Fairest Cape Meander Tours is a tour operator with wheels, offering tours and transfers in and around the Western Cape. Owner, Cathy Oosterwyk gives us insight into her business and how it came about.
Q&A with Cathy Oosterwyk
How did the idea for your business come about?
I became a tour guide in 2005 and then went and established my own Tour Operator company.
How did you come up with the name for your company?
I live in one of the most beautiful cities in the world and love showing tourists the amazing experiences we have to offer, so the Fairest Cape (beauty of WC) & Meander (experiences).
Who is your ideal customer and why?
Everyone from the luxury traveller to the adventure traveller and the budget traveller. We have the experience to give all of the above the very best tours and service as we aim to please and make it memorable.
Why do you offer the very best experience/product for your customers?
We have our own in-house tour guides, hand-picked by me and dedicated to our brand. We own our own luxury vehicles which are always in very good condition. We know all the Western Cape destinations – both the popular and unique – and we offer personalised tours, which we will agree with the client before the time.
What is your greatest hope for your business?
That after this pandemic we can grow our customer base and increase employment, as these past two years were devastating for tour guides, especially as they had no income from day 1 of the pandemic and are still suffering.
What has been the most satisfying achievement in your business?
That as an SMME who started as a tour guide in 2005 with one vehicle, I now own a fleet of nine vehicles – from the small H1 to the busses! I employ nine staff and have been able to pay them full salaries throughout the pandemic as I have secured local work with some of my vehicles, which has secured monthly income every month. These families have not had to suffer the blow to tourism!
What advice would you give to other entrepreneurs who want to get into tourism?
It is hard work if you want to succeed. Be honest in your B2B dealings as it will give you a very good reputation, which will take you to another level in your business.
If you could have a do-over, what would you do differently?
I would not do anything differently, just train new freelance tour guides to always be their best as this is what makes the tours a success.