Africa Albida Tourism (AAT) and Bumi Hills Safari Lodge have parted ways after almost two years in a partnership that has left the latter as one of the leading brands in the country.
AAT had a running contract to market and make reservations on behalf of the lodge.
AAT is a hospitality group offering the cream of Southern African tourism products, with the award-winning Victoria Falls Safari Lodge as its flagship property.
It operates three divisions, namely hospitality, restaurants and parks.
“Launching Bumi Hills back into the market has been both challenging and exciting since mid-2009, but now that the groundwork has been done and Bumi Hills Safari Lodge is once again a recognised brand and destination with growing support from many markets, it is the right time for the Lake Lodges shareholders to assume control,” said AAT chief executive Ross Kennedy.
Since the rebirth of the new, upgraded Bumi Hills two years ago AAT has held the primary marketing remit in a triangular Zimbabwe circuit of Bumi Hills, Victoria Falls Safari Lodge and The Hide Safari Lodge in Hwange National Park.
While AAT will continue to offer this successful circuit and affinity with Bumi Hills Safari Lodge, the full scope of Bumi management and marketing would now fall under the current joint general managers of the lodge, Luke Brown and Suzanne Everaerts.
A new marketing company Lake Lodges is expected to take over this month.
However, multiple property bookings with AAT would continue to be honoured until January next year.
Glen Byrom, director of Lake Lodges (Pvt) Limited said: “We judge the time to be ripe to enact our own focused in-house marketing in order to make the lodge accountable for all aspects of our business — reservations, management, procurement and marketing. In Luke and Suzanne we have the perfect combination of youth, expertise and a deep passion for Bumi as a powerful brand.”
AAT chief executive, Ross Kennedy, added: “Bumi Hills Safari Lodge is a very special place, and AAT has been privileged to assist with re-establishing the iconic Lake Kariba property.
Although this lodge will no longer fly the AAT banner, we will continue to endorse Bumi Hills Safari Lodge as our preferred Lake Kariba destination.
We wish Lake Lodges and the superb Bumi Hills Safari Lodge staff the very best for the future.”