Wilderness Head of Sales for EMEA and APAC
Roberto Viviani joined Wilderness in 2004 as the Sales Manager for non-German speaking Europe. His passion and dedication to the company and conservation tourism has seen him grow within the company. As he has taken on more responsibilities in the sales space, he has focused on Western and Central Europe, the UK and the rest of Europe, as well as the Middle East. With the company restructure to Business Units in 2016, Roberto was promoted to Business Manager. He is now Head of Sales for Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) and Asia Pacific (APAC).
Roberto’s current portfolio includes managing the business unit and all sales and reservations for all of Europe, the UK, the Gulf Co-operation Council (GCC) – a political and economic alliance of six countries in the Arabian Peninsula: Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates – and the Commonwealth of Independent States, also sometimes called the Russian Commonwealth – a regional intergovernmental organisation of 10 post-Soviet republics in Eurasia, formed following the dissolution of the Soviet Union.
“Working with such an array of markets is diverse and interesting, and keeps me dedicated to flying the Wilderness banner high in these countries. It is definitely a challenge in these markets with such different buying patterns, but with a great Reservations team at my side and some wonderful reps in the market, we are making the inroads to showcase Wilderness’ incredible people and offering”. He adds, “Our goal in these markets is to make Wilderness the No. 1 choice for safari experiences in Africa”.
Roberto studied Hotel Management in Johannesburg, attending the Hotel School at Wits Tech. This “social representative” on the SRC managed his fair share of shenanigans, and loves the fun element at Wilderness. “It definitely needs to be an active part of all we do”, he says.
From pre-opening and being Front Office Manager at the Palace of the Lost City at Sun City, to working at an inbound DMC here in South Africa, opening a safari competitor in Botswana, and living in the Seychelles and working at the Tourist Board before finally joining Wilderness, Roberto has experienced many components of the tourism industry.
Mentoring and teamwork are key mantras of Roberto’s, and seeing two Business Unit Managers grow from his “stable” is a great testimony to this. Growing sales is of course the driver of any sales focused person, and no less so for Roberto when reflecting on the market growth over the years.
“Wilderness is a brand that resonated with me from the moment I joined those many years ago. To this day I still believe in and love the good that we are doing for the regions in which we operate. Incredible experiences and even more incredible people keep me motivated and on track to do more”.
Roberto is also super excited for the future growth of Wilderness. He says, “No other African operator can boast of the biomes, the diversity, the ‘give back’ of the Wilderness offering, and I am incredibly humbled to be a part of this tribe of people”.