Dave Nicholson Dave Nicholson

New platform for WT

World Travellers says that while long haul travel, in reality, is several months away, its new business model means the group will be ‘stronger, smarter and ready to go’ when the world opens up again.

‘Our group of stores has only had one closure since the beginning of Covid, with our King Country store going into full hibernation until borders re-open,’ says World Travellers general manager Dave Nicholson.

‘The Cook Islands and Australia bubbles are providing a small amount of business and thus the green shoots which we have been looking for are now a reality. There is a new positivity throughout the members as they get a taste for once again assisting clients with their travel bookings.’

Nicholson says the benefits of a joint venture with Flight Centre over the past 12 months have been felt immediately and gives significant ability to leverage off Flight Centre’s bulk buying horsepower and technology solutions.

‘This will provide important elements of our platform driving our business model, allowing World Traveller stores to operate how they need, from where they need, delivering quality product to their customers online or offline.’

Nicholson says that being a cooperative, the group had the ability to be adaptable and move quickly.

‘Management Services moved out of its shared office space in March 2020. Weekly management Zoom calls focused on negotiating exits of leases, reduction of staff hours or redundancy, reduction of administration and system costs.’

Nicholson says World Travellers had always kept Management Services on a flexible platform, allowing easy ability to scale up or down as circumstances dictated.

‘A number of our stores went mobile, allowing them to work from anywhere to service client appointments. We see as the borders reopen and travel recommences, setting a platform for each store to be available to clients and new clients, whether online or offline.

‘Each World Travellers store will be able to choose how best they can meet customers’ changing needs, from traditional store front to complete mobility or something in between,’ Nicholson adds.