Travel guru expanding our horizons
AFTER a number of years as owner of Helloworld Ipswich City Mall, Suraj H Arachchige has expanded his business interest to include Redbank Plaza Helloworld.
He is a man who is passionate about bringing the best in travel service to each of his stores.
Helloworld Ipswich City Mall and his Redbank Plaza outlet are independently owned and operated.
"This is not a franchise," he said.
"These are my own businesses but we work under the brand of Helloworld.
"I like their flexibility and the support that comes from head office. It is a great organisation to be associated with."
Helloworld has been established out of a number of very successful businesses including groups like Harvey World Travel, AMX, Jetset and Travelworld along with a range of others.
"Rather than all being different entities the businesses decided to market under one name. We don't just do flights or cruises but we say 'hello world'," he said.
Formerly Nolan's Travelworld Ipswich, Helloworld is pride of place on Ipswich City Mall as a destination travel service.
They specialise in group travel and corporate and business travel, whether you are travelling by yourself or with a group, they will take care of your travel needs.
Mr Arachchige has recently acquired the Redbank Plaza store after Gary Ellerton sold the business, one he had operated for 20 years.
"It is business as usual there, Gary is still managing the store and is well known to the many loyal customers in the area," Mr Arachchige said.
"Gary is beginning transition to semi- retirement. I am doing a full revamp of the store to freshen it up, but the same high level of service will be the cornerstone.
"The travel industry has changed a lot, with emphasis on the internet and online booking services. You still need a human to ensure you get the finer details and the benefit of the experience."
Mr Arachchige comes from a strong IT background.
Involved in programming and systems designing, he has a great understanding of just how powerful the internet can be.
"Why I say you need a human involved in the detailed world of travel is because computers are based on algorithms so the computer will suggest outcomes based on what it is told," he said.
His love for travel and the experience he shares with his team provides that local knowledge.
"I have over 10 years experience and before that I have undertaken a lot of travel. I have been to over 40 countries, done the tourist things and been on back roads and seen the country.
"Coming to us that is what you get: deep knowledge and our ability to work with you to map out your perfect trip," he said.
"Today people are looking for value for money and they are open to other destinations like the usually popular USA, UK, and Europe. The Australian dollar dropping, world events, it all affects where people go."
He is committed to be in the current location and is looking forward to seeing what the new-look Ipswich mall brings.