As the owner of On-Demand Hospitality Solutions Inc. and a long-standing partner of Wetu, Rudi Wagenaar has been part of industry shifts and, in some instances, helped shape them. During his time in travel and hospitality, Rudi has accumulated a wealth of experience and innovative thinking and is now a guiding light for the industry.

The current travel and tech landscape

My observation of the current travel and tech landscape is a relentless race by the key players to gain access to supplier inventory and streamlined contracting partnerships via API integrations, live availability, and contracting models. All while having to navigate the challenge of maintaining competitiveness within the market. Our travel/tech environment is characterised by a dynamic interplay between (travel people) and technology – innovation has become the driving force behind a ton of success, but it runs the risk of losing the intimate level of tailor-made customisation that makes travel such a highly personal experience. It’s still an absolute reality where a well-established connection between a seasoned travel designer and a client (consumer, overseas travel agent) still holds significant sway. Once economic factors align, this bond continues to reign as the cornerstone of the African travel industry.

Feelings among suppliers in the industry

An overwhelming supply of novel platforms and CRM integrations are constantly being introduced to complement, enrich, and bolster our supplier operations. However, this advancement comes with the trade-off of investing time in training staff to master new skills and sacrificing valuable work hours. While all the latest innovative solutions carry advantages, their implementation requires a significant time investment for any operation, regardless of size. What stands out, at least to me, is that suppliers are still dedicated to their core objectives and are diligently focused on their specific tasks. A one-size-fits-all strategy no longer holds in our industry. Each entity excels in its domain, and the prevailing sentiment among suppliers is to shift from observing others to recognising and building upon their well-established accomplishments and successes.

The importance of trust in a business partnership

As I reflect on this question, I remember the words shared in a recent LinkedIn post: “When a business partner entrusts you to partake in their journey of innovation, it indicates a remarkable level of confidence in your abilities and a willingness to collaborate on pioneering endeavours.” Throughout the last 13 years, Wetu has stood as a partner aligned with my vision of integrity and professionalism while holding an intimate and steadfast understanding of the customer journey.

The partnership between Wetu and Rudi Wagenaar / On-Demand Hospitality

The hospitality offerings I promote, without any bias, each possess a distinct and special narrative. These narratives not only focus on delivering tailored hospitality experiences but also address local employment and conservation. On-Demand Hospitality is dedicated to making a meaningful impact for each travel brand we champion. It’s important to highlight that we share a like-minded connection with Wetu. This connection isn’t just about delivering a service but carries a deep-rooted sense of responsibility towards the people in the travel trade sector. With Wetu, I can guarantee that every post-meeting interaction is personalised and focused on the individual brand identity rather than following a generic approach. This allows me to allocate time to promote each client’s unique brand. Thanks to the pain points and challenges that Wetu has addressed in content distribution and cloud storage solutions, I can build my own CSI initiative. This initiative introduces a first-of-its-kind recognition tool that enables ordinary South Africans to invest in the social capital of the champions in our society. There exists a mutual synergy where the Wetu Team takes a moment to meet, offering a platform to discover solutions and extend a helping hand of encouragement. This support has proven to be a priceless resource over the years.

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