Trust Building in Tourism, with Jason Murray

Episode 123

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As a native of Utah, Jason grew up visiting the National Parks, Monuments, and other regions throughout the Western United States. That is where he first fell in love with the history and geology of the area. As he grew up, he continued to enrich his education and knowledge at nature camps and class trips throughout the Southwest. One of his favorite trips was down to Havasupai Falls and the Colorado River in the Grand Canyon. Even when he attended college in California, he continued to enjoy the diverse geological and ecological environments nearby. He has enjoyed camping, hiking, backpacking, and touring throughout the west for the last 20 years. One of his greatest loves is sharing his passion for the history, geology, and beauty of the Southwestern United States with the tours he hosts. On this episode of Destination on the Left, I talk with Jason about his experience building an adventure tour operation from scratch over the past six years. With tours running all over the southwestern United States (and now in Oregon!) it’s all about relationship-building. From customers to guides, to all those involved with making these unique experiences happen, building relationship and building trust have been the key to success.

What You Will Learn in this Episode:

  • Tips for hiring the best client-facing employees
  • How to create an environment of constant improvement
  • Staying connected to customers as you grow
  • The little things you can do to create “Wow!” experiences
  • Building great relationships with DMOs and vendors
  • Why trust is such a crucial ingredient to success in this business

From Point A to Point B

For large tours on the open road, there is a ready solution: buses made specifically for the travel industry. For smaller group tours, Jason was not finding the right mode of transportation. Bench seats in an Econoline might work for very short distances, but not for a 5 to 12-day trip. Through dedication, research, and customization, Jason finally found the right van and now the comfort of travel is remarked on by customers almost as much as the destinations. That kind of attention to customer experience can set your company apart from the competition. When you’re in a business where the journey is literally as important as the destination, everything that happens between point A and points B becomes important.

Navigating the Travel Ecosystem

As a tour operator, Jason relies on DMOs for information and broader marketing initiatives. He relies on service providers like river rafting companies and glamping outfitters – who could easily undercut him and steal customers away. It all comes down to trust. That’s why developing relationships is important, from customers to all the players in the travel ecosystem. When you know and trust each other, the opportunity to cooperate gives everyone a fair shake. Wrestling for the same clientele can be nerve-wracking, but you have to put yourself out there and find the people and organizations that are a good fit.


Nicole Mahoney: 00:25 Hello listeners, this is Nicole Mahoney, host of destination on the left. I am passionate about travel and tourism and love learning from the experiences professionals in the industry and that is why I am so excited to introduce today’s guest, Jason Murray. Jason is the owner of southwest adventure tours based in Utah. Jason and I know each other through travel alliance partners and organization that is owned by 28 tour operators throughout North America that was built for buying and selling between tour operators. Would I like to call a true example of coopertition listeners? As you know, we like to talk a lot about coopertition on the show and so I’m really looking forward to hearing Jason’s perspective on the tour and travel industry and to learn a little bit more about what he’s doing. But before we get started, Jason, you have a very impressive background. You and I have had many conversations about that. And I’m wondering if you can start by just sharing your story with our listeners, letting us know how you got to where you are today. I know it kind of wasn’t really a straight line, was it? Not at all.

Jason Murray: 01:23 So I started out working, um, after college I was managing electronic stores and doing retail sales and then corporate sales and my love. And it wasn’t my right, right interest at all. Yeah. And so I, MMM. Kinda did some, some thinking and, and talking with my wife about what decisions and, and doing things that make you happy and doing things to enjoy. And so in January of 2013 teen, I went out and started my own tor operation. Um, as a tour operator. We started out the first year, took a gamble and made some investments, small investments into some marketing campaigns with actually group on mmm. And a living social and Gotcha. Uh, a good Roi on our investment there and got our name out and got some good recognition, uh, in the marketplace and have it good customer base. That started out that year and it just kind of his built, um, Aye. Okay. I did one of those failure things where you expand too rapidly and then I had to contract and determine that I wasn’t going in the direction to have operating the tours I really like did enjoyed. So I, I shrunk and I kind of pulled back and focused on doing the things the way I aye personally would like to have a tour happen and running them the way that I wanted to. And now we’re slowly starting to grow again and,

Nicole Mahoney: 03:07 and

Jason Murray: 03:08 make those things. It’s been a pretty crazy six years operating, that’s for sure. Well, have lots of different changes and adjustments I’ve had to make over that time.

