If you hadn’t previously realised how passionate the entire Chimu Adventures team is about protecting the planet & promoting sustainable practices, then you should now.
Chimu Adventures was louder in 2018 than ever before about tourism’s role in keeping the planet green, and rightly so.
The South America and Polars specialist led the way in a number of powerful initiatives, including the well received Revolution Roadshow, which gave Travel Advisors the chance to discover all the elements behind sustainability, as well as the Bale a Booking campaign to support Aussies farmers during the worst drought.
In the midst of it all, Chimu Adventures also found time to teach consultants on the importance of reducing brochure wastage and it made strong relationships with Hurtigruten aka the greenest cruise line in the world, Flight Centre and Aussie celebrity, Kurt Fearnley.
In a Q&A with KARRYON, Co-Founder Chad Carey said he’s proud of everything the brand has achieved over the last 12 months, particularly the “growth of our amazing team over the past year or two”.
Chad said there’s more exciting advancements coming in the year ahead, including a new ship for Antarctica, which will “take a big portion” of Chimu Adventures’ focus.
Read on for more of our chat with Chad…
Congratulations on surviving another year, what’s one thing Chimu Adventures did this year that you’re particularly proud of?
All of these things I’m immensely proud of but what has been the most fulfilling for me is to watch the growth of our amazing team over the past year or two.
We have some amazing individuals throughout the organisation now, and I often have to pinch myself and be grateful for the amazing team we have.
You were louder about responsible travel & led the way with initiatives like the Bale a Booking & Revolution Roadshow – what other activities do you have planned for 2019?
We’re taking the travel show Places We Go to the Arctic to not only open people’s eyes to this incredible location but to highlight the fragilities of the planet and offer sustainable travel tips to an audience of over 300,000,000 worldwide. We believe education is a tool our industry underutilises.
We’re working hard to improve sustainability at the operations level too with a number of measures in our hotels to help reduce our impact as much as possible. Our announcement around taking the Ocean Endeavour and being and Antarctica operator is exciting too, and we’ll be operating these expeditions on a carbon neutral basis.
Speaking of the Revolution Roadshow, how are you planning to bring it back in 2019?
We’ve floated around a few ideas and my favourite concept at the moment is doing some form of Sydney-focused travel industry Christmas event. If we could pull off such an event, we would hope to unite a considerable portion of the travel industry and use it as a platform to energise people around the sustainability and drive even more change in the industry.
I’d certainly be interested to hear if anyone else has some great ideas on what we could do going forward.
2018 also saw you make a call out for Advisors to ditch brochures – what type of response did you receive from consultants?
We received nothing but applause on reducing supply, we have never asked for Agents to ditch brochures but to use less.
We know firsthand that consulting via digital and personal means actually increases sales rather than offering a brochure and letting the enquiry walk out the door, we have been training consultants personally on reaching their audience by using our online marketing tools, and we have all been enjoying the bookings for travellers to our unique locations.
What tips would you recommend for Advisors who say their clients don’t have access to digital alternatives to brochures?
The telephone is a powerful tool as is a face-to-face conversation, but in this instance if you exhaust all options then it’s fine to use a brochure, though we are hopeful of a brochure-less future we don’t recommend taking any particular tools out of the toolbox just yet, only there are some that are more efficient than others, and we suggest that these are used whenever possible. Brochures should be a last resort.
Beyond charitable initiatives, 2018 saw Chimu secure some great relationships including one with Flight Centre & more recently Hurtigruten – what can we expect from Chimu regarding business developments in 2019?
Ahhhh, I can’t give that away just yet, but we are working on quite a few new partnerships at the moment. We do think our business model is unique in the industry and we’re confident of driving value for both or current partners and new ones.
At the moment it’s more about us managing it in a sustainable way to ensure that we keep a very high level of service as we transition through this period of growth.
What trends do you see influencing your product over the coming years?
Looking at the Antarctica space, there are just more and more options coming into the market, and while that’s fantastic, it makes choosing an Antarctic trip very confusing for the average client.
We believe our expertise and range for Antarctica will stand us in good stead in the coming years, allow us to offer the crucial advice to make sure clients are getting the right sort of product that suits their travel style and needs.
What else can we expect from Chimu Adventures in 2019? Perhaps a new hotel in South America?
You never know but to be honest, the new ship for Antarctica is the biggest project we’ve ever undertaken, and that is going to take a big portion of our focus in 2019. We certainly are interested in new hotel opportunities in South America, but in reality, we see those opportunities likely to be from 2020 onwards.
- READ: Why a Chimu Exclusive Cruise to the Arctic will float your boat
- READ: Peregrine Adventures returns to Antarctica with Chimu
- READ: Chimu hooks up with world’s greenest cruise line
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