In 1972, Development Promotions (DP) was borne out of an idea to offer international brands the opportunity to have their products sold in the South African market without the expense of setting up and managing an office. DP started as the sole representative of Cathay Pacific and later the Hong Kong Tourist Association.
The history books will remind us that the seventies in this country were not synonymous with attracting investors. Still, the idea sparked interest and in 1996, Jane Davidson and Jackie Adami bought the business in its entirety from then-owner Eberhard Gennrich. Gennrich had been at the helm for 25 years, but before that, DP had boasted a very esteemed list of owners, including its founder, Mr John Foggitt from TFC Tours, American Express, Southern Sun and Nedbank.
Fifty years later, the initial business principles remain our core focus. We acknowledge that this company is built on outstanding affiliations with our principals, travel partners and staff. Two of the three Directors, Jane Davidson and Jackie Adami, have worked for DP for 41 and 36 years respectively, and have consistently nurtured the trilateral affiliations.
While we’re proud of where we have been, we are excited about where we are going.
‘FAST’ has seen the business through some of the most devastating economic conditions. Our stakeholders have realised that without truly understanding its meaning, we ‘pivoted’ the company to the point of a breakthrough. When good sense cautioned us about economic uncertainties, a third Director was invited into the business. Robyn Christie, well known in the travel industry with a proven track record, happens to be a perfect complement to an already balanced leadership team. This female partnership has SMART written all over it and coupled with the FAST approach, the next chapter is positioned for prominence.
It is no surprise that our travel partners believe that ‘if no one else does it, DP will!’ Over the years, we have acquired and retained the conventions to represent several esteemed brands, which has resulted in DP positioning an extensive range of products and services in the travel market. Many are exclusive to us, which has fuelled this ‘DP will’ reputation. The promise of achievement that we make to our principals guides our strategy in the southern African travel market.
The extent of our tenure has determined the development of these remarkable brands. Embracing our position as leading specialists in the market ensures that we recruit, develop and retain our skills and resources to meet the standards set out by our Principals and the relationships we have nurtured with our cruise, airline, touring, and beach partners have withstood decades of association and a global pandemic. It is with undeniable pride that our appointment by United Airlines, G Adventures, Holland America, Hurtigruten, Costa Cruises, and NCL, to name a few, has earned these companies visibility and the utmost respect within this market.
It seems appropriate that we are surfacing from a harrowing hiatus in our 50th year of operation. There is a memorable sense of humility that will define us for many years to come. At the same time, we brim with anticipation of a future that will be built on sound experience and courageous possibilities.
This female-led business will celebrate its golden anniversary with jubilation! It is the inventive approach to the future of DP that drives our excitement and preparation for the decades to come.