The Road Explorer - Summer 2017 - 19
Has the strong dollar and the
exchange rate affected your tour
business from Canada?
In the last six or seven years we've
been very consistent in the amount
of business coming to us, including
business from the Canadian market.
The exchange does affect some clients,
but overall we find that Canadians have
the mindset that they're going to go on
vacation, so they still come.
Even last year, when the exchange
rate was a real concern for us, we still
had many of our clients who would
come in with 40 to 55 people, which was
wonderful for everybody. Then you had
others who struggled and canceled.
Can you work with Canadian motor
coach companies and tour companies
that aren't getting the numbers that
they used to?
Yes. That's one thing that sets us
apart from a lot of other companies. If a
coach operator needs to have 35 people
to be successful, but calls us and says we
only have 20 people, we will work with
them and not change our pricing. We've
found that it's very advantageous for us
to do that, because people remember it.
Plus, the people on those 20-person
tours are going to feel like VIPs
because the tour is small, and hopefully
those visitors will advertise for the
tour operator. We've found over the
years that if our clients struggled at
20 one year, the next year they often
come back with 30 or 35 people.
From left, Connie Leonovich, Rene Poyant and Cherye Poyant
What are some of the other
challenges in running your business?
We rely on our suppliers, the
restaurants, hotels, attractions and local
guides. It is important to make sure that
we are all on the same page when it
comes to taking care of people. Customer
service is crucial. It is a team effort that
includes the receptive operator, the
suppliers and our operator clients to
produce a successful tour experience.
Can a problem occur on a tour? Sure.
The important point is how you handle
the situation. That is when the value
of a good receptive operator rises to
What's the key to running a business
The big thing for us, with both
our clients and with our suppliers,
is communication. We really stress
that. Nobody likes surprises. If
you have a hotel that is holding
27 rooms for a client in July, which
is prime retail time around here,
they don't want to hear 30 days out
that someone is cancelling. They'd
rather hear 60 days out that the
tour operator only has 20 people
at that point.
So, we keep everybody in the loop. If
the tour is doing gangbusters and they'll
need all 27 rooms that the hotel is
holding, once we hear from our clients
we'll let the hotel know. But if the
operator is struggling we will also let
the hotel know so that if they do have
to cancel it's not going to be a surprise.
That communication is important
Read The Road Explorer online at www.naylornetwork.com/omc-nxt
9/14/15 2:26 PM