No sub for face to face, say recent store entrants

No sub for face to face, say recent store entrants

Sue and Paul Robinson didn’t take any heed of the naysayers when they first became travel agency store owners three years ago.

After a stint in insurance broking and then a successful property management come inbound tourism venture (especially around the Rugby World Cup in New Zealand), they looked for new opportunities.

‘I looked at franchise for the first time; we have always started our own businesses until then,’ says Sue Robinson.

‘We like to travel and we think there are still opportunities that come with the level of service agents provide from a bricks and mortar point of view.

‘There is no 0800 number on the internet and we have done a lot of work in our local markets about that. A lot of our business comes from people who have booked online and then need help.

‘There will also always be a demographic that likes a face-to-face proposition.’

The Robinsons were presented with best brand retail – multi location at the TAANZ National Travel Industry Awards last Saturday night.

The couple started with helloworld Blenheim, took over helloworld Rolleston nine months later, and are now operating helloworld Wanganui as well.

Robinson says a key to success is having staff who have a sense of local community – something that fits well with the helloworld philosophy.

‘We are big on servicing the community, it goes a long way towards what our value proposition is all about.’

She says another tip is to never be complacent. ‘We are constantly listening, watching and trying to do better.’


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