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House of Travel Celebrates a $2 Billion Plus Year

House of Travel Celebrates a $2 Billion Plus Year And the Ascent of the Travel Consultant

True Stories, Mythbusting and the Return of Miss Lucy headline bold brand campaign

Kiwi owned and operated House of Travel Group, the largest privately owned retail travel company in Australasia with a team of over 2000, is celebrating a record year announcing a turnover in excess of $2 billion dollars and have launched a bold multi-million dollar brand campaign that highlights the value the House of Travel team can add to a travel experience.

“We are a proud successful Kiwi company full of great Kiwis and we are celebrating that team, showing them and the world how brilliant they are and how every day they go the ‘extra mile’ to make a difference for their customers,” said Executive Chairman Chris Paulsen who founded House of Travel 32 years ago.

There are 75 House of Travel retail stores throughout New Zealand which are 50% owner operated in a unique and successful partnership with House of Travel Holdings. House of Travel Holdings also owns a number of other complementary travel businesses in New Zealand and Australia.

The new brand campaign features a series of mini movies highlighting the brand philosophy “Better Together” and based on true inspirational stories from the travel consultants at the coalface of the 75 House of Travel stores throughout New Zealand.

The old myth of travel consultants being dinosaurs and costing more is well and truly addressed in the new brand work with one approach being very clearly labelled Dinosaurs.

Another called Pyramids which launches on the weekend, and is based on the true story of a dream trip to Egypt for a real life South Island couple.

“Savvy travellers have realised that the myth of the travel consultant being more expensive is not true and in many cases your consultant can provide better value than online bookings with the added bonus of the special knowledge, a personal touch and a safety net,” said House of Travel CEO Mark O’Donnell.

“We are experiencing a major upsurge in new customers some who have had online booking disappointments and this trend has contributed to the double digit increase in our business this year.

“So many true stories were gathered that it was hard to choose but the idea was to make you laugh, make you cry and make you think.”

The brains behind the campaign is Creative Director Roy Meares who created the original House of Travel campaign in the early 2000’s and introduced the world to Miss Lucy (actress Tanya Horo) who again is part of the new brand campaign and the warm and engaging face of House of Travel. The mini movies are directed by award winning Director Gregor Nicholas.

Miss Lucy charmed the nation 15 years ago, and sang and danced her way across screens in New Zealand to make House of Travel a household name.

“Miss Lucy is now Lucy, a House of Travel consultant who makes holiday dreams come true without the stress,” explained Chris Paulsen.

Confirming the growing trend of the return to the travel agent on a survey of 14,000 households the American Society of Travel Advisors* recently reported that it had seen the highest numbers of consumers using travel agents in the last three years.

“This is reflected also in New Zealand and it is interesting that some of the new customers are millennials,” continued Mark O’Donnell.

“They are well researched and informed about their destination but due to a lack of time, they want their travel sorted out by an expert who can add value to the experience and take away the stress. With the added bonus of a consultant as a problem solver if tricky ‘on the road’ issues occur.”

House of Travel’s customer satisfaction rating currently sits at 94 percent demonstrating that the majority of customers who have booked with House of Travel rate the company five out of five for service.

Claire Fastier, InMoment Vice President and Country Manager says, "House of Travel is committed to crafting unforgettable experiences for their customers. As their Voice of Customer technology partner, we've seen House of Travel outpace the industry in terms of customer satisfaction over the past two years. But what's truly remarkable is the company's commitment to listening to their customers, identifying what is important to them and then doing all possible to make it a holiday of a lifetime. It is this type of commitment to the customer that sets House of Travel apart from its competitors.”

So much has changed in the last couple of decades with online, and with a laptop anyone can DIY their own holiday.

But, for more and more people the bewildering amount of options on offer and lack of real professional guidance has tripped them up and they end up spending more, not less, on their dream holiday, sometimes getting stuck with long waits for flight connections, wrong dates and accommodation that did not meet their expectations.

Mark O’Donnell concludes, “Getting online is a great way to start planning your holiday or adventure, but let our the House of Travel team do the hard work, take the stress out of booking and add the finishing touches.”


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