Nicole Mahoney: 03:20 You’re being very modest because you and I have talked a lot and one of the things I really enjoy about you is your entrepreneurial spirit, right? And your willingness to take a risk. And so I, I love how you just said, you know, you were in one industry completely different from tour and travel, but wanted to do something that made you happy and what you would actually enjoy. Um, and so getting into tour and travel was the answer for you. And what I’d like you to actually share a little bit more with our listeners is about what do those tours look like? Those tours that you, you know, you describe as the ones that you really enjoy because you do have a very unique uh, tour tour company in terms of how your modeled

Jason Murray: 04:03 yeah, I decided to focus on small group tours. I, no, there’s, there’s a lot of large bus companies, so motor coach trips all throughout the world. And I wanted to differentiate myself in uh, getting tours that were more personable, more in the sense of I as a tour guide because I do still try and get out once a month with my customers are on trips. So I wanted to provide tours and experiences where there’s a lot more one on one personal interaction between the tour guide and the guests where you get that intimate. Yeah. The, the intimate one on one experiences where you can walk to a rim of the canyon and you can see exactly what your guests are experiencing all up to 40 all at the same time and be able to interact with each one, any of those personal touches and personal mmm.

Jason Murray: 05:10 Conversations. MMM. Not about just like, hey, check out this beautiful view. But yeah. We can go into conversations and conversations happen about, you know, how they feel about it, the experience, what they had imagined before they got there, looking at it pictures. MMM. What they feel now, how they’re, right. Yeah. For me it’s almost like watching a kid on Christmas day or you know, getting that perfect day surprise. MMM. About, that’s the wow effect that I just really enjoy seeing on the customer’s face and with that smaller group. MMM. Gotcha. The relationship between the guide and the customer, it really, really happens at a, at a different level I think. Okay. Larger motor coach tours. Um, also the other thing that I really enjoy is watching the relationships between the guests because it’s such a small group. MMM. Any amount of time that they’re together, whether it’s, you know, for one of our shorter today, three day, four day trips or when a one of our longer five, six and 12 day trips that we do the relationship building between the guests themselves. Um, I have guests that have traveled now with each other six times. MMM. And it was a friendship that was forged on our trips back in 2013 or 2014 mmm. A long time ago. And we have repeat guests that form those relationships and their friends bat, they do stuff even okay when they’re back home. Uh, and they still,

Jason Murray: 06:54 that relationship that was nurtured here still,

Nicole Mahoney: 06:57 yeah.

Jason Murray: 06:57 Gets nurtured. Um, outside of the tour and travel experience. I love seeing and hearing those relationships that are developing and that’s to me, one of the big rewards, um, for the type of tours we try and operate and what we try to provide to our guests. That’s kind of the unique, okay. Angle that we like to take our, mmm. The guides that I hire. Aye.

Nicole Mahoney: 07:26 Yeah.

Jason Murray: 07:27 I try and find people that have that similar love and passion for providing those unique experiences, various guides with different skills from anthropologists too. MMM. Ultra marathon runner who it was also a pilot. MMM. And he’s a, he’s an amazing guy. And then I have some professional and so my professional photographers and some naturalists, geologists,

Nicole Mahoney: 07:54 yeah.

Jason Murray: 07:54 People from different walks of life and different experiences. One thing that they do, but I see in that eye, I kinda, I hunt for if they, they all can our guests to have those personal experiences and just come away from our tours with that just wow factor that provides them with the desire to

Nicole Mahoney: 08:18 Yep.

