BCD Travel has announced that its longtime joint-venture partner in South Africa, Connex Travel, is merging with Rennies Travel.
The union of these companies will result in a total workforce of 737 employees, with offices in Pretoria, Johannesburg, Bloemfontein, Cape Town, Durban, Port Elizabeth, East London, Stellenbosch and Richard’s Bay, as well as Namibia, posting significant annual sales.
The news follows BCD’s announcement in January of this year that Rennies Travel, owned by Bidvest, had joined BCD’s Global Network. Previously operating as BCD Travel South Africa, Connex Travel has been a BCD Global Network partner since 2009. The merged agency will operate as Rennies BCD Travel.
“I am very excited about this merger,” says Adrian Woodward, vice president of BCD Travel’s EMEA Global Network. “We’re joining forces in a competitive business travel market that’s growing fast. Our combined depth of experience and partnership will not only give us a stronger position in the African market but also offers our mutual clients market-relevant solutions and services.” Rennies BCD Travel will be led by CEO Bronwyn Philipps, who previously served as CEO of Rennies Travel. Former Connex Travel CEO Marco Cristofoli will remain a member of the senior leadership team. “While our keen focus on client service will continue ‘as usual,’ we look forward to putting the innovative technology and global data consolidation expertise of BCD Travel in the hands of our clients,” says Philipps. “This merger enables us to benefit from Rennies’ sizable presence in Southern Africa, allowing us to expand our footprint beyond the South African market,” added Cristofoli.
“This move reflects BCD Travel’s continuing focus on growing both organically and through expansions that support our strategy, benefit our clients and align with our corporate culture,” says Stewart Harvey, president of Europe, Middle East and Africa for BCD. With the sixth largest population in Africa, South Africa also has the continent’s second-largest economy, with a gross domestic product of US$366 billion in 2018. The country’s economy is highly diversified, with key industries including mining, agriculture and fisheries, vehicle manufacturing and assembly, food processing, telecommunication, energy, financial and business services, tourism and transportation.