The time of year leading up to the Christmas holidays is probably our favourite time of the year at Target Tours. We get to reflect on the past year on what we have accomplished and to look ahead to 2019 with great anticipation on a future we hope to create.
This past year we grew our family with the acquisition of Duncan’s Island Tours in January, a private tour operator here on PEI. With this purchase, we also decided to create a new brand for our inbound travel business called “Target Tours Atlantic”. Target Tours Atlantic provides incoming groups or individual visitors to Atlantic Canada with tour options in the Atlantic provinces. It has been exciting to see our team step up and take ownership of this new addition. One of our measuring sticks has been our placement on TripAdvisor and we are pleased to report that Target Tours Atlantic went from #44 of 48 when we first launched to #2 of 48 in less than six months. This reflects not just the hard work of our guide team but of our incredible Target Tours Atlantic office team as well. You can see our listing HERE.
With the purchase of Duncan’s Island Tours, we added 5 new Driver-Guides to our team. We also added a couple more Step-On Guides to meet the demand we were experiencing. To keep it all together, we added a new office team member, Bryanna LeClair to work along side Katie on our Target Tours Atlantic Team. Bryanna interned with us over the summer but has continued part-time during the school year. We’re also excited to announce that she plans to begin as a full-time employee with us once she graduates from UPEI with her Business Administration degree in the spring.
The rest of the office team has also seen lots of development. Justin who used to work as a Tour Coordinator is now focusing on Tour Planning, Laura is doing an awesome job on reservations and tour preparation for the Tour Directors, Katie is working hard to bring all the new guide staff into the groove, and Jacqueline keeps it all together managing the office and working with John and Lynn to grow the business. We are so fortunate to have a great group of young professionals who come to work every day to do what’s best for our customers and to have fun along the way. We do laugh a lot!
Target Tours has also had a successful year with new tours and new destinations visited. Our proudest moment this past year was not actually a tour but our 10th Anniversary Birthday Bash. Next year, 2019 will mark our 10th year in business and in anticipation for “The Big Ten” we decided to host a large celebration for our team and past passengers from recent years of travel.
To say we were overwhelmed by the support of the Target Tours community is an understatement! We hosted more than 325 guests on September 29th at the Delta Marriott in Charlottetown. That included 3 buses transporting clients from Nova Scotia and New Brunswick. The event involved a lunch, a small presentation, and some fun games familiar to several past passengers. It was amazing reuniting with guests from past tours as well as to watch travellers from different provinces getting to reconnect with hugs and handshakes. It was a great reminder of why we do what we do!
Finally, we finished off the year by winning the Workplace Excellence Award from the Greater Charlottetown Chamber of Commerce and were nominated as one of three national finalist for the Small to Medium-Sized Business of the Year award by the Canadian Tourism Awards. These two industry nods have been hugely meaningful to our team and confirms what we already know, what an awesome team we have! You can read more about these awards HERE.
In closing, we want to wish each and everyone of you a very Merry Christmas and a healthy and prosperous 2019. We are excited for the future and we look forward to creating more travel memories and new experiences that will last forever. See you in 2019!
-John & Lynn Dunphy, Co-founders Target Tours & Target Tours Atlantic
P.S Keep an eye out on how we continue to celebrate “The Big Ten” in 2019. Lots more fun and celebrations to come…