Jason Murray: 08:19 Come back and do more in our area or you know, get a greater appreciation for the areas that are going in and visiting or just having that relationship and that one on one friendship that then it continues well on after the tour Rep.

Nicole Mahoney: 08:35 Yeah. I think that’s really awesome. Golden Nuggets. I want to dive in a little bit into some of these. I want to make sure that, that they didn’t miss them. But one of the Aha moments I had as you were speaking, um, was when you talked about the relationships that are developing between people who didn’t know each other before they went on this incredible trip. And I, you know, the Aha for me was there on this trip because they’re both, you know, seeking out this experience for, for whatever reason, um, within them. But just being on the trip gives you this, um, you know, commonality, right? And now you have this shared experience. And I can see how those relationships can, can grow from that. Um, I actually used to own a business that was an adult education company and people used to come to our classes, like they might come take a photography class.

Nicole Mahoney: 09:28 Well, why? Because they wanted to meet other people who were interested in the same thing that they were interested in. So, um, I think that, you know, that this is a really great way for folks to do that. And, uh, I think that was just an awesome point that you made. Um, you actually, Jason have kind of dove right into our questions because we love to talk about creativity on this podcast. And the very first thing that we like to talk about is how do you stand out from a crowd? And you just talked about so many different ways that you are positioning your company to stand out, um, starting with your focus, which I think is incredibly important. And, um, you know, looking to see who you serve and that small group, uh, market is where is where you’ve planted your flag. Um, but then you really went in deep on how you create these experiences and what that means to you and then what that means to your guest.

Nicole Mahoney: 10:21 And so deep that you said it also relates all the way to how you recruit and who you hire for your, um, for your guides. And a, I’m just curious on the, on the guides piece, um, you know, I’m a business owner, you’re a business owner. Finding good staff is, you know, always a challenge. People is, is a huge challenge for, for businesses. Um, and so I’m wondering if you, yeah, so I’m wondering if you have any, um, I dunno, uh, advice or, um, if you could elaborate a little bit on how you find those folks. Um, you know, that have those varied backgrounds, which I just love. They’re very interesting people. So if you’re going to spend, you know, five days, 12 days with somebody to be hanging out with an anthropologist or a naturalist or a pilot would be a really cool, fun thing to do. But then to find those people who have those personalities that can really deliver that wow experience, what are some, some things that you do to try to find them?

Jason Murray: 11:26 Yeah. People they know or associate with. So, mmm. When I first started I did the whole, you know, send it out on indeed and a couple other jobs sites and Aye. It was pretty thorough on my interviews. I’m looking for people, you know, I think I went through I think 15 or 20 guides before I hired my first. Um, I, I did that. And then, um, there was a David, they were working really good. And then I started to grow and I sent out, I had no idea when I started about the international guide academy. Um, there’s one in the one out here in the western United States. There’s one in Denver, Colorado, there’s one over in San Francisco. Um, and then there’s a couple other guys associations. So I, you know, started talking to somebody and I learned about those and so I reached out to them and my next two guides that I hired was actually kind of out of luck.

Jason Murray: 12:36 Um, I, I wasn’t really finding anybody I liked. And then I got a couple of interviews with people and their personality, when you, some people you just talked to and their personality and the way their demeanor is and stuff, you just can tell that they’re the type of person that really takes an interest in the people they’re talking to and the people that are interacting with. Um, and those, those next two guides can, we hired them and we picked him up and they started working for us and there was a, then it just kind of, there was an acquaintance that they knew that they had met through this. And you know, they thought same thing, the personality and stuff and the attention to detail that they have, more importantly the, the care they have for taking care of people. Um, we reached out to them and, and just had some interviews and stuff and it’s taken time.

