As the mastermind behind bespoke Australian tour company, Splendour Tailored Tours, Carly Rea knows how to look after demanding, high touch clients and their families.
Imagine – you are four days out from the doors opening on a major symposium that you’ve pulled together. You’ve got 2,000 confirmed delegates, 80 high-profile exhibitors and major corporate sponsors to keep happy.
You’re on site for the exhibition build, registration set-up and production and you get a call from your local MD, the (one sided) conversation goes something like this …
“Hi ya, just quickly, the CEO from Head Office in Houston just called. Great news – the Senior Exec. team will now be attending the event next week. They fly in on Monday! …
I know you’re probably busy, but if we could arrange two to three great days to experience the very best of Sydney while they’re here, that would be great.”
As your panic begins to set in, he continues … “You know – dining, maybe the mountains, Sydney Opera House, definitely something amazing on the harbour, oh and maybe the Hunter Valley? What do you think? I’m sure you’ll be able to come up with something memorable!”
I’ll let you go, I’m guessing you are busy, but if you could get back to me in the next 24hrs that would great.”
It is time to call Carly Rea, Director and Curator, of Splendour Tailored Tours.
Rea, a former media marketing executive, fell in love with Australia more than a decade ago, so much so, she moved from her native Canada Down Under. “I was struck by the sparkle,” she says. “Australia was bright, shiny and down to earth, unlike anywhere I’d visited; it was love at first sight.”
Settling in Sydney, Rea made a name for herself with a successful career in media before establishing her tour outfit, Splendour Tailored Tours.
“As a busy executive I was very accustomed to landing in a city and only ever seeing the inside of an office tower or a conference centre,” she says. “I wanted visitors with really busy lives to be able to see Australia when they were down here doing business,” she explains. “Even though many professionals find it difficult to add even a day to a work travel itinerary I was determined to build a company that could enrich people’s lives even in a tiny period of time.”
In Sydney, Splendour’s ‘One Perfect Day’ tour answers the call. It is one of the company’s most popular tours, thanks to its ability to cram numerous locations, from shops and cafes to private beaches and coves that Rea has discovered, into luxury private itineraries. “The key to this tour is that very few of the locations on the itinerary appear in guidebooks or on websites,” says Rea. “Our aim is to show visitors the locations that only locals know about and that we think have special appeal.”
The day starts with a private Splendour tour guide, a local, collecting guests in a luxury SUV. Taking in fabulous, little known locations, and of course, the harbour, The Botanic Gardens and Sydney’s historic precinct, The Rocks.
“Clients can then choose to board a private yacht, and to spend the afternoon cruising Sydney Harbour,” says Rea. “We even stop in at a private beach so that guests can swim in Sydney Harbour if they’d like to,” she says. “Planning, thinking and the logistics from go to woe, are left to us.”
Tours and services are not limited to day tripping, says Rea. “Conference delegates travelling with family in tow, might like the idea of branching away from routine hotel stays. Renting a lush holiday house means that everyone has more space, can live like a local, and offers the opportunity to host dinners or special events with the feeling of being at home.”
Further afield, Rea offers bespoke itineraries for private excursions the red centre – taking in key sites of historical and indigenous importance, including Uluru and Kata Tjuta in the Northern Territory; the Great Barrier Reef; Melbourne; Tasmania; Kangaroo Island and Perth.
Rea promises with conviction and excitement that even the harried, time poor conference delegates, can indeed experience Australia outside of the conference centre, and demanding MD’s with last minute (almost) impossible requests can be satisfied.