In a day and age where everything happens at lightning speed, there are still times when it pays to take your time – planning a holiday is one of them.
While the internet is packed with DIY travel agencies that can see you booking a holiday with a few clicks of the finger, this is one area where faster isn’t necessarily better and there are plenty of benefits to booking through a professional travel agency.
Firstly, an agency isn’t necessarily more expensive! With long-standing relationships with airlines and suppliers, House of Travel consultants can provide great deals to locations all over the world. In addition to competitive pricing, they’re privy to many websites the public can’t access.
This also enables them to create the trip of your dreams – after all, holidays are about so much more than flights and hotels! They can create bespoke holidays with every client’s tastes, preferences and visions in mind. Once you’ve decided on where and when, they’ll also make sure everything is easy. They can book rental cars, day trips, tours, and even sort the right travel insurance to suit you and your budget.
A big part of the fun of planning a holiday is looking through the incredible options available, but it can also get a little overwhelming. House of Travel consultants are trained across all aspects of the industry and, because they’re world travellers themselves, they can provide you with local knowledge and secret spots to help make your trip the experience of a lifetime.
House of Travel Christchurch City is all for embracing the family dynamic and recognising that travel is a powerful educational tool. Travel has never been so affordable, nor have they been able to offer such a vast range of holiday options that cater for all.
Whether it’s a cruise, flop and drop, or an adventure holiday you’re after, House of Travel Christchurch City really does have the experts instore to ensure you get an amazing holiday experience that every member of the family can enjoy.
House of Travel’s Top Consultant for 2018, Belinda Fifield says one of the key tips to achieve your dream family holiday is to plan your trip well in advance. This not only ensures you can take advantage of the best deals, but also that you secure the best possible options for your family’s needs… this is the recipe for an amazing family holiday!
If you want to travel during school holidays, you need to start talking to House of Travel consultants at least 11 months out. This then assists them in getting every request catered for, from interconnecting rooms to securing your preferred cruise and cabins.
Cruises are very popular with families as they offer so many facilities on board that ensure every member of the family gets their own unique experience. Many multi-generational families who travel for a celebration are going for the cruise option, as every member of the family, from infants to grandparents, are catered for.
The bonus of a cruise holiday is you only have to unpack once, enabling you and your family to make the most of each day. The House of Travel Christchurch City team are experts at providing the right experience for their clients. General Manager Megan McCall says, “We pride ourselves on using our knowledge and ability to think outside of the box to create unique holiday experiences for our clients.
“There are a lot of family friendly tours that you can do which offer the whole family an adventure, mixing with like-minded families and ensuring that it is at a pace that gives you free time to spend at the pool or just having some time-out. Vietnam is especially popular with families. We’ve had amazing feedback from clients, with some rebooking for the following year for another family tour as soon as they return.”
It really doesn’t matter what experience you are after, or what your family dynamic is, you just need to come and visit the travel experts at House of Travel Christchurch City and they will work with you to create your own unique journey.
“We want clients to bring us their bucket list – their trip to cherish – and we’ll work with them to achieve their dream,” Megan says, “That’s why our motto is ‘Better Together’, because it is!”
The 2020 Summer Olympics is scheduled to begin 24 July through til 9 August next year and already, we sports-mad Kiwis are making sure we don’t miss out on any of the action at Tokyo 2020.
Founder, Managing Director and Owner of House of Travel Christchurch City office, David Williams, says their bookings for Tokyo 2020 opened on 20 June to unprecedented demand. “We’re already close to 60 percent of our merchandise sold and we know the remaining 40 percent will fill quickly. The Olympics attract more than double the numbers of the Rugby World Cup.”
New Zealand Olympic Travel (NZOT) began in 2013 as a joint venture between House of Travel and the New Zealand Olympic Committee to deliver a bespoke Olympic Travel and Games experience. It’s managed exclusively through the House of Travel Christchurch City office. David’s team oversees all transport, accommodation and promotion for eight games events within a four-year cycle, comprising the Summer and Winter Olympic Games, the Youth Olympic Games and the Commonwealth Games.
