“Design a tour from prototype to finished product all in one go”
Starting an inbound tour operator from scratch has been the most challenging experience of my existence. Nothing prepares you for it....also design a tour from scratch with basically no budget, no marketing skills, no network is an adventure that tests all forms of human patience....but hey this is my dream and I magically pulled it off and get the results I wanted. "Yamba Escape Tour" has been my third pilot tour from the beginning of this new venture called Brisbane to Yamba tours.
I set the target that by the week prior the 22 April I would have seven paying passengers for my tour and I manage to do it. I design the tour in few hours, come up with the concept, package it with one-night accommodation at Yamba YHA hostel https://www.yha.com.au/hostels/nsw/byron-bay-and-surrounds/yamba/ and package a walking experience with the expertise and guidance of the team at Yuraygir walks http://www.yuraygirwalks.com.au/. After completing the tour design and the flyer and the ad on Facebook all was left to do was to find customers and I wanted customers from various different countries. Not having much time to spare as I still manage this venture while working full-time in a busy travel desk, I set up a task for my self that I would have found my customers on a Sunday during a beach concert in Burleigh Heads and the result of this focus and drive paid off. I started wondering on the beach with a stash of flyers selling my precious tour carefully crafted and designed full of hope and with a bag of chocolate buns from http://www.dannysbread.com.au/, I felt like any other beach seller on a hot summer day in Italy; considering my Italian background and used to see beach sellers showing off their best sales skills, this task should have been easy for me.....but it proved to be harder than I imagined. I spent four hours under the Easter sun of Burleigh Heads walking and offering and shouting my tour sales. "Only $50.00 and a chocolate bun and we will send you off on an adventure to Yamba! Australian best-kept secret".......towards the end of the afternoon I was exhausted and I did not sell anything and I wanted to go home and cry in a corner....but a light bulb went when I saw a group of international students singing around a small campfire! This was certainly the best opportunity I had seen all day. I carefully approached the group and asked if I could join...I started following the songs and the singing and the happiness...I waited for few songs to finish and I spotted the leader of the group and asked him if I could present my tour and what was on offer..he kindly accepted and in the space of ten minutes I had Warren from the USA wanting to jump on board as this was after all the weekend of his 21st birthday so "why not go on an adventure", Sebastien from France was soon to follow, Roy was the easiest to enrol, Sheldon from China thought he would be kidnapped if he did sign in but reluctantly did book a spot on the tour, Kosuke and Amy from Japan and Raffaello from Italy all enthusiastically followed wanting to celebrate Warren's birthday after all! The only condition I set for the participant was that they had to pay $40.00 fee and place alike our Facebook page....this was the best bargain tour that they ever have to purchase! After creating a watsup group and booking everyone on the tour..I made sure that the same night I was ready for the following week and preparing every detail of the tour. I was so happy and really tyred! The following weekend I realized that my tour was going to happen and I made sure everyone had an amazing time and so they did! We arrived at the YHA hostel safe and sound with our great van and the next day we started off our four hours walking adventure at the Yuraygir coastal walk with a park ranger Gina!
I was extremely happy that I finally showed this great part of Australia to a group of international students and that thanks to my persistence, drive and passion my customers realized that after the busy Byron Bay and Gold Coast there is a world of natural wonders to be discovered at Yamba paradise and in this stretch of national park of 65 kilometres called Yuraygir!
I hope you enjoy my story of a tour creation and please check out our website: www.brisbanetoyambatours.com.au