The WOW! story
WOW! travel + cruises celebrated twelve years of continued growth in May 2015. Since commencing business as a 2-person startup in a small suburban home office, WOW! has grown to employ ten professional travel designers working from a purpose built travel design studio, serving the travel needs of an extensive portfolio of passionately loyal leisure and corporate clients.
WOW! is a fiercely independent business; working in collaboration with national and global networks of independent suppliers and travel consultancies. Independence empowers the WOW! girls to seek out and form relationships with a broad range of boutique travel service providers which enables the design team to hand craft unique itineraries that won’t be found in mainstream brochures you’ll see adorning the walls of franchise travel agencies on any High street.
WOW! travel + cruises maintains the highest standard of business ethics and corporate governance; much higher than the baseline standard set as the yardstick by the industry body serving as the mouthpiece of the franchise groups
In 2014 the Australian travel industry was deregulated and opened up to anybody who wished to trade as a travel agent, without any credentials, training or financial underpinning required. This critical state was promoted by the so-called industry representative body in a move to shore-up the inadequacies of franchise groups and place independent operators at financial and reputational risk.
WOW! travel + cruises fought strongly for more compliance by the industry but was shouted down by the franchise group board running the bureaucratic industry body. Accordingly, WOW! resigned from the group and cemented in place a number of client safeguards considered unnecessary by the franchise group representative body.
WOW! has in place comprehensive business management practices and client protection programs, overseen by management with decades of travel industry experience and monitored by a Chartered Accountant.
WOW! travel + cruises places the interests of clients first and foremost and recognises that the two most precious assets clients have – leisure time and personal finances – are protected and nurtured.
WOW! selects and engages external suppliers with great care; they must have a unique product offering that matches our clients’ profile, they must share WOW!’s passion for excellence in service delivery and they must be financially stable with a track record of success. Even so, sometimes the unthinkable happens and businesses fall over.
WOW! travel + cruises has a comprehensive supplier failure insurance policy in place which protects our clients funds in the very unlikely event a supplier fails financially.
WOW! also places all clients’ funds into a fail-safe trust account, administered external to the business until passed to the supplier in payment for future services.
These two simple governance practices are designed to protect clients’ interests, and frighteningly, are considered optional extras by the representative body. Two simple practices that any client should insist on seeing before placing money with a mainstream travel agent.
Like any solid, well-managed professional consultancy, WOW! travel + cruises is profitable, ensuring the business will thrive well into the future. WOW! derives professional income by charging a fee for design services rather than commissions from suppliers and has grown every year from clients returning again and again for another new travel experience.
Charging a fee for service gives the WOW! girls complete freedom to design an itinerary perfectly suited to clients’ needs, rather than directionally selling inappropriate products and services that generate maximum commission from suppliers.