Jason Murray: 13:39 Um, my biggest thing over the, over the years, it’s a lot of that has to do with relationships and my guides once they really, um, I consider them to be a huge, huge part of my team, obviously because they are the front of my company to face my company that interacts with the customers every day. Um, and I’ve tried really hard to make sure that my guides, no, the vision of what I want to achieve with my guests. And they have taken ownership of their role, um, to the point where they’re looking for people that they think would fit with what we want to accomplish and what we want to achieve as a company and with the experiences we want to provide. And there, right now, the biggest source of qualified guides that are getting referred to me and I, I don’t have a huge staff. I have stuff at 10 guides right now, including myself. So, but you know, if that selection and with the referrals that I’m getting, that the quality of guides that we’ve had is, it was just superb. And I feel blessed to say that a lot of it, I just have to credit to my, my tour guides and the vision that they have in providing us with,

Nicole Mahoney: 15:01 of people that can provide those experiences. I think that’s great that you’ve built up this kind of referral base among, you know, you’re really good guides and that you found those organizations that, you know, if somebody belongs to the International Guide Academy, I would assume that they’re pretty serious about the business and about what they’re doing. So you were able to align yourself with these, um, you know, professional associations and kind of feed the referrals that way. I think that’s really awesome. [inaudible] so Jason, um, I am going to turn this conversation around just a little bit. I love when we’re talking about creativity is to learn from um, some sort of a challenge or some kind of adversity that you might’ve faced, um, in, you know, in your business and then to hear the creative solution that came from it. I think we’re really at our creative best when we’re in that kind of problem solving mode. And I’m wondering if there’s anything that comes to mind that you can share with us. Yeah,

Jason Murray: 16:12 yeah. And really struggled with, one of the things that comes to mind is my vehicles.

Nicole Mahoney: 16:22 MMM.

Jason Murray: 16:23 In the western United States, everything requires driving, um, and it’s none of the short amount of time. Okay. Minor, major airport transfers who destination alone is an hour to two hours of driving. For the most part.

Nicole Mahoney: 16:39 It’s not

Jason Murray: 16:40 something that is easy to do. Back east was

Nicole Mahoney: 16:44 talking to,

Jason Murray: 16:45 to one lady and she,

Nicole Mahoney: 16:47 okay. Aye.

Jason Murray: 16:50 I tend to deal with that from my house to the airport, to my office. Everything’s 15, 20, 25 minutes away. That’s, that’s what a lot of people are used to traveling wise. And so vehicles to me was, uh, was a big issue when I first started, I,

Nicole Mahoney: 17:08 I started out with

Jason Murray: 17:09 tour vans with,

Nicole Mahoney: 17:12 and

Jason Murray: 17:14 after about a year of talking with customers and getting feedback and then

Nicole Mahoney: 17:20 mmm.

Jason Murray: 17:21 Personally sitting in some of them

Nicole Mahoney: 17:23 okay.

Jason Murray: 17:23 For long periods of times.

Nicole Mahoney: 17:25 MMM.

Jason Murray: 17:26 I realized how uncomfortable they were. Um, they just, they weren’t comfortable then. I’ve written in motor coaches and I’ve,

Nicole Mahoney: 17:34 I’ve tried other, um,

Jason Murray: 17:36 different types of vehicles. I was trying to research, which would be best. I couldn’t find ones

Nicole Mahoney: 17:44 off the market

Jason Murray: 17:45 that were comfortable and that we’re enjoyable for people to sit in. Um, you know, having a high roof to be able to not have to bend over when getting an amount of vehicles and different things like that or having enough shoulder room for people like me, I’m pretty broad shouldered. And so sitting, you know, like your experience in the coach class from an airplane where if there’s three people or two people across, everyone’s kind of leaning away from each other to make sure your shoulders aren’t rubbing and stuff. So I kind of just, I looked at that it’s a big problem and it’s a big issue we have to pay attention to. So I started researching, you know, how to customize a van and um, basically I started out with the Chevy vans that you put the roof, um, extension on so you have a higher roof and then putting in captain’s chairs and that was pretty satisfactory.

