For co-founders Gavin Grift and Ryan Chin, Elysian Travel was the natural next step in their careers. Ryan’s background in hospitality and personal organisation of Gavin’s executive calendar sowed the seeds for the Elysian idea. Gavin’s weekly travel as part of his corporate life helped them to discover the travel industry up close and personal (including what they wanted to see change).
The concept for Elysian Travel was inspired whilst roaming Nepal. The name Elysian was born out of an afternoon enjoying a glass of wine overlooking the breathtaking surrounds of Lake Begnas under the shadows of the Himalayan Mountains. They had the passion, the concept and the name (see below) … now all they needed was to open for business.
The meaning of Elysian originates from ancient Greece, where reference was made to the Elysian Fields: a paradise reserved for heroes who had been immortalised by the Ancient Gods. Given the mission of Elysian Travel was about assisting people to visit their own version of paradise the name was set.
Gavin and Ryan built their business on the premise of collaborative relationships with customers based on transparency, integrity, responsiveness and reliability. The second platform for Elysian was Ryan’s thirst and ability to research. What most others dislike spending their time doing he thrives upon so customers know they are getting a travel researcher as their agent. With time such a precious commodity this has become a huge asset to the business.
Ryan adds, “Ever since I was a child I’ve always had a desire to access new information and spent more time at home surfing the net than I did at school learning from my teachers. I guess I’m a digital native so researching for Elysian Travel is just the ideal fit for my personality and our customers.”
Having a strong hospitality background and business management degree with a focus on hotels has been invaluable for knowing how to set up a travel business. Coupled with a desire to take the mystery out of how the travel industry works for customers and assist them to source the best deals has been the ideal fit for this business.
The most important principles Elysian Travel bring to the travel sector for customers (when there is so much choice from so many platforms) is a steadfast commitment to the 3 P’s:
Price matching or better… Guaranteed!
Provision of 24/7 Support
Personalised and Mobilised Service
“We want to really now just focus on building our client data base in both the leisure and corporate market through word of mouth on our personalised and mobile service and a more strategic approach to marketing. We love the thrill of doing a better deal for customers than they can find online or through bigger travel agents like Flight Centre. We also are looking to create our own brand of packages for specific locations (including Malaysia and the Netherlands – our mother countries) and are developing expertise including becoming study tour specialists for the education sector.”
The biggest challenge for Elysian Travel they have identified is that with growth (which is happening steadily) they can still maintain and improve the personalised, mobile and responsive service their growing number of clients have become accustomed to and expect.
Blue Rock’s role
Blue Rock has been fantastic and important in the building of the company, according to Gavin and Ryan. They have helped those initial sketchy plans developed in Nepal become a reality. “As clients of Blue Rock we were able to set realistic financial goals to not only get things started but to build momentum and actually pay ourselves,” Ryan says. “Ongoing, meetings with our Blue Rock team helps to keep our aspirations achievable and realistic without curbing the enthusiasm we have for Elysian. They have even supported us to provide Blue Rock employees with opportunities for special travel partnership deals and to organise their corporate travel needs. More generally they have just helped through being wonderful advocates and supporters of our hopes for the business.”