Think giant canisters and loud machines are not exactly tourist attraction material? Think again.
In 2014 Dave Phillips was in a demanding full-time engineering job, working overseas and consuming copious amounts of local beer. He’d come back to Sydney frequently and being a long time beer aficionado, he started to realise the potential of the emerging Sydney craft beer scene. Upon his return to Australia he gathered a bunch of mates, started talking to the breweries, got everyone excited and a new business model was born.
Fast forward two years and Dave’s Brewery Tours is a superstar leader in both tourism and beer brewing. Their innovative approach to “marrying” the two industries that practically have nothing in common, as well as an undeniable passion for all beer-related matters has earned them fans all around the world.
Dave’s Brewery Tours is only one arm of Dave’s Travel and Events Group. In addition to craft beer making tours, they also offer various Pub Walks around the city and have recently branched into events.
Their unsuspecting office is located conveniently, next to a… (you guessed it) brewery, where we got to meet and chat to Dave and his awesome team that works incredibly hard behind the scenes to bring these amazing tours to curious locals and travellers looking for that perfect off-the-beaten-path experience.
“When we started, like most tour operators, we relied on a strong domestic market and generating local interest. As we’ve grown, we’ve realised that there’s a far wider audience out there. There’s a huge amount of people visiting Sydney every day that we should be showcasing our products to. These people want to book and pay instantaneously. Today the majority of our bookings come through Rezdy. I call it our ‘Oracle’ because everything that’s important for our business comes in and out of it. Rezdy is a robust system we fully trust, and we base all our marketing decisions on information we can extract out of it.” – says Dave.
R: What are the immediate benefits of Rezdy to your business?
JAMIE: If we didn’t have Rezdy, we wouldn’t be anywhere near the level of bookings that we have. We worked very hard to simplify the purchasing experience on our website, and Rezdy plays a big, if not the biggest part. This year we’re averaging over 100 bookings per month, with at least 5-6 people per each tour, which represents a growth of near 400% since 2014 when we started taking bookings online. It’s been a huge automation tool for us and I actually can’t remember the time when I had to manually process an order.
“It’s been a huge automation tool for us and I actually can’t remember the time when I had to manually process an order.”
R: Why is automation so important?
JAMIE: Automation and real time availability is crucial because it simplifies things. We’re always on the go. We run tours twice a day, seven days a week. Our weekends are booked months in advance. Having the booking side of your business automated means you can focus on marketing and business development. Most of our orders come from our website, but with Rezdy we are also able to accept bookings directly through Facebook, Trip Advisor, Expedia and many more external channels which are necessary for any tour business growth.
R: What’s a favourite Rezdy feature you can’t live without?
GREGG: The distribution side of Rezdy is what makes it truly stand out from the “booking engine crowd” out there. I only have to manage one single calendar. I know exactly where I am and I can allocate resources accordingly. My availability is in sync with all of my distribution channels, so if a resource is booked on a tour, they are blocked out on all other channels. It just gives me confidence so I can take bookings only when I am ready and available, which means I’m not overbooking myself.
Rezdy Marketplace also plays a massive part in this. We recently connected with a big OTA who’s connected to Rezdy via API, so that’s one less calendar for me to manage. More and more agents and tour operators are starting to realise that this is the future of booking. One calendar, one availability. Agents don’t have to call me. I don’t need to update them. Everything’s perfectly in sync and there for them to see. That’s what every operator wants and I think it’s definitely the way forward.
R: What would be the single biggest reason you’d recommend Rezdy to other businesses?
JAMIE: The biggest reason I’d recommend Rezdy is to simplify your ordering system and to streamline it so most of your bookings will end up coming from online, whether it’s your website or agents through the Marketplace. It makes things easier so you can concentrate on other aspects of your business.
DAVE: Rezdy offers so much more than just a streamlined booking experience. You can use the data it captures to analyse your ROI on pretty much everything. Once you master it, you’ll be able to extract valuable information about your business which will help you make important decisions confidently. It’s intuitive, stable and a moving beast in terms of technology and what it can provide. It’s the best value out there for the strength of the product.
“In terms of price and functionality, there’s just no competition.”
GREGG: Rezdy is just so much further ahead of everyone. They’re at the forefront of innovation and the rest always follows. They are always the first to announce any connections with new channels. If there’s a new feature, they’re always the first to bring it out. I get other booking companies emailing me all the time to come and try their systems, and I will. But in terms of price and functionality, there’s just no competition. I’m glad that I got in quite early, and I do tell every other tour operator that I know that that’s where they need to be.