Jason Murray: 18:43 But then the leg room became an issue because they’re, they just seats were too squished together. So we started looking at different styles of vehicles and I’ve tried the new Ford transits, we’re just coming out and I looked into those and the dodge pro masters and I just wasn’t finding the quality I wanted in the vehicle or the, the type of leg room that I was interested in. And I looked at those new Nissan vans and I actually tried the uh, more like an airport shuttle vehicle for a couple of years and once again, like pretty good. But the leg room was, was still the issue. Um, so what we ended up doing is actually getting, um, Mercedes Benz sprinter vans and a lot of people use those but they put luggage in the back of them. And once again the issue was the wide room. So we actually ended up going with, you know, completely customizing these vehicles.

Jason Murray: 19:45 I’ve had about six different ones that we’ve utilized now when we’ve got a pretty figured out with the type of seats we put in them with the high back in the wide there, there are about 22 inches wide, which is people, a lot of shoulder room and a lot of comfort with the high back. And um, we’ve tried cloth and we’ve tried the leather style and different adding overhead storage, which was another issue. People putting stuff on floors and then having a slide all over the place and misplacing things. So adding the overhead storage and then speakers and air conditioning. And just a lot of changes and adjustments. But after about six years of trying to adjust things, we’ve got it dialed in where that’s actually one of the most enjoyable things that people say about our tours is the transportation is top notch driving from place to place to place.

Jason Murray: 20:46 It’s, it’s enjoyable, it’s relaxing. MMM. They can stretch out. They A, they have that comfort level which just adds and enhances the experienced that there that we are trying to create, um, for them while they’re on our trip. And I, something that we are continually looking at and making small adjustments to, to even make it more enjoyable or pleasurable and listening to the customer’s feedback probably was and still is one of the biggest components of mmm, of our company that we have to be creative and make sure that we’re continually adapting and finding what is going to work best for customers so that they have the best experience.

Nicole Mahoney: 21:32 Yeah. A big thing for me. Yeah. I think that’s a great example of, um, creativity, you know, in the face of a challenge. And, um, it’s, it’s just right in line with where we started this whole conversation, which is, you know, your focus on that wow experience. Um, and, and just being really focused in on the experience. And, um, I thank you for sharing that with us because some of our listeners who, you know, might be some of your suppliers, um, you know, might not be thinking about all of those kinds of details. All of the things that you as a tour operator have to think about when you’re putting together a tour. It’s not just about, uh, you know, the attractions and the places that you’re taking people too, but it’s also about the comfort of those passengers. Um, and especially out, you know, out west with those long drives, I can see where that can become very, very important. So I think that was a, was a great example and I’m so, yeah. So Jason, I’m going to give you a chance to talk a little bit more about your company now. And, uh, what I’d like to know if it’s, are there any new projects or anything that you’re working on in the future? The near future that you’re really excited about, that you’d like to share with us? I know you ate, like which thing do I have to pick? Right. Cause I know you’ve got a lot going on.

Jason Murray: 22:54 Yeah. I’ve really built the company around the hiking kind of varied our product and what we’ve tried to offer people and it’s, we kinda got it dialed in with, you know, focusing, we do really good and we are really good at providing active hiking, scenic in photography tours to our customers. MMM. When we do our private, those are a prescheduled departures.

Jason Murray: 23:29 That’s where we focused in on and we’re really good at that. Um, are, hmm. Our custom private tours that we focus in on and provide for customers, we very things we add in. Okay. Correct. You know, rafting trips or Kenyan or any trips, jeep tours and ATV rides that are hot air balloons stuff, horseback rides, those things enhance it. Um, for new projects. Um, there’s, there’s a few things we keep having customers come back. And what else do you have? What, what else can we do for you? So we’re, we’re expanding into different areas in the western United States. We just launched our Oregon mmm. Weeklong, Oregon Tours, hiking adventures that we have. And that’s, that’s a, a place I’ve come to love over the last few years. I’ve really enjoyed, Oregon has a phenomenal, not range with the cascades up in there. Uh, also along the beach and the coast.