With sports celebrity commentator Jenny-May Clarkson and former Olympic rowing gold medalist Eric Murray hosting Tokyo 2020, this promises to be the ultimate Olympic experience. Apart from NZOT, another branch unique to House of Travel Christchurch City is HOT Events, started by David in 2000 and headed by Business Director Victoria Wales.
HOT Events creates programmes for conferences and incentive events that take in the culture of the destination and offer something special that can be booked off the shelf – like a private tour of Tokyo with your own Sumo guides; exploring Saigon on a vespa; touring the hinterland of Bali in VW Jeeps, or just enjoying a simple lunch on your own private beach in Fiji.
“For some, an incentive trip is to experience a new destination they mightn’t normally do on their own, such as an intrepid experience in ultimate luxury; while others may be seeking professional and personal development. Incentive trips aim to build business relationships through the benefits of networking away from the office,” Victoria says.
HOT Events is designed to celebrate success, deliver sustainable growth to businesses and, most importantly, create unforgettable tailormade experiences. Their success is evidenced by their 14 awards collected at the HOT Awards on 23 March 2019, including the highly coveted Best Performing House of Travel Outlet 2018.
David and Victoria say crucial to this success is their collaboration with clients and their relationships with airlines and hotels. “Clients know and love us. We build respectful relationships, instead of being just suppliers. The reason they keep returning is because we deliver product that far exceeds clients’ expectations.”
The Meetings, Incentive, Conventions, Exhibition (MICE) industry of Christchurch has suffered greatly since 2011 with the loss our city’s convention centre, but it is exciting to have Te Pae on track for a 2020 opening, along with the Lyttelton Cruise Wharf; developments which will bring visitors into our inner city to experience what we love so much about Christchurch.
Venues like the Arts Centre and the Christchurch Town Hall reopening is encouraging, with many local events taking place – it is now up to us to encourage national and international organisations to come back to Christchurch and spend their valuable visitor dollar with us.
Recently, I was lucky to be part of an industry familiarisation trip of Australian MICE buyers. We demonstrated that Christchurch is back and ready to be one of New Zealand’s premier conference destinations for international events.
At HOT Events, we have had to adapt – where previously we did a lot of Christchurch events, post 2011 we had to move our focus offshore. I am delighted to say that we are now managing a client’s annual conference for the first time in Christchurch since 2008.
We have been very lucky in our company to also keep the amazing talent we have in Christchurch – this year we won large at the annual House of Travel Awards. I am extremely proud that we are competing and succeeding in an industry many thought was going to be extinct with the development of technology, and I can’t wait to show New Zealand’s newest city – Christchurch – to the MICE world again.
“Travelling – it leaves you speechless, then turns you into a storyteller,” said Ibn Battuta, and House of Travel Christchurch City’s ‘The Mediterranean: An Escorted Journey’ will not only give you the stories to tell, but the memories of a lifetime.
Hosted by Stuart Latimer and James Blankley, you receive as much or as little guidance and company as you require throughout this amazing journey, whilst receiving the security and expertise of travel industry professionals. Stuart and James are specialists in hosting luxury, small escorted tours to Europe and incorporating a Mediterranean cruise into each trip. This spring, Stuart and James are thrilled to present their superior quality expedition around this historic and beautiful part of the world.
Ensuring tour groups are made up of like-minded people with similar values and interests, Stuart and James guarantee the journey offers great friendship, fabulous amenities and unique experiences. From 26 October – 20 November 2019, the tour takes you around the stunning sights of Southern France, Italy and Malta, with airfares, accommodation and touring all included for $25,495 per person share twin.
