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FG Tours Senegal, a travel and tourism agency in the heart of Dakar, recently won the prestigious International Trophy for Quality from Global Trade Leaders’ Club. The award is a true recognition of the success of Fama Gningue Monyeron, the General Director of the agency, as well as of the agency’s young and ambitious team.

The secret to success? FG Tours always puts the customer at the heart of the business. Says Mrs Monyeron: “We are very close to our clients, and a result, we often take on the role of advisors. We keep our clients up-to-date with all the formalities to be carried out before any international trip. We also craft personalised offers according to the expectations and needs of the customer whether they are business or leisure clients.”

Besides being customer-centric, Mrs. Monyeron explains that there are eight important qualities any agency needs if it wants to thrive. These qualities also enabled FG Tours to win their prestigious award:

1. Be motivated: always think of giving before receiving, and always have faith.

2. Have the capacity to be versatile: Be flexible and ready to take on all the tasks, even the least attractive ones.

3. Be driven: Having character and ambition are good traits in any person as it allows people to assume responsibilities.

4. Strive for team work and integration: Be a team player. Raise your hand to help when you see others in the team are overwhelmed.

5. Be always available: Always put customer satisfaction ahead of your personal comfort.

6. Have an excellent presentation: The right tourism professional must be smiling, helpful, attentive to others.

7. Be curious: As a travel consultant, you need to always be eager to learn and want to become an expert in destinations.

8. Be dynamic: Always show that you have the desire to make things happen.

When it comes to tools of the trade, the Internet is also an indispensable tool for modern travel agencies, adds Monyeron. “Our mail, the online forums, the chats, Facebook, … these are all important tools for travel agents. It is fundamental for travel agents to be connected and online where they can reach out to their customers… ”

Today’s travellers are informed and know how to Google their travel requirements, but still they appreciate human contact the travel agent offers them. “It is important to maintain the delicate balance between real-life and virtual. And travel remains a pleasure, which can be shared amongst real-life people,” said Mrs. Monyeron.

Nevertheless, travel agents will have to adapt to the rapid changes in technology, advises Mrs. Monyeron. “We have moved from a stable market to a market where we have to be very responsive and face increased competition. This shift has a big impact on how people manage their travels.”

For the future, FG Tours Senegal will continue to increase its online visibility to reach a larger number of clients and travellers. An e-commerce solution is also on the horizon for Ms Monyeron. She says: “An e-commerce solution allows a vendor with an adequate platform to make its products available to the public via the Internet and receive payment on the same platform. ”