Introducing Faye Olden, whose internship at JENMAN African Safaris in 2023 led her on an exciting journey as she delved into the Cape Town competitive cost comparison project:
The entire journey of the competitive cost project has been both insightful and challenging. The research itself has positive and negative aspects. However, it has sparked more questions and my further interest in the matter. I have learnt a great deal about the world of work, research, and myself in this project. Overall, it has broadened my perspective and has created some lasting memories.
The biggest obstacle in this project was researching other tourist destinations. Not being able to visit or even have prior knowledge of the areas made it difficult to find appropriate examples for the price comparison. I could not get a feel for the quality or standard at these restaurants, shops, or tourist hot spots. Therefore, I struggled to compare the destinations. The Pena Palace in Portugal may be a much more enjoyable experience than visiting the Castle of Good Hope; saying it is a better value for money to visit Cape Town by comparing these two is not accurate. I understand the project is about the prices but one would much rather spend more money for a brilliant experience than less for something not worth their time.
Following this theme, it is evident that my highlight of the project includes going out and investigating the tourist attractions, shops, and restaurants in Cape Town. I was able to experience the quality of service subjected to tourists. An example includes visiting a café in Kalk Bay and the waiter having a vibrant and welcoming air about him. He made the customers laugh and gave them a sneak peek into South African humour. The shops in this area were unique, with varied products and more than often had a hippie ambiance that drew in the tourists. Another area with a similar atmosphere was the thrift shops in Observatory.
The second-hand clothes were of good quality, brilliant prices and there was something for every style. The shop owners were also very helpful and hospitable, something one cannot put a price on. The Waterfront is especially catered to international tourists with luxury shops and expensive food or souvenirs that could make a South African’s jaw drop. Despite the higher prices, the service and food are of a higher standard. A lot of fun can be had in just one area. It should be noted that just looking at the price tag is not the full picture. Understanding the quality of service, the products and the overall atmosphere of a destination is crucial for a more accurate comparison of travel destinations.
While there were positives and negatives, I was able to learn a great deal during this project. The first lesson I learnt was that the office space is collaborative. Despite having my own work, I was able to ask for advice and guidance from my colleagues. This not only benefited the project but made my entire time at JENMAN an enjoyable and fun experience. From coffee breaks to moments of laughter and quiet times of concentration, it was incredible. I do enjoy working in an office, as long as I get to move around and have some pleasant conversations. The research did remind me of the positives of South Africa and how it is a privilege to live here, especially in the Cape Town area. One of the most valuable lessons I learnt was not being scared to ask questions and that I can feel at home at the office.
From my week at JENMAN African Safaris to the extended dates for this project, I have grown in my research abilities and professional experience. The research, office space, and presentations all contributed to my growing interest in marketing and the world of tourism.
Written by: Faye Olden