> FLOW TRAVEL
A BOUTIQUE OFFERING OUT OF AFRICA THAT’S GOING PLACES
A BOUTIQUE OFFERING OUT OF AFRICA THAT’S GOING PLACES
When Tara Turkington, CEO of marketing agency Flow Communications, was asked to arrange a visit for a few people to South Africa, nobody realised it was the genesis of something remarkable.
Flow Travel organises exciting, immersive trips for small groups to wherever our guests lead us. We like to do things that are out of the ordinary, like this food tour through Ho Chi Minh City on the back of scooters
It was 2018 and Tara was at a conference held by the Women Presidents Organization in Orlando, USA, where a group of American entrepreneurs asked her if she would help them to discover South Africa.
The visitors could hardly have found a better candidate for the job. Tara is herself a keen traveller (check out her Instagram account, @taraturk1), and Flow Communications is a specialist in the travel and tourism marketing arena.
Life is short, so you should experience as much as you can and have fun doing it. Here, a guest gets the feel of what life was like for the Viet Cong in the Cu Chi tunnels during the Vietnam War
From promoting world-class attractions such as the Table Mountain Aerial Cableway and five-star safari destinations, to providing marketing services to local, provincial and national tourism bodies around Southern Africa, Flow is steeped in travel.
Tara knew that she’d have to make it an unforgettable trip – anything else just wouldn’t do – so she studied to become a tour guide, then put together a bespoke three-week holiday.
By the end of their trip, the group was unanimous: Tara should create Flow Travel (they even suggested the name) and plan their next trip, this time to Asia. Flow Travel has grown quickly and is now known for its personalised service, can-do approach and creativity in designing itineraries.
It’s headed up by Janice Keeton, who has more than 30 years’ experience in the travel industry. Janice’s knowledge of global travel and her attention to detail, whether it’s in helping plan anything from flights and transfers to multicountry trips, is invaluable.
The Zambezi River Gorge separates Zambia and Zimbabwe - two of our favourite countries to send visitors to
Flow’s managing director, Tiffany TurkingtonPalmer, believes that Flow Travel is the perfect addition to the Flow Group, alongside Flow Communications.
“It makes a lot of sense to branch into travel. For years, we’ve assisted tourism businesses to grow and be profitable, and so we’re geared to do the same for Flow Travel. True to form for us, of course, Flow Travel is not quite like any other travel operation!” says Tiffany.
Flow Travel's trips are typically small, intimate and bespoke - to wherever you'd like to go in the world
“Flow is by nature restless, and we’re always looking for new opportunities and new ways of doing things. And, as with marketing and communications, travel is in our blood – so that first request to arrange a trip was irresistible.”
To be clear, Flow Travel is not a travel agency; it doesn’t exist to book flights or package holidays. Rather, it’s a specialist provider of unique travel experiences tailored to its clients’ particular interests, allowing them to go and do, as opposed to only go and see.
So, you won’t visit Argentina to merely see the tango – you’ll learn it yourself. Or you’ll discover Vietnam through an immersive food tour. Or you’ll visit the Cradle of Humankind with a paleoanthropologist who’s helped to discover a new hominin species. Or you won’t just see the Namib Desert, you’ll enjoy a special dinner in the dunes, surrounded by hundreds of flickering candles.
The Angkor Wat temple in Cambodia is somewhere to put on your bucketlist!
Flow Travel is agile, offering both inbound and outbound trips to just about anywhere. Trips already planned for 2022, for example, include Argentina, Chile, Montreal, New York, Malta, Paris, Brussels and, of course, multiple African destinations – in South Africa, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Mauritius and further afield.
To make these adventures possible, Flow Travel has partnered with a network of tourism providers the world over, and supports local businesses and communities wherever its clients go.
It lives out its ethical travel statement in this regard: “Our ethos is to be informed and mindful of every destination, supplier and activity that is suggested or requested to ensure there are positive choices and outcomes.’’
“We believe in supporting local entrepreneurs and communities that will benefit from the business. Activities are encouraged that do not exploit the local fauna and flora and will have little impact on the environment and habitats.”
This personalised approach – which is counterintuitive, considering the proliferation of online travel services – has stood Flow Travel in good stead throughout the global Covid-19 pandemic, allowing it to thrive at a time when so many other tourism-focused businesses have been devastated.
Travel is not ultimately about places or activities, it’s about people. And for Flow Travel, it’s about surprising and delighting clients with experiences and personal touches that they might never otherwise enjoy, and that they will never forget.
Life is short,” Tara points out. “So we aim to make every trip a once-in-a-lifetime adventure.”