Rediscover Travel has relaunched, promising even bigger and better things for its travel trade partners… like VIP experiences for clients for events like Taylor Swift concerts (and we know how hot those are).
Founded as Rediscover Australia during the pandemic by Chris Watson (of Chris Watson Travel), the company evolved to become Rediscover Travel Group when Watson was joined by travel industry veterans and long-time friends Walter Nand (Unique Cruises), Andrew Minto (Home and Afar Travel) and Narelle Cook (Next Travels).
Now, Rediscover Travel has refined its wide range of wholesale products to six pillars, which form the bedrock of its relaunch: Music, Theatre, City Stays, Resort Breaks, Wellness and Unique Cruises.
At its relaunch event in Sydney, Rediscover Travel General Manager Walter Nand told Karryon it had taken a few months of careful planning and strategising “to get where we are now”.
“Once we were clear on the six pillars of our products, then everything just fell into place from that and it’s very clearly defined on what we do,” he said.
With the relaunch, Nand expects advisors to know exactly what it is they provide.
One such service is VIP music experiences, which fall under Rediscover Music.
Speaking at the Sydney event, Chris Watson said the group obtains its tickets before they’re on sale.
“We have great contracts and relationships with the promoters and that’s how we get our tickets,” he explained. “When Billy Joel came, we had a 1,000 tickets.”
And then there are the Pink, Coldplay and of course Taylor Swift tickets.
“When Taylor was going crazy, we had 150 tickets that just hadn’t gone out yet,” Andrew Minto said, remarking how Rediscover was sitting on a goldmine while “every story on A Current Affair and The Project… was about people trying desperately to get [Swift] tickets”.
Nand told Karryon, “What I love about that program is that travel agents generally can’t buy those boxes on their own, but they can send the VIP clients along and we’ll look after them”.
“So they can give that VIP experience and we’ll treat them as if they are their clients.”
And he ensures agents that their clients will remain their clients.
“We’re just Rediscover – we’re wholesalers in the background,” he said.
“What I love about the company is that Chris, Andrew and Narelle still have their retail agencies.
“So they’re running those and I run Rediscover. What that does is, wherever their pinch points are, wherever their pain points are… they feed that to me and that’s what we try to solve.”
Nand says the company has addressed one such headache for travel advisors.
“One of the biggest pain points when people are travelling overseas is something as simple as the transfers when they arrive at the airport, which is the biggest bugbear of almost every travel agent I’ve ever spoken to,” Nand said.
“So something you make no money on but can ruin your whole holiday. We’ve solved that issue with the company that we’re contracted to now.”
According to Walter, that company will send clients an SMS “while they’re in the air” detailing their airport pick-up. They will then notify Rediscover as soon as the clients have been collected. So no more phone calls from angry customers at airports who haven’t been picked up.
Elsewhere, Nand talks about bringing luxury barge holidays “back into mix” as well as Mekong river experiences with Heritage Line for its Rediscover Unique Cruises offering. The group will also have some “big news” for its wellness proposition in the coming months.
Additionally, Rediscover has changed its logo and updated its website “to reflect our six pillars”.
“We’ve also linked up with Tour Atlas. All of our products will be loaded on there… so travel advisors can go straight to Tour Atlas, see everything that we have, and then contact us and make that booking,” he explained.
“They can also refer their clients to our website because we don’t take direct bookings. So the first conversation we have with anyone who calls directly is, ‘do you have a regular travel agent?’. And we send them back there.”
Supported by launch partners Travel South USA, San Francisco Travel, The Prestige Collection, A-Rosa Cruises and Le Passage to India, the relaunch event featured a standout performance by country music star Darren Cogan, costumed cancan dancers and plenty of travel advisors and suppliers.