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West Coast Travel Company Takes Business Worldwide

Thursday, 7th March 2002

West Coast Travel Company Takes Its Business To World Wide Audience

From Canterbury to Kathmandu – bringing the travel business
to a global market with e-commerce

New Zealand companies are attracting international attention by matching their owners’ passion for business excellence with smart use of e-commerce technology.

Representatives from two thriving New Zealand companies – Silk Road Adventures and Fencepost – spoke about the impact of e-commerce on their businesses at the inaugural Innovate Conference in Christchurch.

Silk Road Adventures, a specialist travel planner and ecotourism operator operated by Murray and Pat Reedy, designs and operates ecotourism products in Central Asia. Since its establishment in 1995, the company has grown significantly thanks to a combination of Kiwi ingenuity and the latest technology. The business has grown from offering two itineraries in one country to over 30 itineraries in ten countries.

Says Pat Reedy of Silk Road Adventures, “Our business is totally dependent on e-commerce – in fact we conduct 100% of our business through the web. Our product development, operations, quality control and marketing are all either directly or indirectly dependent on the Internet.”

Based in Greymouth, the company uses its website as its shop window and main sales platform. The website also acts as the main point of contact for customer enquiries, client communication and ongoing sales and service.

Says Pat Reedy “Our customers expect easy access to products, swift transfer of information and efficient service delivery and online services. Thanks to our adoption of e-commerce, we are confident that we can respond to these demands.”

The Silk Road Adventures presentation was part of the E-commerce Action Team (ECAT) Toolkit Workshop at ‘Innovate.’ ECAT members Catherine Calarco and Prashanta Mukherjee facilitated the workshop, which provided delegates with practical advice and real life examples of e-commerce in action.

Also speaking at the workshop was Alistair MacDonald of Farmers around New Zealand have found a new community online thanks to this agricultural website that provides business information and services to the farming community.

Fencepost offers farmers a cost effective and efficient instant means of communicating. It was established in August 2000 and is now the leading agricultural website in New Zealand.

Says Catherine Calarco of ECAT, “Events such as Innovate demonstrate the interest and determination that New Zealanders have for technology and innovation. The success stories we have seen here today show the excellent results that can be achieved with determination, a sound business plan and the right tools.”

Ms Reedy of Silk Road Adventures told delegates that her company would not exist without the technology tools available. “In this business, use of website and email for communication is critical. Without these tools, there would be no business. E-commerce has allowed us to create and develop our business, bringing it to a global market, and still retain our rural lifestyle.”


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