Category – Tourism
Sponsor – Atura Dandenong
Winner – Safir Tours
Finalists – Travability, Cardinia Beaconshills Golf Links
The winner of the Tourism award for the second year in a row is Safir Tours.
Nayaz Noor and Suchitra Reddy are the CEO and director respectively of the Berwick based Safir Tours and what they’ve accomplished in just four-and-a-half years in Australia is impressive.
Between them, they have more than 60 years of experience in the travel industry having both spent over three decades with tour operators and travel agencies in the United States, the Middle East and India.
But the latest chapter of their story has brought them to Australia – where they had no family and few connections until a few short years ago.
But the challenge of setting up their business in a completely new environment is one they’ve truly excelled at.
Safir Tours is a destination management company that customises all its itineraries based on the requirements of its clients.
Born in India, Nayaz and Suchitra predominantly work with Indian clients from their home country, the Middle East and the United States who are looking to travel to Australia.
“We started operating on 1 March 2013,” Nayaz said.
“We were wondering when we were going to get our first client. Our first client was an Indian student studying in Adelaide whose parents were going to visit Australia.
“She wanted things set up for them here to visit Sydney, the Gold Coast, and Cairns, so we put things together.”
Nayaz and Suchitra were initially excited, yet somewhat sceptical, when setting up their business in Australia.
“It was all new to us – the whole business environment in Australia is very different to what we were used to in India or the US,” Nayaz said.
“It took us a little bit of time to understand how it works. We found it easier than doing things in India because people are friendly here – they’re honest and they’re straightforward. They’re more direct.
“The Indian market is very, very complicated. It’s very fragmented – nothing is set in stone and even the wealthiest of travellers will check with five different agencies and check everywhere online to try and get the lowest price.
“When most people in India get to know us, they know that once they send their clients to Safir Tours they won’t have to worry. They can sleep easy.”
The company’s strength lies in its hands-on approach, the worldwide experience of its founders, and the strong relationship it holds with its partners and suppliers.