Celebrating 20 years in business
LEISA DAVIS celebrated 20years of travel business last week.
Originally on the other side of Kairboe St, the business was operating as a Harvey World Travel before changing to Helloworld Travel in 2014.
Leisa said there had been a number of changes through the years, not least in appearance.
"The businesses in Biloela have changed,” she said.
"Uniforms - the chequered was quite popular, we had canary and tartan shirts that were around for quite a while.
"And we have had a few different airlines out of Thangool - Flight West and Sunshine Express.
"And you used to be able to fly out of Thangool to Norfolk Island.”
Technology has played an ever-increasing role when booking holidays for customers.
"Technology has certainly been a leap forward for our industry,” Leisa said.
"Email wasn't even a thing, we used phone or faxes for everything. It's hard to believe now.”
The industry has come a long way as well, with some travel experiences more popular than they were in the late 1990s.
"Cruising out of Australia has seen an exponential growth. It has been the biggest growth market.
"Even Africa - when I first started you wouldn't have gone hiking with the gorillas and now you can.”
"There is a lot more product range in Asia and Central America.
"A few more different airlines like Middle Eastern and Asian have really come into play.
"Emirates were unheard of 20 years ago.
"There are always new airlines, new destinations - just so much more variety.”
Starting the business when she was quite young at the age of 18, Leisa has built up a wealth of customers.
"We would have some that have been with us from the start,” she said.
"Some people have moved away but some are still with us.
"We have clients in Canberra and Longreach, so people still deal with us from all parts of Australia.”
Leisa said she was looking forward to the next 20 years and more.
"I intend to stay in business in Biloela for a long time yet. This great area is my home,” she said.
"The future ahead for the travel industry is super exciting.
"More destinations in the world will open up for tourism and a bigger variety of products will become available, especially for clients wanting a unique experience.
"Aircraft will be able to fly longer, meaning fewer airport changes, and will be enhanced with modified cabin options, making a more comfortable flying experience.
"You may even be able to fly to the moon and back!”