Mudgee Travel & Cruise
owner-manager Glenn Box took over the agency with his mother Gayle back in 1993, ensuring the ongoing success of a travel business he estimates has been continuously trading in the town of Mudgee, in New South Wales' central west, since at least the early 1950s.
Over the past three decades the agency has not only provided outstanding service to customers across Mudgee, but it’s also helped sustain the community's social fabric.
Back in 2018, for instance, Mudgee Travel & Cruise launched 200BALES, a charity focused on helping farmers survive a drought. With the help of travel partners and a broad range of events – including a ‘Day in the Dirt’ country music festival at the Mudgee Showgrounds – the charity raised around $600,000 to send more than 60 semi-trailers of much-needed stock feed to local farmers.
Mudgee Travel & Cruise marked the 30-year milestone this month by treating more than 50 clients, suppliers, colleagues and fellow Travellers Choice agents to a celebratory afternoon that roamed from a local winery to a gin distillery, and finally settled at the iconic Oriental Hotel Mudgee.
Glenn says the agency wanted to let its clients and supporters know "just how important they are to us. Especially those who have been with us for much of the journey – including a few who've been with us for the entire three decades."
While the quality of service has been constant during that period, he says the way Mudgee Travel & Cruise operates has been transformed.
"Technology has had an enormous impact on productivity," says Glenn. "Our business today turns over more than four times the revenue we did back in 1993, but with less than half the staff.
"It's not all due to technology though. I think we've also reaped the benefits that flow from 30 years of continual ownership; from knowing what our clients and our community want, knowing what we can achieve."
Not that it's all been smooth sailing. Following the September 11 downturn, Glenn helped keep the business afloat by taking on additional work labouring and laying concreting. Most recently, during COVID, he started another local business, Masta Blasta Cleaning, which provides commercial and residential clients with a high-pressure hard surface cleaning service.
It's the knowledge of how the travel industry has responded to the difficult times that makes Glenn so positive about the future.
"So many of the challenges we've experienced could have crushed travel agents, but we've come through. Not just that, most recently, we've rebounded in a way that has exceeded everyone's expectations, despite a serious shortage of trained staff.
“That shows just how resilient we are, and always will be."