Cater­ing to South­land’s ‘intrepid bunch’


Thirty years ago the trendy des­ti­na­tion for Gore trav­elseek­ers was the United Kingdom - per­haps on a bus tour.

These days they’re far more ad­ven­tur­ous, trav­el­ling to Croa­tia or Viet­nam, House of Travel Lak­ers Gore co-owner Susie Bernard said.

And she’d know - she’s part of the team cel­e­brat­ing the Gore store’s 30th birthday this month, af­ter open­ing as David Rance House of Travel back in 1987.

‘‘South­landers are re­ally well trav­elled peo­ple.

‘‘We do re­ally well - peo­ple in Auck­land prob­a­bly think ‘oh In­ver­cargill and Gore’ but we send peo­ple all over the world and win awards for it.

‘‘We have been nom­i­nated three times for best small out­let in re­cent years, so we are right up there on a na­tional level which is an amaz­ing achieve­ment for Gore all the way down in the deep south.’’

Travel des­ti­na­tions changed in the 30 years agency had been open.

‘‘Back in the day Free­dom Air’s package deals to the Gold Coast were hugely pop­u­lar, fly­ing out of Dunedin, and the UK and Europe have al­ways been pop­u­lar. had the Now Asia has opened up and is re­ally ac­ces­si­ble and pop­u­lar.

‘‘There’s peo­ple go­ing to Africa and we’ve even booked some­one on a cruise to Antarc­tica.

‘‘South­landers are hugely well trav­elled, they go all over the world. They’re an intrepid bunch.’’

Bernard has been the co-owner op­er­a­tor of House of Travel Lak­ers Gore for 10 years.

‘‘It has been so re­ward­ing build­ing re­la­tion­ships with Gore fam­i­lies in this small com­mu­nity. Word of mouth and rec­om­men­da­tions from clients play a huge role.

‘‘The team in Gore are lo­cals them­selves and have grown up with so many of our reg­u­lar cus­tomers. When you have worked some­where for a while you be­come part of some­one’s life­time travel journey by ar­rang­ing mul­ti­ple trips over the years.

‘‘It is so fun to plan dif­fer­ent hol­i­days with each cus­tomer, year af­ter year,’’ she said.

‘‘We in­vest in our re­la­tion­ships and love it when our cus­tomers bring in their ideas that we can com­bine with our knowl­edge.

‘‘We know and un­der­stand Gore lo­cals, and our work is never done un­til each client re­turns home happy and well.’’

Haleigh Glass, Kelly Mor­ri­son, Jackie Tem­ple­ton and Susie Bernard of House of Travel Lak­ers Gore.

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