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Journey Beyond Travel  (View Company Profile)

Editor's Note: Journey Beyond Travel - Morrocco has been working with InfoHub since September 2007. We recently talked to Thomas Hollowell at Journey Beyond Travel about their company and experience of working with InfoHub.

1. How long has your business been operating, and how did it start up?

Our business has been operating since 2004. It started out as an online travel magazine. Then, we decided to offer Morocco trips since we have lived here for years. One thing led to another and it took off. We now have several local employees in both Morocco and abroad. We are considering expanding to other countries, but right now, Morocco is hot and we'll stay put.

2. What are the main attractions of your activity in the area you operate?

Our main attractions are cultural excursions with a bit of luxury, day trips into local villages, and walks and treks into the various mountain ranges of the Atlas Mountains. We cover pretty much the whole country and gear our itineraries to people's interests and the secret spots we know and love.

3. What unique features do you offer?

We get people off the beaten path. All of our guides are local, meaning, no one guide is with our travelers the entire trip. No other company does this in Morocco. We have local guides in places where other operators just don't know any body. Since I was in Peace Corps, I made all kinds of local connections that have developed into working relationships. So, our trips are set up with a private driver and 3 and 4-star guesthouses for great ambiance and comfort, and a personal guide meets travelers in each location. In the day travelers explore various areas; in the night they relax in hand-picked luxury with great food!

4. What do your customers appreciate in you the most?

I think they appreciate our responsiveness in helping them set up a perfect itinerary. We create an itinerary tailored to their needs and desires. So, we actually listen and respond in a straight-forward way that is not only an attempt to sell our trips, but an honest approach to what Morocco is really about. They also like our Website as we are constantly adding quality reading and travel-related material. We have a managing editor and a whole group of writers who work endlessly on it. No one else does this either : )

5. You have been an InfoHub partner since September 2007, how would you describe your experience of working with InfoHub so far?

We really value our relationship and collaboration with InfoHub. We have tested the waters with several other Websites who promise to deliver. Those often fall by the wayside. InfoHub consistently brings clients to our virtual doorstep, and that is invaluable. I like the system and how it works. The fact that we can promote our itineraries and offer discounts is a big plus. With InfoHub, we are able to diversify how we reach potential clients. Like investing smartly, reaching clients through various means is a way to keep your business afloat even in slow-tourist times.

6. How do you find InfoHub referrals, and how do you feel about the InfoHub system of generating referrals for you?

See comments to (5) above.

7. How do you follow up with the referrals InfoHub sends to you?

We do not follow up on the phone as much as we should. We often find that it is more beneficial to wait until the client tells us a time they would like to receive a phone call. Once we have discussed some possibilities with them, we find that they are more prepared to actually discuss a route. Starting out with email allows us to carefully detail our answers to their exact questions. Then, we often connect via phone to answer other questions about Morocco, its culture, and the places they might like to visit.

8. Is there anything else you'd like our visitors to know about your business?

Journey Beyond Travel is a small, local, and as eco-friendly business. Our website runs on wind power and we try to use establishments that have some "green" initiatives. That is one reason we steer clear of chain hotels. Our profits are shared with our employees, families, and towns in the form of projects. We have seen lives truly blossom. Without blowing our own horn too much, we are the premier and most sought-after Morocco tour operator in country in regard to travelers and locals who wish to share in what we do. It is hard to balance all that goes on, but it is worthwhile. If we ever walk away from all of this, we can rest knowing that we did make a difference in both locals' lives and in some way those of our travelers.