As Covid-19 restrictions are eased this week, one Shropshire family business is celebrating being back on the road heartened by the support it received during the pandemic.
Wisteria Tours, which specialises in giving its customers unique visits to famous gardens and historic homes in coach tours from its Shropshire base, had to run a very limited service during the pandemic and no tours at all during lockdown.
Now the company, run by sisters Jacky and Sue Burnell, is celebrating getting back into full swing with the ‘We’re Good to Go’ UK Government award showing it has met Government Covid-19 standards for the tourism and hospitality business.
Jacky said it meant they had been able to launch a full programme of tours – within Covid restrictions – for 2022.
“We are all exhausted after the pandemic experience but also uplifted by the amount of support we had from our customers and suppliers. People were just pulling together and doing the best they could to create as good an experience as possible.
“It’s been a very emotional and challenging time, but we have survived and would like to say a huge thank you to all our loyal customers and suppliers who supported us,” said Jacky.
She explained that the 2022 programme had been put together with both caution and optimism putting customer safety and comfort as the top priority and looking forward to a return to normal travelling.
“We are small family firm and we take a huge amount of care in our planning to give a unique experience in visiting enchanting locations.
“The original tour company was launched by my mother in 2006 as Gardeners’ Delight after she got together with some of her keen gardening friends to visit some of the best gardens in the UK and it grew from there.
“My sister and I came into the business in 2016 and set up Wisteria Tours keeping the small, family feel to the tours and taking in historic homes and places of interest as well as beautiful gardens. Our mother, Jackie Crick, is still involved helping with the marketing and designing the tours,” said Jacky.
Wisteria Tours has launched its programme from April to August to include a three day tour to Wales, four days in the Isle of Wight, a five-day Scottish adventure and four days in the gardens of the South East.
Pictured: The Wisteria Tours team, left to right, Jackie Crick, Sue and Jacky Burnell