Jason Murray: 24:33 There’s some amazing hiking opportunities along the beach there. All the beach front is public land and so you have access to be able to go and get out in different areas and explore things. Um, but not only that, but there’s, there’s also the history and the culture. There’s just some really unique things. MMM. Wild by flies and, uh, just the environment itself. Biologically it’s such a diverse region. Uh, going from one side, from the, what, what I’m going to call the west side to the dry side from the, the west side, the east side, there’s just a huge variation within a few hours of driving. And we just were really excited. A couple of other things is, or one others thing that we’d have up and coming in. This just happened. Um, or the last two weeks, uh, I was approached by, mmm. Somebody that has a lot of experience in the travel industry. You wanted to join the team and bring his experience and skills and relationships to the table. My company grow and be more affective, better, um, as a whole. And I’m really excited to see our team grow and see our company have opportunities too. Okay. Provide even better experiences to our customers in the future.

Nicole Mahoney: 26:05 That’s awesome. Yeah. Great Opportunity when you can have, you know, new team members come on board, especially ones that have that industry experience. And, um, I also think that this, you know, your expansion into Oregon is, is really interesting because you have this customer base and they keep

Jason Murray: 26:24 coming back and asking you for more experiences and they want your style of experience. Right. And so you’re, yeah. So you’re looking at, at new product that you can develop and, and I’m wondering if you could talk just a little bit about how you develop that new product. You, you sort of,

Nicole Mahoney: 26:43 it, um,

Jason Murray: 26:44 as you were talking about the Oregon, uh, tours that you’re putting together and how you’ve really come to love that part of the country. Um, so, so what is your process? How do you go into developing new products like that? Things in the areas I haven’t personally experienced? Um, part of it is because for me, um, the sales experience, yeah, it’s a trust issue. Like when a customer comes to me, they are putting their trust and faith in me to provide them with the best experience possible. Um, and there’s a relationship that develops and I’m still small enough, but I can say I, I personally talk almost every customer, um, at least once I have at least one interaction with that customer prior to, during or after there toward occurs. Um, which I know may not always be possible in the future, but I am, there’s a relationship that I, I tried to develop with you to these customers and we, in what I’m selling things I, I’m a strong believer in being able to sell it variances and mmm.

Jason Murray: 28:11 Tivity some things that I, I personally know about and I can share. Yes, I’ve been there. I know, hey, you can see this and you’re going to be able to do this. So, um, Oregon I’ve had with the Oregon stuff, I’ve had the opportunity to go and explorer. There are multiple times over the last five years, uh, first with sports illustrated when we were doing mmm. Uh, logistical stuff for them and that it was basically, I spent almost about a good month exploring around that Oregon area and a little bit in Washington in northern California. And I just started falling in love with it the first time I’ve ever been there. And then I’ve, and able to go back repeatedly, multiple times. And then, uh, as I’ve gotten into the travel industry more meeting the Oregon, uh, salespeople at the different tours, things we go to, different trade shows and, and they actually having the opportunity and pleasure being hosted there for mmm. A meeting and, and being shown around like it just, I’ve learned more and more and I’ve, I keep looking at things and it’s about, uh, it was honestly about a five year process to develop the itineraries that we have now, mmm. To really figure out what we wanted do and accomplish there and to make sure it would fit in line with the rest of the product we offer. And that it would be the type of quality and experience that our customers have come to expect from us.

Nicole Mahoney: 29:56 Exactly how I would have expected or imagined that you would have developed the product as, you know, that firsthand experience being so important to you, uh, in terms of what you’re selling to your customers. But then also I liked that you mentioned those, you know, uh, deemos are the, are those folks from the industry, from that area of the country and the role that they played, um, you know, to help you understand what the opportunities were out there and perhaps to help you maybe fine tune or put the finishing touches on those itineraries. And, um, I think that’s just a really great example of how those, you know, how that relationship works between tour and travel and, and the tourism industry.

