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Stray Backpackers Board NZ's Only Backpacker Bus

News Release 4th February 2005

Stray Backpackers Board NZ's Only Backpacker Bus

Stray, New Zealand's fastest growing backpacker bus network , today (4th February 2005), unveiled the first of its brand new purpose built buses, tailored specifically for the New Zealand backpacker market.

The new backpacker friendly buses, built in New Zealand on chassis imported from Japan, have been designed and developed by Neil Geddes, owner of Stray, in partnership with Ritchies Coachlines, New Zealand's largest bus company.

The new backpacker buses are 20% smaller than the standard big coaches predominately used in mainstream tourism and being lighter, feature a single back axle which makes them far more manoeuvrable and suitable for New Zealand back roads than the current double back axle buses used.

The backpacker buses are fitted with 45 coach seats and feature, larger luggage capacity, a DVD player with large screen, a CD player, tape player and MP3 player connection and lino floors to ensure they can be cleaned easily. They are also very economical and meet the lowest emission requirements (Euro 3).

The purpose built vehicles are the culmination of over 15 years of industry experience by Geddes and his team.

Geddes says; "In only four years Stray has become New Zealand's leading backpacking bus network. Part of the formula to our success is understanding our market and ensuring we not only meet but exceed our customer's expectations.

"Our aim is to take people further off the beaten track and we have designed a bus which enables us to do just that."

Stray will take delivery of a further four purpose built buses during February and will gradually up grade its whole fleet.

"The introduction of our new backpacker buses demonstrates that both Ritchies Coachlines and Stray are committed to the market for the long-term and believe the key to maintaining Stray's current huge growth is in continuing to offer customers the best possible product without compromise," Geddes added.

A Stray bus pass costs between $90 to $980 depending on the destination and the number of days travelled. To make an enquiry visit www.straytravel.com or call 09 526 2140.

-ends-

News Release 4th February 2005

Referring Stray Mates And Space Travellers

A unique referral system for independent travellers has been launched today, 4th February 2005, by the associated companies of Stray and Spaceships.

The referral system, "Stray Mates' for Stray customers and "Space Travellers' for Spaceship customers, aims to channel people directly through to specialist backpacker travel agents via former customers of Stray and Spaceships.

Ex-customers of Stray's bus based "Backpacker Travel Networks' and Spaceships' self drive "Vans for Adventures', will be invited to become official referral representatives. They will be given 100 referral cards which offer $25 off for Stray bookings of over $300, or one free day's hire for hires over 14 days to Spaceships customers.

To receive the benefits, the customers must redeem the cards directly at one of Stray and Spaceships' specially accredited "expert' travel agents - these will be listed on the companies' websites and will be specially identified with signage.

Successful referral agents will be rewarded for good performance and will be invited to upgrade their referral kits with more referral cards and specially developed referral agent promotional material.

Neil Geddes, MD of Stray and Spaceships says: "Word-of mouth referrals are invaluable to any business and we generate a great percentage of our business from this. The aim of our "Stray Mates' initiative is to better facilitate these referrals by informing and motivating ex-customers not only to pass on their experiences of our services but to also direct potential customers to one of our nominated specialist backpacker travel agents or to the relevant website and in doing so they get the added bonus of being rewarded".

Stray Mates and Space Travellers is made possible because of its new reservations system, Travelfat, which allows booking in real time online by travel agents and customers alike.

To become a Stray Mate or for further details on the initiative please visit: www.straytravel.com; www.spacesships.tv or call 0800 SPACESHIP

STRAY FACT SHEET

General

- Neil Geddes is the co-founder of Kiwi and Oz Experience and Stray Backpacker Travel Networks

- Neil Geddes is Managing Director of both Stray and Spaceships

- Stray has grown at a rate of over 30% per year since it was launched in 2000

Stray - the buses and routes

- Stray will have five new purpose built backpacker buses on the road by March 2005

- The new Stray backpacker buses have been designed and developed in partnership with Ritchies Coachlines

- Features of the new Stray Backpacker Bus include:

o 20% smaller than standard mainstream coaches used

o Single back axel

o 45 coach seats

o Larger luggage capacity

o DVD player with large screen

o CD player

o MP3 player connection

- The new buses meet the lowest emission requirements

- Stray offers customers a choice of 20 travel passes

- Stray customers can get on and off as often as they choose

- Stray customers have the option of using the service as a 'tour' or having

unlimited stopovers for the validity of their chosen pass.

- Stray also offer City Orientation Tours in Auckland and Christchurch

- Each pass is valid for up to twelve months

- Passes range from $90 - $980 depending on the destination and number of days travelled

Stray Mates and Space Travellers

- Unique referral system offers incentives for former customers of Stray or Spaceship to pass on their recommendations to other travellers and direct them to specialist backpacker travel agents or to the relevant website to make a booking

- Stray Mates/Space Travellers will be given 100 referral cards which offer $25 off for Stray bookings of over $300, or one free day's hire for hires over 14 days to Spaceships customers

- The rewards will include discounts on; Stray passes and Spaceship vehicle hire, activities of associated operators and, in some cases, cash back

ENDS


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