Bunnik has been a long-standing name on the National Travel Industry Award’s (NTIA’s) podium. Not long after founding the company, Marion Bunnik earned the coveted title of Best Travel Agency three years in a row.
Fast forward 20 years and her son and company Chief Executive Dennis Bunnik is accepting the award for Best Tour Operator at the 2019 NTIA’s.
He said the accolade reflected the “stellar reputation built by the Adelaide based, family-owned business”.
We caught up with Dennis following the win and you can read his reflections below.
What does being recognised by the industry in this way mean to you?
Being based in Adelaide and starting in the touring industry without direct experience has meant this recognition is incredibly humbling for our entire team. It’s also a validation of what we’re doing and confirms that we’re doing the right thing.
What are some little or big touches you and the team make to ensure you leave a positive impression on agents/clients?
Our company culture revolves around the customer experience, whether that customer is an agent, a traveller, a supplier or internal team members.
What are some changes the brand has made over the last year that would have contributed to your success this year?
We have a focus on continual improvement – reviewing our tours annually to ensure we are delivering the best experience on tour, developing our staff and looking out for their welfare. All of these things feed back into delivering a great customer experience.
What would you recommend to other brands hoping to win in future years?
Believe in your product and develop your niche.
How important is your organisation to the industry?
We are no more important than anyone else. There’s room for everybody and the result of a diverse competitive set is a diversity of customer experiences.
What do you love about the industry?
To use the term again, I love the diversity. I love that the travel industry is a feel-good industry and that we are helping people achieve their travel dreams. The friendships I’ve made are also really special and the camaraderie between us all when things go wrong is truly heart-warming.
What do you think the future holds for the travel industry?
The future will see further diversification and specialisation. There’ll be a move away from generic offerings as travellers are growing more sophisticated each year while touring is growing more commoditised. We will all need to continue to evolve, at some time rapidly. Doing the same thing is no longer a recipe for success.
What’s your advice for people thinking of joining the industry?
Enjoy it, embrace it, love it. Whatever you do, do it with passion and you’ll succeed.
- READ: NTIA19 WINNERS: Why APT sees travel agents as an extension of their group
- READ: NTIA19 WINNERS: Adventure World’s “simple recipe” for winning two years in a row
- READ: NTIA19: Princess Cruises say “it is a very exciting time to be in the cruise industry”
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