By Nahrain John @karryontravel13 Sep 2018Just when you thought you’d caught up with your clients & their expectations, they switched things up, specifically, the way they book their Africa vacations.According to Bench Africa’s General Manager Martin Edwards, Australians are now planning and booking their holidays to the Rainbow Nation more than a year in advance.Speaking at the tour company’s 50th-anniversary celebrations in Sydney, Martin explained that this is a lot sooner than before and it’s a result of Africa’s ongoing status as a priority bucket list destination and the delay between the time a brochure is printed to when clients receive it.Image: Wade Lambert/Unsplash“The lead in time between booking and travelling is getting longer.”Martin Edwards, Bench Africa General Manager“By the time a brochure comes out in September and by the time distribution companies have it to the agencies, it’s late September. Then by the time it reaches your clients, it’s unlikely they’ll be ready to book the coming January or March. So, they’re booking for a year later.”Martin said Bench Africa is helping Travel Agents meet this shift in booking trends by making early 2020 travel rates available in the brand’s new 2019 brochure.Consultants have access to prices and tour dates from January-March 2020, giving their clients an early booking period of narly a year-and-a-half.Image: Ian Macharia/Unsplash“We’re trying to give your clients the chance to book their travel as early as they want.”Martin Edwards, Bench Africa General Manager“At the same time, it’s a message to Travel Agents that you don’t have to wait for a new brochure before requesting rates for a new year because we have access to the rates a lot sooner.”Bench Africa’s new 2019 Africa brochure is out now and includes several new features, including the addition of an in-demand itinerary for Cape Town, Kruger National Park and Victoria Falls.Check KARRYON tomorrow for more information. READ: Don’t be afraid to experiment, says Best Specialty WholesalerREAD: Agents conquer Mount Kilimanjaro with BenchREAD: Bench drops the International for just AfricaHave you travelled to the Rainbow Nation recently? Other stories you may like“Misleading ads are hurting the industry’s image + Travel Agent revenue”: CATOBESPOKE TRIPS: 5 benefits of customised itinerariesFIRST FAMILS & which Travel Agents had the best ones – was yours better?