Jason Murray: 30:39 Absolutely. Both. Yeah, I would, I don’t think you can be successful, but it would be a lot more difficult. Yeah. Those industry partners are huge to our success.

Nicole Mahoney: 30:57 Yeah, absolutely. And that is a perfect segue into the next topic that I like to cover on this show, which is this whole idea of collaboration and what I called mentioned it earlier, this whole idea of coopertition, which I think is just such a unique piece of the travel industry where these perceived competitors or actual competitors come together and work together to create something that they couldn’t have done on their own. And I’m, I’m wondering if you can describe for us a time when a collaboration like that worked for you.

Jason Murray: 31:37 That’s another one. I kept looking at that and trying to think what would be the best example for this. Um, I guess the big thing, okay. Southern Utah, this area, um, there’s, uh, we’re all fighting for the same guest wanting to travel to these areas. Um, as tour operators and things like that, there’s a lot of, I guess there’s a lot of repetitiveness in some areas where like there may be a, I’m going to use a mobile app for example. I think that would be a, a great example. Um, my lab is a fantastic, phenomenal destination. MMM. With Arches and Canyon Lands National Park right there. I’m grand junction. Colorado has, you know, the Colorado National Monument right there. You have monuments valley, mmm. Natural Bridges National Monument [inaudible] National Monument. It’s, it’s a huge for people wanting to go and explore that whole region. Um, and the, uh, and also right there in that four corners region.

Jason Murray: 32:52 I mean, on top of that idea have, uh, the grant, or I’m sorry, Pam Staircase Escalante monuments right there, canyons to the agent who’ve been weeds and stuff. So there’s just, there’s a ton of stuff to do. And, um, the operators that I work with in Moab, I’ve, this is where I think I can see your cooperative Titian um, really, um, just showing where that really is successful. Um, in small markets like this where when you’re in a town of your big town out here is 10,000 people, your average town size is like one to 2000 people. So everyone, everyone knows everyone. And if your bringing people into those destinations, um, like you have to develop those relationships with those businesses in the same business I might be using to help with the rafting trip or with an ATV tour or with, you know, the glamping trip, which we have really enjoyed the opportunities we’ve had.

Jason Murray: 34:04 Um, we utilize local suppliers and areas to be able to provide those services. Um, and the company that we’re working with could very well take the customer’s information, reach out to them under tab me basically still the customer if they want it to. Um, it’s, it’s, it’s happened before, not personally to me, but I’ve heard some horror stories of people that have tried to work with their competitor to achieve things like that, adding, ending up, getting the short end of the stick. And I just, I have to say with the couple operators that I’ve worked with in destination in those areas, um, providing multiday rafting trips for our clients, providing, um, those glamping experiences where we’re doing more of just kind of the transportation and the high level planning, but they’re the ones actually providing the, the final product because they’re the best data in the area and that’s what our customers are asking for. So utilizing them and having those relationships, I’ve been going back to the same companies for the six years that I’ve been in operation and that, that relationship, yeah, they can reach out and they could be marketing to my customer directly, but they have that respect and then we have that greater relationship where they don’t do that. Um, so we, we built some packages like that and we deal with those, those relationships. It’s, it’s very,

Nicole Mahoney: 35:38 very successful. Yeah, I think that’s a, that’s a, that’s a really good example. And again, I’m good insight into a little bit about how you know, your company, but in tour and travel, um, you know, those different types of outfitters or have tour guides or have experiences and how you put all of that together. And yes, you could be competing against each other, um, but really does work better for, uh, for the customer, you know, when you can collaborate and cooperate in that way. I think that’s a really, really great example. Um, and so Jason, this has been a fantastic conversation as I knew it would be. And I have one more question to ask you before I let you go. Um, and uh, that is just kind of talking about in this whole conversation has actually really been a themed around relationships, right? Uh, you know, all of the relationships that you’re developing, whether with your customers, with your employees, with these, um, you know, partners of yours that we just talked about or the suppliers. And so I’m wondering if you have any advice for our listeners, um, as to how they can best develop relationships like that. What are some things that that really work for you to, to really nurture those relationships?

