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Bill Harrop’s Original Balloon Safaris

Welcome to Bill Harrop’s Original Balloon Safaris!

Bill Harrop: CEO & Chief Pilot
Originally doing every job in the company himself (marketing, sales, reservations, flying, repairs, maintenance, cooking, and managing the finances) this “jack of all trades” found it hard to admit that there were others who could do the various aspects of the job even better than he.

As the company grew he was amazed at his good fortune to find that he had recruited and built an amazing team of great people (one of whom was his wife Mary) who could meet the specialist demands of continual growth; growth which was not necessarily in turnover, but more in stature. The objective was never to be big, but rather to “focus on more satisfying business goals” such as being “the best at what we do” by “creating a stimulating place to work”, “providing perfect customer service” and “making important contributions to the community”. The problem now, he says, is that nearly everyone can do their jobs better than he can!

Bill will admit to experience as an ocean yachtsman, singer, hotelier, portrait photographer, advertising executive, and a balloon pilot examiner. He has served on committees of Southern African Tourism and Safari Association, The Magalies Meander, the Balloon and Airship Federation of South Africa, and as the National President of Skal International (a worldwide body of travel and tourism management professionals). He is also a Top 100 Member of Travelbags. He firmly believes that attention to service excellence and a commitment to care for ones community will build a better nation, especially through education, and was a recognised platinum benefactor of the Tourism Education Trust.

Currently Bill serves on the National Steering Committee for Self Regulation and Accreditation in the South African Adventure Tourism Industry as Chairman of the International Best Practice Sub Committee (an initiative driven by the Ministry of Tourism, the National Department of Tourism and the Southern African Tourism Services Association in conjunction with SA Tourism and other major industry players).

It is not good enough, he says, to be first, if the gap between you and the rest of the pack is too small to perceive, unless of course you have lapped them already! But more importantly it is not who you leave behind, but what you leave behind that really counts.

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