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.