It’s ten years since Jurgen Himmelmann started his business, The Global Work & Travel Co, from his family’s Gold Coast garage.
In the decade that has passed, Himmelmann has grown his business steadily, capitalising on the millennial market and their passion for travel. Thanks to the rise of travel apps and booking sites, planning a holiday has never been easier, yet Himmelmann’s business continues to thrive in a tough market. By working with agencies across the globe, Global Work & Travel Co. offers millennial travellers the ability to connect with employers wherever they go. They ensure when travellers arrive in a new country, they have an agency looking out for them for the duration of their stay.
When Himmelman launched the brand in 2008 the plan was to offer global working holidays and volunteer experiences, as well as teaching and au pair placements for first-time travellers. The business capitalised on young Aussies passion for a gap year and Global Work & Travel Co has long since outgrown its humble garage beginnings.
Today the company has over 100 employees worldwide and offices in the UK and Canada. In the ten years since its inception, Global Work & Travel Co has provided itineraries and support for more than 40,000 Global Travellers.
“We’re offering youth travellers the ability to not only choose from our number of meaningful trips all over the world but, offer support from the first moment they become one of our Global Travellers,” Himmelmann says.
The business now offers a 24-hour service to ensure they are available to customers whenever needed and Himmelmann says the brand has embraced technology to further its services. In 2016 they launched a custom built platform gForce, followed by a consumer platform gWorld in 2017. Himmelman says the tech has allowed them to streamline their offering.
“To provide a traveller with high-quality service, we need to gather details for visa applications, passports etc. gForce collates this data prior to our Travel Experts making contact to ensure a streamlined booking process,” Himmelmann explained.
The Global Work & Travel Co. offers a ‘one-stop’ premium service that allows travellers to pick the destination of their dreams, obtain visa and pre-arrival assistance, book flights, organise travel insurance, accommodation assistance and ensure they have all the tools they need to feel like a local in their chosen country.
The platform has proved exceptionally popular with women. 60 per cent of travellers from the last three years have been female, with 68 per cent of customers choosing a working holiday.
Himmelmann suggests The Global Work & Travel Co. offers peace of mind and someone to call should travellers need support while away from home.
“72 per cent of our travellers are aged between 18-25 years old and engage our services so they have a trip coordinator on hand at all times. Our team can offer support, introductions to locals and help should our travellers need it at any time while they are away,” Himmelmann said.
The founder has also expanded the reach of the brand to include philanthropic work with the launch of The Global Foundation.
The foundation actively supports animal welfare groups including Animal Welfare League QLD and in 2014 opened ‘Rescue Paws’ in Thailand, an organisation that desexes vaccinates and rehomes street dogs.
“We have provided medical care to more than 5,000 animals in Thailand and relocated and rehomed 170 dogs to Canada in 2017 alone. We have two staff on the payroll in Canada who find homes for Thai shelter dogs in Canada and work with our Thai team to ensure all animals are fit for travel,” Himmelmann says.
While Himmelmann suggests the Gap Year pathway may have changed over the years, The Global Work & Travel Co’s ability to provide on-demand expert support has ensured it remains popular with millennials and Gen Z.
“We have built a successful business by always being available to our Global Travellers, we have offices across multiple time zones and we are constantly updating our tech offerings to ensure travellers can manage their bookings and have access to helpful resources online,” Himmelmann said.