PG TOPS TRAVEL AND TOURS will celebrate 10 years of operation on 1 December 2018. It has been a glorious ride, where my first client was a German backpacker referred by Frank from Frankfurt. My vehicle wasn’t bought, I didn’t even have my badge yet, but on we soldiered.
Fast forwarded 10 quick years and there were a few very distinct periods to note:
2008-2010: The Spanish tours/rugby braais/Lions/World Cup/doing anything and everything years
2011-2013: The Yolanda and Roelf years, where my prize students became my prize colleagues and we built the business
2014-2016: The Launch of Luxury Safaris, expansion of operations, move to the airport office
2017-2018: The launch of Tourism Boot Camp, expansion of destinations outside of South Africa
In 2018, things once again change dramatically. The arrival of my son, the downturn in arrivals due to the water crisis and the change in the way clients find us through the internet has again resulted in new developments.
I am now a father, soon-to-be husband, tour guide, coach, safari planner, dog walker, tech investigator, classroom lecturer, vegan cook and less and less frequently mountain biker.
Within the beautiful chaos that is my life has emerged a few lovely intended consequences:
- I will be tying the knot in holy matrimony with Caroline Bayly on 24 November. Business and personal life as always being intermingled, our separate companies Classic Escapes and Luxury Safaris will also be moving closer together while still being separate. This means sharing of resources, knowledge and opportunity.
- As such, Imogen McCormick Matthews has for some time toggled between both businesses as senior consultant on both our Southern African and Cape Town product, and learning the East Africa and Islands product with Caroline.
- We have recruited Carmen (control tower, and our top performer at out last Boot Camp), Dumi (experienced driver/guide) and Leanne Knorr (as operations manager) in the last couple of months to beef up the team. Supported by Caren, back in the fold and consulting remotely, we actually have a very strong team to service PG TOPS, Boot Camp, Luxury Safaris and assist Classic Escapes as we build our family.
- We have done a fleet renewal with 85% of our vehicles now under two years old, and we will be offering both regular and luxury private touring options from 2019 onwards.
- In terms of product, we have been wonderfully supported by our suppliers all over Southern Africa, and we plan to do a huge bash with them an clients this mid-December.
I will separately blog next month and reflect on all the highlights, friends and experiences 10 yrs has brought..