The adventure begins by flying from Auckland via Dubai to Nice, France, where you will travel across the border with Italy for a walking food tour through the narrow streets of San Remo. From there, a short trip to Monte Carlo takes you to your gorgeous luxury cruise ship, the Seabourne Ovation. The cabin of your choice is your luxury home for the next seven days, while you delight in the sights of fabulous Marseille, glamourous St Tropez, Bastia in Corsica with its ancient Genoese Citadel, Civitavecchia the port of Rome, Naples where you will explore Mt Vesuvius and experience the scenic Amalfi Coast, the significant early port of Messina in Sicily and UNESCO World Heritage City – Valletta in Malta.
Transferring to Valletta airport, you will fly to Milan where you can choose to tour its historic centre visiting da Vinci’s masterpiece ‘The Last Supper’, or take the day excursion to Lake Como. After a full day at leisure in Milan, you’ll enjoy dinner as guests of the owner of a Milanese mansion, with a viewing of his art collection.
From Milan you will travel by coach to Tuscany where you will stay in the Medieval stone village of Borgo San Felice, now converted to a hotel and wine resort. The next day you will tour the vineyard, and enjoy a wine and olive oil tasting. For the following two days you will explore Tuscany, visiting Siena, San Gimignano, Pienza and Montalcino before transferring to Rome for a guided visit to St Peter’s Basilica and the Sistine Chapel, or alternatively the Palazzo Colonna and the Borghese Gallery before your return to Auckland via Dubai.
House of Travel Christchurch City continues its 24-year reign as the city’s premier travel agency, adding to its extensive cache of awards at the recent House of Travel Group’s conference in Auckland, attended by 800 staff.
House of Travel Christchurch City was recognised with a stunning 14 awards: the coveted Best Performing House of Travel Store 2018, Top Customer Champion Award 2018 as well as Top House of Travel Consultant for 2018, won by Belinda Fifield, a consultant who has been at the top of the travel game for 20 years.
David Williams, who founded and owns the House of Travel Christchurch City office, oversees four distinct travel businesses. “We’re so much more than a leisure travel store, we also specialise in business travel, conferences and incentive trips and sporting groups along with New Zealand Olympic Travel,” he says. “This is a changing industry and we are changing with it. Our success is down to close collaboration and a team effort from our 26 dedicated team members.”
House of Travel Christchurch City’s leisure team are experts in designing unique travel experiences, while the corporate group caters for business travellers. David started HOT Events in 2000. It is now New Zealand’s premium event management company, headed by conference and incentive event specialist, Victoria Wales.
David formed New Zealand Olympic Travel as a joint partnership between the New Zealand Olympic Committee and House of Travel, managed exclusively through the House of Travel Christchurch City office. David’s team handles all transport, accommodation, and promotion for eight different international games, including the Olympic Games, Commonwealth Games, Youth Olympic Games and Winter Games. The team is currently working on the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, taking place in July and August next year. “We ensure athletes, family, friends, and spectators receive expertly prepared travel packages tailored to their needs,” he says.
After the Christchurch earthquake in February 2011, the team took on some of its most challenging business while out of their Victoria Street office all year and making do in temporary digs on the city’s outskirts. During this time they were the Official Travel Agent for RWC 2011 and moved to open an office in Auckland to have a HOT Rugby team base in the primary hosting city.
General Manager Megan McCall says while Fiji and Hawaii are perennial leisure favourites, cruising has seen huge growth in recent years. “We are cruise specialists: we invest in our consultants’ knowledge, and then we are there throughout the whole booking process; the specialty restaurants, shore excursions, and making sure we have secured the right stateroom in the preferred location onboard for our clients. It’s about making sure we have left nothing to chance,” Megan says.
The House of Travel Christchurch City team is hosting a Luxury Cruise event at their office located at 122 Victoria Street on Monday 6 May, 6pm – 7pm. If you’ve ever dreamed of exploring the most coveted destinations, aboard all-inclusive luxury, then you’ll not want to miss this information session. Contact them now to register as numbers are limited, on 03 365 7687 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The team is now looking for experienced and energetic retail consultants to join their growing Leisure Travel group. To find out more about working at House of Travel Christchurch City, contact Megan by email email@example.com.