Local, independent travel agent Andrew Rowdon has just celebrated 10 years in business by hosting a party for almost 200 of his customers. Andrew whose business, Andrew Rowdon Travel and Wedding & Honeymoon Escapes, took 172 of his clients to the Orwell Hotel in Felixstowe for a Black Tie Ball in October. The glittering event was to celebrate not just his company’s 10th anniversary but also to thank them for their support since he began his company bank in 2009.
Andrew, from Trimley St Mary explained how his clients have also become firm friends. “I do spend a good deal of time with them at the planning stage. I take great pleasure in ensuring every holiday booking, honeymoon or overseas wedding I am asked to research is treated as a trip of a lifetime. So to be able to thank them for their support is really important to me. Without my customers I wouldn’t have been able to have a business, let alone win two top travel awards this year.”
As a Rotarian, Andrew believes his client retention is due to his tenacity and making their dreams become a reality. “It’s so important to listen to what a client wants and then to go beyond the brochure for them by really researching their requests to make it happen.” He also advocates old fashioned customer service and adding a wow factor.
“I work from 6am – 10pm sometimes, plus some Saturdays and even Sundays. It’s vital to always be available to answer any questions, even out of hours and weekends. It’s also very important that I spend time building up a strong element of trust and rapport with everyone. I also love to surprise my clients (particularly honeymooners) with a bottle of champagne or a lounge pass at the airport before they travel, or maybe complimentary parking or even an excursion, and then there’s always a ‘welcome home’ call or email to every client.”
Andrew Rowdon is based in Trimley St Mary and is also a Rotarian Council Member in charge of Youth Development for the Felixstowe community on behalf of The Rotary Club of Felixstowe. Together they assist local children in and around the area as well as young adults with additional needs, to give them all experiences and opportunities that might not usually be open to them.
Over the past 12 months Andrew has organised:
- Three football tournaments in association with Ipswich Town Football Club for local schools on the all-weather pitch at Portman Road: For year 5/6 pupils, year 8/9 pupils and year 7 pupils (approximately 80 children attend each tournament)
- Kids Kitchen cookery course which was put together in association with local restaurant The Alex: This was a five-week course for twelve students culminating in the children cooking for their parents at the seafront restaurant in Felixstowe.
- Sponsorship for a young swimmer who reached the Nationals in 2018 & 2019.
- Sponsorship for a deaf golfer who went onto win the European championship 2018/19.
- Sponsorship for a local Hockey student, who has since been selected to play for England in 2019.
Some of the wonderful comments from the 10 year anniversary Ball (operators and clients)
Happy 10th Birthday to the lovely #AndrewRowdonTravel Amazing night & huge thank you for having us both there. Here’s to the next 10
I’ve been meaning to contact you all week – where on earth are the days going?!
Mary and I had a fabulous time and we’re so pleased that you thought of us.
We thought the entire evening was hugely successful and the event felt like more of a family reunion rather than a client event – and I’ve organised a few.
Hope we can meet again soon.
All the very best,
Laura – Journey Latin America
Fabulous to be at the 10 year anniversary ball of one of our favourite travel agent partners. Congratulations Andrew Rowdon it’s been a brilliant event, thanks for your support and it’s been great to meet so many of your loyal clients!
Dom – If only
We had a wonderful evening with you and your valued customers yesterday. Thank you for inviting us and we look forward to the 15th Anniversary of your business.
Both me and Rajeev were impressed to see your loyal customers, we spoke to the ones on our table at length and they were all very happy to be associated with you for their travel requirements.
Yasin – Indus
Great to meet you on Saturday night, and congratulations on putting on an excellent evening..!
Any agent that can attract over 170 clients to a Saturday night must be doing something right..!
Cheers , and well done again, very impressive night..!
Hi Andy congratulations for organising a fantastic night ! All the work and effort paid off ! I’m sure it will do your business a power of good. You have a beautiful family.
All the best
Lloyd – Sunvil
I’m sure your inbox will be full today with notes of thanks but allow me to add mine for the wonderful evening you hosted on Saturday. I had a great time and it was a real pleasure to be able to share the celebration with you and your family, as well as the other invited tour operators and so many of your loyal clients.
On behalf of Hisham, Steve, Ted and all the team at Kirker Holidays, thank you for your continued support and all the best for the next 10 years!
With kind regards,
Kirker Concierge – Kirker
On behalf of Heidi and myself I would like to thank you for a fantastic evening on Saturday. We both had a lovely time and we’ve only just recovered….our heads told the story on Sunday.
Thanks again for making it a special evening.
Jason – clients
Just a line to let you know how much we enjoyed your celebration party last Saturday.
It was a wonderful occasion and we had a great time in every respect – company at the table, food and music (especially the male singer!!). You obviously went to a lot of trouble and thought of everything.
It was also lovely to be able to talk to Erika and meet your children. You have every reason to be very proud of all of them and what you have achieved.
Thank you so much for inviting us to join you. We congratulate you on the 10th anniversary of your business & your awards and wish you continuing success.
With our best wishes
Linda and Peter – clients
Dear Andrew and Erika
Thanks for the invite we had a fantastic night. Everything was just spot on
Paula and Kevin – clients
Dear Andrew and Erika
Saturday night was really tremendous. Franchi and I really had a superb time.
All the best
Phil and Franchi – clients
Andrew , what a great do !!
Thank you so much for the invite , enjoyed it immensely. As for the singing!! Wow !! ‘Leaving on a Jet Plane’ an inspiration !
Thanks again , well done to you and all your Family .
All the best – Bryan and Celia X – clients
Just a quick e mail to thank you so much for your hospitality on Saturday night. It was a really good occasion and we were privileged to be invited.
It was nice that we has some friends there and we did have a thoroughly good evening. I thought the whole thing was presented beautifully, a nice meal, heartfelt speeches and a good band.
There was the small matter of the rogue singer…….!?! I never knew you had hidden talents.
Thanks again for the invite and will talk soon when we feel up to another trip.
Geoff and Angela – Clients
Richard and I had a great evening on Saturday. It was a great way to celebrate your success with the Award Win!
We wish you and Erika continued success in your business, and hope to be able to book with you again as soon as we can.
With best wishes
Gaye and Richard – clients
Congratulations on your 10th year anniversary Andrew – what an amazing achievement and I know how much hard work goes into it.
Thank you for inviting us to celebrate with you, it was a lovely evening and I met some fabulous people – such an honour thank you
Karen and Graeme – clients
Thank you so much for a wonderful evening on Saturday, we both thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. Fab food and entertainment and our table guests made for great company….couldn’t have wished for a better night out!
Jill and Lee – clients
Dear Andrew and Erika,
Nigel and I wanted to thank you for a very special night. We were honoured to be able to share such a special time with you, and delighted to hear Andrews beautiful singing voice. Also thank you for my gorgeous flowers.
Nigel and Jayne