West Coast Sightseeing & Big Bus Join Hands
Monday, March 26
Dear Vancouver Tourism Family,
Effective April 1, we are happy to announce that Big Bus and West Coast Sightseeing will be working together to bring you the best of Hop-On Hop-Off and Sightseeing Tours in the Vancouver market.
There will be an open reception today at the Tourism Vancouver Visitors Centre from 12:00 – 2:00 so please join us.
We will combine our enthusiasm for showing visitors around town and operate with two distinct and expert divisions. The opportunities in a partnership are obvious and we are ready to implement the benefits this season. Our focus on core competencies, while at the same time being able to offer a full product line to tourists, hotels, concierge and wholesalers, means we can leverage many great and longstanding relationships, coordinate the delivery of best in class tour experiences and offer more choices for tourism locally.
“West Coast learned a great deal last year as we entered the Hop-On Hop-Off business with the Pink Bus. We gained great respect for the Big Bus operations and staff and saw that open top buses are a huge hit with tourists when the weather is sunny and the novelty and vantage point of the double deckers works best in inclement weather. Partnering with Living Earth Ecotours and Big Bus for Hop-On Hop-Off is going to be great in Vancouver.“ says Rob Safrata of West Coast.
Hans Klassen of Big Bus said, “At Big Bus, we have always admired the range of products and fun attitude at West Coast Sightseeing and look forward to infusing all of these great attributes at Big Bus. The combined fleet and management group will open up lots of opportunities locally.”
We will be in touch with suppliers and associates asap and can be reached personally at:
Hans Klassen– 604-690-5589
Rob Safrata – 604-880-1900
See Frequently Asked Questions below:
Q: What does this mean for Vancouver tourists?
A: More choice, more frequency, better value, better service, more fun!
Q: What will be the specific benefits to customers?
- For the Hop-On Hop-Off business:
- We will be able to offer greater frequency
- On sunny days – open tops will be available
- On rainy days – double deckers will be featured
- Old buses will go to old-bus heaven
- For the Tour Business:
- Increased capacity on all tours.
- Increased flexibility –Sprinters available for smaller groups and overflow.
- A couple special announcements coming soon!
- Benefits of partnership:
- Special packages to suppliers and associates
- Central point of contact
- Driver Guide Excellence: With almost double the number of driver guides – we have a revamped a best in class team training program to dazzle your guests and ensure a great experience.
Q: What will be the benefits to hotel concierge and staff?
- Single point of contact available 14 hours/day for service and solutions.
- Formation of an Industry Committee to advise on our products and service delivery.
Q: How will the companies be run?
The Big Bus Team will focus on Hop-On Hop-Off operations and sales and West Coast Sightseeing will focus on Tours.
Reservations, sales, accounting, payables, fleet and maintenance will be brought together for greater efficiency and coordination. These efficiencies can then be used for the fleet, driver guide training and tour development.
Q: Who are the owners of the partnership?
This is a partnership of industry veterans, proven players and experienced executives.
Tim Bourassa (Operations): Tim has been raised in the tour industry, starting by handing out brochures as a kid on the streets of Toronto. “I have goose bumps about the services we can offer with the combined fleet and talent within the two industry leaders!”
Maria Foo (Accounting): For the past 2 seasons Maria has enjoyed the experience of being a part of the West Coast Sightseeing family and their focus on service quality. “The learnings and improvements have been continuous and I look forward to the partnership with Big Bus as the next phase in this journey. The individual philosophies and skill-sets of our combined team are complementary and everyone can expect us to continue to deliver ‘dazzling memories and experiences’.
Hans Klassen: As a co-founder of Big Bus, Hans has been striving to provide the best service possible at all levels of our business. “The partnership of these two sightseeing businesses will result in many synergies and lots of choices for our visitors. Big Bus and Pink Bus will harmonize their routing to allow for a much lower carbon footprint per guest, together with a much higher frequency than would otherwise be possible. I am very much looking forward to working with the entire team, with the common goal of having fun, and transferring that happiness to anyone we come into contact with”
Blaise Sack (Sales & Marketing): Blaise has been a passionate member of the tourism industry and West Coast Sightseeing for 3 years. “The energy, enthusiasm, and drive to provide service excellence is exciting in our West Coast/ Big Bus partnership. I’m really looking forward to working together!”
Errol Sack (Concierge & Wholesale): For the last 8 years Errol has enjoyed promoting a company he believes in. He has developed great relationships with so many people in the industry. “I look forward to working with Big Bus to strengthen the services we deliver and creatively work toward making our industry an even tighter community.”
Rob Safrata: Rob is a newcomer to the tourism industry and hopes to emphasize and expand the guests’ experience in all the offerings of the company.”Partnering with Big Bus is a great chance to be involved with a top team and to excel in Hop-On Hop-Off and tour products locally.”
McKay Wood (Sales & Marketing): For the past 6 years McKay has been creating exceptional experiences for guests and working closely with industry partners. “This collaboration will allow our collective strengths to support and uplift all those we associate with. I am very excited to work with such a talented and dynamic team.”
Q: Why did you decide to partner?
Big Bus and West Coast Sightseeing agreed to join together because we are most excited about customer satisfaction and product excellence. We are truly keen on the opportunities this partnership will bring to the local tourism market and to you, our associates. “If you can’t beat em, join em”
Q: How will questions and concerns be handled? Who do I call?
As before, our reservations staff will be available from 7:00 am until 10:00pm to address any and all questions. Special requests will be handled by key partners.