On February 14, Uniglobe Carefree Travel will celebrate 30 years in business. Thanks to “Google”, I have learned that 66% of businesses fail within the first 10 years. 30 years in business seems like a good time to reflect on what I have learned and what has made us successful.
1. Take a chance. Uniglobe Carefree Travel was started by a wonderful couple; Ed and Karen Buchholz. For some reason, 21 years ago, they decided to take a chance on an 18 year old girl who had no experience in the travel industry. They went on to be incredible role models and mentors and 10 years ago encouraged me to take on ownership of their company when they began to look at an exit plan. The foresight and trust they had in my abilities is still remarkable to me. To Ed and Karen – thank you for taking a chance on me and for encouraging me to take a chance on myself.
2. Adaptability and ability to manage change. When I think back to when I first started in this industry, it astounds me how far we have come. I remember the days before we had email and online booking engines, when we were still able to handwrite tickets. I remember when you didn’t need a passport to travel to the United States or Mexico. I remember travelling to foreign countries with no Facebook, Instagram, internet, email, 24 hour accessibility, cell phones or digital photos to timeline every moment…..when you just took in every moment and enjoyed it. I remember buying guidebooks to plan a trip, right down to train times because there was no “Google”. The travel industry has survived the Internet, 9/11 and numerous other obstacles and we have not only survived, we have thrived and we continue to grow.
3. Local, hands on ownership. Unlike many larger consortia, UNIGLOBE Travel has remained a 100% Canadian owned company and our Uniglobe Carefree Franchise has remained not only 100% Canadian owned, but 50% Saskatchewan owned and 100% managed by local ownership. The ability to make decisions at a local level means we can offer personalized service and immediate service resolution to our valued clients. Whether you travel for business or pleasure, we know the Saskatchewan and Canadian marketplace and we have built our company around the ability to manage that business. We employ 21 people full time in Saskatoon and we actively support the local economy.
4. We give back. At a local level, we support charities such as the Food Bank, the Friendship Inn, Local Companies that Care and countless others through donations of money, time and products. At a regional level, Uniglobe Travel Western Canada supports popular travel destinations through a “give back” project each year. The past two years, we have fixed up schools in Mexico. At an International level, we have supported PLAN Canada and UNIGLOBE’s “The Laurie Radloff Foundation” (in conjunction with PLAN)for many years – mainly through their “Because I am a Girl” campaign. In addition to charities, we also participate on boards and committees that improve our industry and our communities, such as ACTA (the association of Canadian Travel Agencies), the NSBA, the Chamber and the Air Services Group.
5. Our Culture. Our people make us special. We work hard and we like to have fun. We recognize that without our employees taking such great care of our clients, we would never have gotten to where we are today. We thrive on the knowledge that our customer service sets the industry standard and make sure we go above and beyond for each and every client. You aren’t just another sale to us, you are our friends, our family, our community and we care about your travels as we would our own.
We welcome you to come in to either of our locations and say hello to our staff and see our difference for yourself.
You can find us at:
Circle Drive – 4-415 Circle Drive East
Sutherland – 2-800 Central Avenue
Jamie Angus Milton