Big Union Tours – how it started, achievements and remaining challenges for small companies in the tourism sector

I started this company almost four years ago out of little else. I had no money , no connections just former clients who had dealt with me and loved my services and were willing to come for safari under my company. I borrowed a little cash from friends here and there to set things up, get the license…. registration certificate etc. … I am still so far from the big boys but creating my own little niche among other upcoming tour companies.

[A trans-section road is being built right through the village where Daudi lives with his family, so he had to evacuate his home and construct a new house.]

Big Union Tours and Safaris Director

Daudi Masha - the Director and Senior Tour Guide at Big Union Tours and Safaris

The impact of the road construction is that this will eventually open the highway to the airport making it easier for tourists to access their flights. On the other hand it will leave the inhabitants with no homes because the government is breaking down their houses and giving them insufficient compensation in return, if any.

The major challenges faced by the tourism industry is competition from the established tour companies who offer better rates to clients, plus – since they have been established since many years – they are naturally more dependable to clients. Another difficulty is marketing issues. Which proves to be a problem since its is expensive to market … print stationery, flyers, business cards and other company stationery to make our services visible to potential clients.

Travel advisories by foreign governments are a major hindrance to the tour industry. This reduces the clients coming down and are thus limited to particular countries.

Another hindrance is the lack of base capital for small tour operators. Due to the limited resources it is very difficult for us to book safaris for prospective clients without a substantial down payment. Thus we loose a lot of time waiting for clients to make the necessary transfers  into our bank accounts so that we can book the hotels, park licenses, etc. while the big companies use their unlimited resources to book guests way before they pay the required deposits.

The photos below are my shots of Natures Best from the Maasai Mara and other major national parks within the East African region.

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Copyright © Big Union Tours and Safaris, Mombasa, Kenya

My current offers are all available on my webpage. I have excursions and seven day safaris into the Maasai Mara, camping safaris into the wild, nature walks and others.

The challenges 

  • When I intended to start this business, a lot of people told me that it is a seasonal business and that only rich people can manage it. But I deiced to start nonetheless, because it runs in my blood and I love the work.
  • Most of the clients prefer well known and big companies,thinking the small companies dont offer the best service, that is a big challenge to us. Actually, small companies offer their very best service to the client because we need them to come again.
  • The Kenyan budget has increased and all tourism products have increased in pice, too. For us small companies it is getting very tight economically,  if we dont get clients.

Achievements

  • All our clients positively comment after they were served by our company, and most of them cant stop contacting and making plans for more safaris. it makes me happy knowing my clients appreciate my service and found it amazing.
  • So far we have steadily increased the number of clients in our company and it makes our company known in different parts of the world. We are also on facebook.com/pages/Big-Union-Tours/
Our best kept secret…Chef Musa is among the chefs on call who prepare tantalizing, finger licking buffets and meals for our clients while on camping safaris. To further deliver the ultimate safari experience we have formed partnerships withtour agents around the globe who have a wealth of experience in service delivery.

As part of our social responsibility, we contribute to alleviating the plight of various underprivileged children in Mombasa through donations of food to stream line their nutrition concerns, clothes, reading material and school fees.

Welcome to the ultimate safari experience.
Come and see Africa through the eyes of Big Union Tours and Safaris

Web: www.bigunionsafaris.com

Email: info@bigunionsafaris.com

 

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