Wayfairer Travel eyes trade in Australasia

EXCLUSIVE: UK luxury tour operator to test the market

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Up and coming UK luxury tour operator, Wayfairer Travel, has signalled plans to establish a presence in Australia, with the company intending to forge a beachhead with travel agents in this region.

Launched in 2013, Wayfairer Travel offers tailor made luxury holidays for discerning travellers is Asia and Africa, curated by destination experts. Responsible travel is at the forefront of the business, with the company aiming to show guests how they can have a richer, and more authentic travel experience, which benefits local communities and conservation.

Itinerary options include focuses on destination highlights, family holidays, honeymoons, self drive programs, rural explorations, culture and food & art. Included are activities and transport, a choice of accommodation options, private vehicles with a driver, entrance fees, English speaking guides and professional local staff “with fair salaries”.

Rapid sales growth has seen the company swell from a team of just four last year to nearly 30 by the end of this calendar year.  A new Head of Product is set to join the business in coming months.

“Our clients range from those looking for family holidays, honeymoons and also couples,” Wayfairer Travel Chief Operating Officer and Co-Founder Harry Prowse said.

“We currently offer bespoke tours in Asia and Africa, along with New Zealand as our first Australasian destination. Africa is most certainly our most popular region, with Tanzania, South Africa and Kenya the highest revenue generators,” Prowse told LATTE from his office in Bristol in the UK this week.

Wayfairer Travel has just launched its first New Zealand program

Other destinations already covered in Wayfairer’s catalogue include Rwanda, Namibia, Uganda and Zanzibar in Africa, and Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, Sri Lanka, India and Japan in Asia.

“Having just introduced New Zealand, Australia is certainly on our list along with launching a Latin America product in Q1 2019,” Prowse said.

“2018 has been a huge year of growth for us.  Our revenue is up 300% on 2017 and we have brought in Jason Stevens as our CEO, having come from his last position with DHL as a member of their Asia Pacific Management Board.”

With its headquarters in the UK, Wayfairer also has a satellite office in Bangkok and will open another outpost in Chicago to tap into the US market before Christmas 2018.

“Australia is therefore extremely interesting for us as we aim to have a presence on every continent by the end of 2019,” Prowse revealed.

While Wayfairer Travel currently doesn’t offer a product to travel agents, Prowse revealed exclusively to LATTE that part of the company’s strategy for 2018 was to trial an agent platform in New Zealand and Australia, saying the Oceania region was an “excellent test market”.

“We will shortly be recruiting for a position to lead this role,” he added.

Prowse said Wayfairer Travel’s revenue has skyrocketed since its launch five years ago, sitting around 200-300% year-on-year.

“We see a key competitive advantage for us being that we offer all our staff completely flexible hours and remote working, with no holiday/vacation policy. This allows us to get top talent which we would have struggled with at the start.”

Learn more about the company at www.wayfairertravel.com

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