Susan and Gary Hearst founded what became Tempo Holidays in 1990. Originally known as Yalla Tours this business began life as niche market wholesaler specialising in the exotic destinations of the Middle East. During the 18 years of our ownership and management of Tempo Holidays the company went from an unknown, small niche market player in the Australian travel industry into a medium sized business with high industry recognition, employing 100 staff and a turnover in excess of $60million.
It was sold in late 2008 to Cox & Kings. For the 18 years during which the Hearsts owned and ran the business, Susan, with a background in social and community work was primarily involved with the development and choice of the product side, including the publication of the brochures and the formation and maintenance of the relationships with our product suppliers. Susan also played a key role in the personnel side of the business.
Naturally as co-owners the Hearsts were also involved in all aspects of the marketing of the business including relationships with key customers and suppliers. The degree of acceptance and recognition was highlighted in 2004 when Tempo Holidays won the ‘Best International Wholesaler’ award for the second consecutive year. Tempo Holidays was a market leader in the adoption of new travel technologies. This revolutionised Tempo’s capacity to transact online, and Tempo Holidays was the first wholesaler in Australia to offer agents a full online booking engine, a process in which both Susan and Gary were closely involved.
At Tempo Holidays the Hearsts aimed to be an Employer of Choice, and to provide a fun filled and satisfying work environment, acknowledging the high levels of stress that staff encountered frequently in their day to day roles. Knowledge and experience, and a staff reflecting the total diversity of the Australian travel industry were key factors in the company’s success story. Today Susan is involved in the development and evolution of Webcarhire an online car rental aggregator owned by the Hearst family. Susan is also a Director and Vice-President of the Board of Emmy Monash Aged Care, a leader in the not-for-profit aged care sector.