Nicole Mahoney: 37:00 I like to ask her questions.

Jason Murray: 37:06 Biggest thing for me, just being open. MMM. Yeah. You got Trust. Trust is a huge issue. I see is I’d been in business over the last six years. I just think I seen a lot of different, but the biggest thing I’ve seen that has been most successful for me who’s been trust. MMM. You start building a relationship. You have to put yourself out there. Okay. I hate to use the, the analogy of dating. Yeah. Yeah. To be successful on the dating market, you got to put yourself out there. You got to, you gotta be willing to put your trust in somebody else and be willing to, mmm. Give them the opportunity. Two either help you or hurt you, so to speak. Okay. MMM. And you were in pretty quick, uh, companies or the individuals that are not there. Four. Okay. Betterment of the entire community, but more out there for yourself. I’m selves. And then you find those pretty quick are really out there for the betterment of the entire tourism industry or the betterment of everyone in there. Spear of influence, so to speak. Um, I’ve been really lucky to join some associations and have some relationships in some industry. MMM. Partnerships like travel alliance partners. Phenomenal. Okay.

Nicole Mahoney: 38:42 It was a huge shout out

Jason Murray: 38:45 to music. Fantastic example. People who are out there there

Nicole Mahoney: 38:51 to enhance

Jason Murray: 38:53 and build up the industry as a whole and anybody that they can reach out and influence those groups of tour operators are phenomenal to work with.

Nicole Mahoney: 39:04 Okay.

Jason Murray: 39:04 I’ve only been on there for about two and a half years.

Nicole Mahoney: 39:07 MMM.

Jason Murray: 39:08 But they’ve just, they’ve been amazing to work with and their willingness to share their industry knowledge. I mean, some of these guys have been in for 30, 40 plus years. MMM. [inaudible] a wealth of knowledge and somebody that I can turn to and ask questions and get sick suggestions and recommendations.

Nicole Mahoney: 39:26 Yeah.

Jason Murray: 39:26 And get solutions. Issues.

Nicole Mahoney: 39:29 Okay.

Jason Murray: 39:30 Bem through time and time again that it, they’re still new for me. MMM.

Nicole Mahoney: 39:35 But not only them, other associations and relationships I’ve built. MMM. What’s different interactions that I’ve had to just those relationships, if you’re willing to, yeah. Put forth the effort and seek those out. They’re there, there to find it takes time and, and a little willingness to, they said you got to put yourself out there, but in the end you can, the results have been fantastic for me. Yeah. I think that’s great. I love that that you talked about, you know, being open and putting your trust in people and finding those people who you can trust but being willing, you know, to trust, to trust enough to test the waters. Right. And that to be a, basically, you didn’t say it this way, but not to be afraid, right. To Trust. Put your trust in someone and very quickly you’ll, you’ll learn, um, you know who those good, good partners are.

Nicole Mahoney: 40:31 Those good relationships are, I think that’s really awesome. So this has been a fabulous conversation as I knew it would be. You are a wealth of information. I know you keep pointing out, you’ve only been in the business for six years, but, uh, you are, you know, definitely, uh, have a lot, a lot to offer, a lot of insight. I love your thoughtfulness and how you’ve built your business and in your openness with a sharing with our listeners. So thank you, Jason, so much for being on today and we’ll look forward to checking in with you again.

Jason Murray: 41:03 Yeah, you’re welcome, Nicole, and thanks you for having me be a part of your show. It’s, it’s been okay.Nicole Mahoney: 41:09 Great experience and a help to do it again. Thank you.

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