‘We’ve got each other’s back. We both have our own clients but not a sense of ownership. Because we don’t have a ‘this is your client and this is my client’ attitude we are able to care for each other and we know that if one of us is not available for a customer the other one will be,’ they say.
Davies is ‘all over’ the systems, technology and accounting side of the operation.
Keating has particular strengths in social networking, advertising and marketing, and working with suppliers.
Davies has a strong corporate client connection (with a background that includes working at Corporate Traveller and Orbit in Auckland), Keating’s various interests and contacts (plus a work history that includes House of Travel) have lead to the starting up of escorted tours.
The pair says they have had ‘no end’ support from suppliers – including working with them to produce regular half-page adverts in the local newspaper that reaches beyond Queenstown – Alexandra, Cromwell, Wanaka etc.
They also praise Travel Managers Group (TMG) for the head office support it provides.
Keating says the escorted tours are a means of oering another level of service for xtravel’s clients.
‘I am stupidly passionate about travel and love sharing this passion with others. After a successful tour with 21 guests to New York to see Broadway and o-Broadway musicals and plays in 2013 we hit upon the idea of running escorted tours as somewhat of a niche bespoke product.
‘The tours we put together are unique in the industry, which is important to us as we’ve received great support from our suppliers and wouldn’t want to end up in competition with them.
‘The tours are fully escorted from Queenstown for our local clients, though people from other parts of the country can meet us for the departure flight in Auckland. Where it ts the programme we take a ‘tour host’ with us who either originally hails from where we are visiting or has specialist knowledge of what we are seeing.
‘So guests get the benet of having myself in the background taking care of logistics (and as I am also an ambulance officer for St John any medical issues as well) while the tour host is oering knowledge and historical stories to enhance our experience in a place.
‘It’s a great service to offer our clients and also a way to ensure they continue to travel with us. Before our Africa 2017 had even concluded our guests were signing up for future tours.’