access to 100 gigabytes per month.

  • Ongoing training and opportunities to progress in the organisation as we grow.

  • Flexible hours and hybrid working.

  • Genuine opportunity to shape the future of the business.

Career Progression

We are a driven team with ambitious and realistic growth plans. You will have the opportunity to work for a company with an outstanding reputation and reach your potential among talented and passionate people in conservation travel who encourage open direct communication and honest feedback. We are committed to employing, training and retaining the very best people in their chosen fields and we provide personal training and opportunities to progress in the company as we grow. We are looking for entrepreneurial team members who can develop and shape this role within the company.

About African Conservation Experience

Founded in 1999, we are southern Africa’s original conservation travel and volunteering company. Headquartered in the UK with full-time teams on the ground in The Netherlands and South Africa, we play an active role in supporting genuine wildlife conservation work through organising conservation travel experiences. We do this by embedding ourselves in the region’s conservation community, providing equipment, money and guidance to projects and even pioneering our own where needed.

Our team are not only experienced in travel management but also carry zoological and conservation-related qualifications, providing outstanding personal consultation to our travellers. This conservation-first approach makes us a very different breed to online booking agents and volunteering platforms. It’s also one of the many reasons why thousands of people around the world have enjoyed an unforgettable experience travelling with us.

We are the only organisation of our kind that has been offered membership of ABTA, one of the world’s most recognised quality standards for travel and we financially protect trips for all of our travellers through ABTA or ATOL.

Job requirements

Perhaps you’re currently working in either a senior travel manager role within the tourism or wildlife industry, or you’re working in a similar role within product and operations. Maybe you’ve pushed the boundaries of your current role and are now looking to apply your skills to an ambitious, growing business that is making a genuine difference every day.

Wherever you are coming from, you have built an exceptional network and the people around you will be sad to see you go.

Need to have

  • A minimum of 3 years experience in a similar role, or 5+ years of operational experience in development, travel, tourism, or any other field that requires commercial and operational management of a complex geographically-distributed service.
  • A demonstrable experience of handling both supplier and customer relationships, developing and promoting product and services, ideally in the inbound travel industry.
  • Good financial understanding, confident working with numbers.
  • Problem-solving skills, with the ability to come up with creative solutions.
  • Valid passport, driving licence, and own transport.
  • Matric certificate – with maths (minimum standard grade or above).
  • Tertiary certificate in Travel & Tourism or equivalent.
  • Computer literate (MS Office / iWork, PC / Mac, Email, Google Applications, Internet browsers, and online communication methods).
  • Proven English literacy and fluency.
Personal Abilities
  • Team player and relationship builder with the ability to engage face-to-face with all kinds of people, from taxi drivers to business owners.
  • Commercially-minded with an entrepreneurial spirit and problem-solving attitude.
  • Highly motivated and driven to succeed; to exceed customer expectations, company targets, and deliver the best possible outcome.
  • Detail-oriented, methodical and meticulous to ensure that all communications to travellers and partners is articulate, accurate, and without error.
  • Clear, concise and effective communication skills.
  • Organised, able to prioritise workloads and work with detail whilst under pressure.
  • A genuine passion and enthusiasm for international travel and a commitment to wildlife conservation and sustainability.
  • Confident, resilient and reliable.

Nice to have

  • Product and / or geographical knowledge of southern and East Africa.
  • Personal and work travel experience in southern Africa.
  • The ability to communicate effectively in multiple South African languages.

How to Apply

Please send us your CV and a cover letter. Successful candidates will be invited to virtual interviews. Final candidates will be invited to face-to-face interviews, which will be taking place in weeks 47 / 48.

Application deadline: Sunday 30th October 2022

Please note that due to the high volume of applications we receive, we will only be able to contact successful applicants.