Something Special, for Everyone

Cairns Holiday Specialists, Palm Cove

The locally owned company was launched eight years ago by Nicholas Mason & Christina James, who recognised the deficits of the business model employed by other providers at the time and chose to create a better, more people-centred service. Understanding that with many other organisations, guests were not able to book what they needed, or were not presented with all potential options, Cairns Holiday Specialists, a group of former hotel management employees, committed themselves to creating a suite of tour and accommodation services to meet the varied needs of their customers.

Colleen Were, Accommodation and Conference Sales Manager with Cairns Holiday Specialists, suggests that much of what makes CHS great is its breadth of local knowledge and experience of the Palm Cove area and its understanding of the needs of its clients. “We wanted to get started and be able to dedicate our services with our knowledge to our customers,” says Colleen. “We take pride in being the leader in our area of expertise and in having the most updated information for everything in Palm Cove, as well as the best rates guaranteed for our customers.”

Specialising in not only leisure, but also conference and wedding travel, Cairns holiday Specialists can provide a comprehensive package for even the most discerning traveller or group. Leisure guests typically come to the Cove for a stay of five to seven days and are generally interested in seeing the Great Barrier Reef and experiencing the lush tropical environment Palm Cove has to offer.

Wedding parties can be expected for a shorter stay, as the focus for those travellers is the event itself; the team at Cairns Holiday Specialists works to provide a range of group activities that can be enjoyed in that shorter duration, such as chartered cruises and other half-day activities.

Conference goers, meanwhile, can rest assured that they will be met with the right conference venue to fit their needs and accommodate their group. Planned activities will fit into their schedules, and Cairns Holiday Specialists can also arrange meals both on-site and off.

Cairns Holiday Specialists’ Palm Cove packages can meet the needs of families looking for a little fun in the sun as well as those of the business traveller, with available accommodations across a range of hotels and venues in the Palm Cove area. This dedication to a broad range of clients was illustrated recently when the company provided services for over 150 delegates who gathered in Palm Cove to view the spectacular eclipse, including members of national and global media who deemed Palm Cove the best possible venue for the viewing. “Palm Cove just turned it on for the media and we had conference delegates from all over the world to view that eclipse,” shares Colleen.

“Everybody knows Cairns and everybody knows Port Douglass, but Palm Cove is definitely an unknown gem,” suggests Colleen. “What people don’t know about Palm Cove is just how relaxed and idyllic the village is.”

Palm Cove is the quintessential Australian conference resort – but it is also, arguably, the area’s best kept secret. It is right on the Great Barrier Reef and rainforest, and offers jungle surfing, ballooning, white water rafting and great activities for corporate team building.

One of the Cove’s most unique features is its close proximity to many world-class attractions. “Most conferences are looking for a half-day activity after they’ve had a meeting in the morning, and Palm Cove is centrally located to all the tours,” explains Colleen. “You could do a sky rail tour, which is only ten minutes away from Palm Cove. Delegates can do horse riding or ATV, which are, once again, only ten minutes away from Palm Cove itself. You can easily do a half day out to Green Island from Palm Cove and experience the Great Barrier Reef.”

This accessibility allows clients ample time to complete their private activities and experience all the amazing experiences the area has to offer, including five centrally located day spa resorts. “If somebody wants to relax in palm cove and have a massage in the afternoon or evening, that can be organised for all the delegates.”

And it is Cairns Holiday Specialists’ understanding and knowledge of all the area has to offer that helps clients organise a wealth of unique activities that can actually be accomplished within a given time-frame. The team at Cairns Holiday Specialists understands the value of clients’ time and is able to work with them to create a schedule of activities that will meet their needs.

“Local knowledge is so important,” emphasises Colleen. “We have conference organisers that contact us and say, ‘we want to stay in Palm Cove for our conference and we are interested in these particular tours.’ But unfortunately they are unfamiliar with the distances and the time that it takes to complete these activities,” says Colleen. “We simply ask them what time they have available in their schedule for the tours and we put the touring programme together with our local knowledge, ensuring the timing fits into the allocated schedule.”

This individual attention each client receives speaks to the depths of the relationships formed between the team at Cairns Holiday Specialists and its clients, who regularly become friends and repeat customers. “Whether it’s someone coming up on a holiday, or a conference group, we take care of our customers personally and we work to make sure that if it’s their holiday it works perfectly for them and that they have enough time to relax as well as see everything they want to see.”

Of course, the high level of knowledge and service the company provides generates a great deal of word of mouth referrals, which helps to bring new families and conference goers to the area each year. The team at Cairns Holiday Specialists know that a conference goer or leisure seeker who has a great experience spreads the word to five or six friends or colleagues. “You only have to log on to our website and read our customers’ comments to see how excited people are about their experiences,” says Colleen.

The company also operates a number of websites that work to bring in new clients and provide powerful planning tools. “One of the biggest things we’re working on at the moment is a service website called ‘Register your Wedding,’ says Colleen of the company’s new online service that allows couples to register with the site. “We know that this is a huge destination for people to get married, which includes a great deal of family and friends from all over the world and Australia.”

A couple can register their wedding online with the site so that all of their guests can log on and see what tours and accommodations are available. They may also book activities online, knowing that they are going to get the best rates available. Telephone support is also available to registered parties to walk them through the process and provide them with useful local knowledge as to how to best organise their activities during their stay.

This powerful new tool offered by the company will also be adapted for conference clients. In a similar fashion, conference clients will be able to register their conference, allowing delegates to directly organise and book events which best suit their needs, providing a level of direct personalisation in a very simple fashion.

With all this great word of mouth, and the powerful online tools the company offers, it is no surprise that Palm Cove continues to grow as the destination of choice for new clients each year, especially with conference organisers looking to offer something unique to their delegates.

One of the few challenges that Cairns Holiday Specialists works to overcome is the conception that travel costs to Palm Cove are substantially more expensive than those related to some other well known destinations. “One of the biggest challenges that Cairns faces from a conference point of view, is the cost of the airfare to get here. We overcome this hurdle by explaining to the Organisers the benefits and experience they will have by selecting Palm Cove over other destinations,” explains Colleen. Most would-be visitors quickly understand the experiences that Palm Cove offers them are truly second to none. Whether it is the pristine natural attractions of the area, the idyllic village atmosphere, the wealth of accommodation venues, or the close proximity of the attractions, there is something special for everyone who visits the Cove.

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December 19, 2018, 5:13 AM AEDT