21 years ago, in 1994, Wendy Wu (a petroleum chemistry graduate) visited American Express Travel in Carlingford and told the owner, Barry Alsop, that she wanted to escort a group to China. Tourism in China was in a state of transition. Only a lucky few had witnessed the stunning beauty of the terraced rice paddies of Yuanyang County, or been confronted by the sheer magnitude of the Terracotta Army in Xian. Not impressed by the proposal, Barry instructed Wendy to come back once she had gathered her group. He certainly looked surprised when Wendy returned just a few months later, all set to depart!
Looking back at this time, Wendy reflects; “When I led my first group to China in 1994 I thought that I might be able to grow my collection of tours to include two or three different itineraries…21 years later, I have almost 70 group itineraries to almost all countries in Asia.”
From this small beginning, Wendy continued to build her empire. In 1996 she added Vietnam to her list of destinations. She also established a local office in China to cater for her China Highlights tour. Wendy had a simple philosophy, to provide popular and comfortable packages with exceptional value – a value that still holds true today.
With the blessings of her former manager, a continued mentor and friend, Ms Wendy Wu established her company – Wendy Wu Tours – in 1998. A year on, Wendy Wu Tours was operating in Sydney’s CBD, with 3 staff dedicating their time to manage the day to day operations of the business (all of whom continue to work with Wendy today!).
The new millennium saw continued growth for the company. It was in 2000 that the first Wendy Wu Tours China & Vietnam brochure was printed.
In 2004, the company’s touring options expanded further in to Asia with the incorporation of India. A London office was opened in 2005 and New York office in 2010. Earlier this year, a Wendy Wu Tours office was set up in Auckland.
In 2014 Wendy Wu Tours were selected to operate Singapore Airlines Holidays in Australia, a very proud moment as it measured the high standards set for the company. For the past three years Wendy Wu Tours has been nominated as Best International Tour Operator in Australia at the prestigious National Travel Industry Awards.
Wendy was one of the pioneers of group travel to China and her passion for showing people around her home country and surrounds is the same today as it was 21 years ago; “I am still as excited and enthralled by the prospect of exploring the countries that make up this fascinating and beautiful region of the world.” However, Wendy’s never one to take all of the credit; “our tours would be nowhere near as successful if it wasn’t for our amazing National Escorts and Local Guides…a small army of dedicated professionals of whom we are exceptionally proud!”
Wendy Wu Tours now offer a wide variety of fully inclusive group tours, private tours and tailor-made holidays to Central and Southeast Asia, China, Japan, India, Taiwan, Mongolia and South Korea. We’ve developed strong relationships with airlines, hotels and local ground partners to provide the best level of service and we continue to push boundaries and think of new ways to create unique travel experiences that our customers will remember for life…
Mr and Mrs Williams, Highlights of Sri Lanka, April 2013.
“After doing seven or eight tours with Wendy Wu Tours, over a period of 12 years we have noticed a vast improvement with each tour. Our recent tour of Sri Lanka would stand out as our best in all aspects…coaches, hotels, food and hospitality and an extremely first class tour guide. Once again, thank you for a great tour and we are hoping for many more.”