GOVERNMENT is expected to save in excess of $20 million a year through accessing the services of a travel agency owned by a parastatal.
BY TARISAI MANDIZHA
Government recently set up the Civil Service Travel Bureau which is a division of Courier Connect.
The travel agency offers air travel ticketing services to all government departments, State enterprises, quasi-government institutions, non-governmental organisations, private organisation and individuals.
Speaking at the official launch of the Civil Service Travel Bureau in Harare yesterday, ICT, Postal and Courier Services Supa Mandiwanzira said government has been complaining that its travelling budget was too high and the Civil Service Travel Bureau was one such product that seeks to address some of these challenges.
He said the government saw a great opportunity in venturing in the air travel of passengers, a cousin product to the air courier of parcels.
“I am pleased to advise that the company has now started the process of IATA registration so that it will have its own independent ticketing platform. We aim to consolidate the total annual government parastatals, State enterprises and local authorities air travel requirements and negotiate lowest rates. Our quick calculation indicates that if we are to ticket the entire government services for the year, government will save in excess of $20 million,” Mandiwanzira said.
“Every ticket issued to government carries a component of profit for the issuing travel agency. In our case since we are government-owned this profit will be internalised and benefit government revenue streams.”
He said in two months Civil Service Travel Bureau would be opening two more branches nationwide in order to deliver a wider geographical reach for the convenience of all government departments and agencies in the country.
Mandiwanzira said given the current challenges the economy was facing, the organisation endeavours to ensure that government, parastatals, quasi-government, private companies and individuals meets all travel commitments at the cheapest possible rates.
He, however, said the product offering would include competitive rates for any airlines of customer’s choice, quick and convenient international connections. The travel agent will also provide free hotel bookings in towns and cities of destinations, free airport shuttle services, visa facilitating services, travel insurance and fly now-pay-later facility for civil servants.
Speaking at the same event, Zimpost board chairperson Clemence Mabaso said the launch of the Civil Service Travel Bureau was the culmination of multiple efforts to determine the requirements of current and future clientele especially the government.
“Our focus going forward is to ensure that the products and services that this Civil Service Bureau delivers a user friendly and effective. The overarching strategy is to be recognised as the most efficient, customer friendly travel agent who is driven by people processes and improved technology,” Mabaso said.
Courier Connect is a subsidiary of Zimpost wholly owned by the government.