Located in the heart of Port Macquarie, a seaside town on the NSW mid-north coast, How We Travel owner Lauren Howard established her agency in 2016 after more than 15 years working as a travel agent.
While Port Macquarie is popular with retirees and families, Howard says How We Travel serves customers across Australia, and that was one of the reasons she was attracted to Travellers Choice.
“I can now choose from a complete suite of digital marketing services, and I have access to TC One, an exclusive online booking platform that includes a fully supported B2C website solution,” she says. “These marketing and technology solutions are going to be vital as I rebuild the business over the next 12 months.”
Like many entrepreneurial agents, during the pandemic Howard looked to develop new revenue streams. In her case it resulted in the launch of Wagon Drinks
, a specialist supplier of non-alcoholic beverages.
“It’s gone great guns. We’ve had successful promotions at major events, and we are working with a variety of organisations. Eventually, I’d like the company to tie up with a charity group that supports people struggling with addiction.”
Midland Travel owner Vicky Johnston has also taken an innovative approach to rebuilding her business post-pandemic.
After 22 years operating from a central location in Midland, Johnston recently relocated her agency to a purpose-built office on her property in the Swan Valley.
“The new location provides excellent exposure because Midland and Perth-bound traffic passes right past the property,” she says. “While our business is predominately repeat and referral, we have recently seen an influx of new customers, and for many of them we are now more centrally located.”
Johnston says she too was looking for a new direction as she rebuilt her business.
“I’m a creature of habit; I find change hard. Also, before the pandemic, I never had the time to work on the business, I was too busy working in it. But I knew Travellers Choice was the right fit for me in terms of where I want to take the agency.
“A big part of that is the support services they offer. It’s reassuring to know I can now quickly connect with a business development manager who has the knowledge and experience to help me overcome challenges. And being able to call upon a marketing team to help me, particularly in the digital arena, helps enormously.”
Travellers Choice General Manager – Sales Nicola Strudwick says that by allowing independent businesses to choose the level of support they require, the group’s three new membership packages are helping drive post-pandemic growth.
“Independent businesses need to be flexible and adaptable in the current operating environment, and our new membership packages allow them to be just that.”