Meet Pygmy Elephant
The travel industry is certainly alluring and has a reputation for enticing people away from their day jobs into the unknown. Pygmy Elephant’s story is no different, in fact, it was a bungy jump in the Swiss Alps that was the catalyst for a massive change of direction.
Andrew Delmenhorst, the founder and managing director of Pygmy Elephant, spent the first years of his career working in procurement for a large industrial firm in Germany. As an American living overseas, he was travelling as often as possible; he had well and truly caught the travel bug. It was clear that travel was more than just a hobby for Delmenhorst, and after the aforementioned bungy jump, he mustered up the courage to quit his job to pursue his dream in the travel industry.
Andrew began a rigorous expedition to over 40 countries, which involved travelling for months at a time, always in search of the next best adventure. Andrew is the epitome of the term well travelled; he has dedicated years personally trialling every quintinestial adventure travel experience he could think of. Andrew reflects on his travels with great fondness,“I walked the Camino de Santiago, biked from Brussels to Florence, hiked the Tour du Mont Blanc, took a road trip through the Pantanal in Brazil and Bolivia and hiked through Patagonia…”
Despite his unyielding passion for adventure travel, Andrew grew frustrated with the time consuming nature of planning these trips. He looked at options currently on the market and found that most companies require you to either book a group tour or stick to a very rigid schedule. He knew there must be a better way to achieve flexible and personalised adventure travel. Thus, Pygmy Elephant was born; a unique travel company specialising in completely customisable adventure trips in spectacular destinations all over the world.
Pygmy Elephant prides themselves on their unique approach to adventure travel; helping their customers embark on a trip of a lifetime that is meaningful, rewarding and challenging. Andrew and his team’s “from scratch” itinerary option offers their customers an astounding level of customisation and is just one of the things that sets them apart and keeps adventure seeking travellers coming back for more.
Pygmy Elephant is well aware that the travel industry is constantly changing. So, in an effort to ensure they continue to provide their customers with the best that adventure travel has to offer, Andrew travels every other year to meet suppliers, update trail notes and personally hike new routes in the hope of adding them to their portfolio of self-guided hikes. They also constantly monitor the technology available in the market; offering travel apps and GPS capabilities to continuously improve their customers’ travel experience. With an arsenal of local contacts, a founder who is passionate about adventure travel, and a team of experts, Pygmy Elephant are well equipped to design and deliver their customers incredible, once-in-a-lifetime travel experiences.
At this point you might be wondering, why the name Pygmy Elephant? According to Andrew, “It’s the idea that small things can have a big impact. Our trips, although just a sliver of your life, can help you gain confidence and change your perspective. Just like my ‘small’ jump in the Swiss Alps was the catalyst to quit my job and start my dream travel company.”
Journeys Worth Taking…
Sustainability is etched into the ethos of Pygmy Elephant; they believe that social and environmentally responsible travel is the only way forward. They belong to the International Ecotourism Society and prefer to work with locally owned and operated lodges and tour operators. Their conscientious approach to travel design keeps money in the hands of locals and means Pygmy Elephant customers can travel knowing that the destinations they are visiting aren’t being exploited.
Andrew and his team also encourage and help their customers to stay in eco lodges, visit and learn about endangered wildlife, and travel in an environmentally conscious way. This commitment to sustainability led to the development of their Pygmy Miles programme; an innovative initiative that encourages rewarding, sustainable travel. For every mile that their customers travel in an environmentally friendly way, they earn eco-miles for future travel with Pygmy Elephant.
If that’s not enough, Pygmy Elephant puts their money where their mouth is and donates 10% of income to conservation and charity organisations. Tourwriter is immensely proud to work with this innovative tour operator intent on creating journeys worth taking – for the traveller, for the host and for the world.
Their Tourwriter Story
With their specialisation in richly detailed, hand crafted adventure tours, Pygmy Elephant embarked on a search for the best tour operator software to meet their needs and support their growing business. They wanted a system that would help them to create detailed quotes, enticing tailor made itineraries, reduce time and errors and give them flexibility, without compromising on the quality of the exceptional service they deliver. For Pygmy Elephant, Tourwriter ticked all of these boxes.
Having Tourwriter supporting their operations has dramatically changed the way that they run their business, in a good way. “We create these amazingly detailed and customised handbooks for our clients. It has everything they need to successfully complete their self guided tour. Now, we can use the ‘reports feature’ in Tourwriter to create these handbooks, and also, quotations for our clients,” says Andrew. Tourwriter has significantly reduced the time that these detailed handbooks take to make, because once all the information has been entered into the Tourwriter application it’s a quick and simple process to create the handbook as opposed to the manual and time consuming process used previously.
Being able to send supplier reservations directly from Tourwriter has markedly reduced manual errors and is saving the Pygmy Elephant team a significant amount of time. “Tourwriter has been an amazing system that has cut down on errors and time creating itineraries, the errors in our customized reports have dropped dramatically,” explained Andrew.
As an adventure tour operator, Pygmy Elephant thrives on customer referrals and repeat business. For Andrew and his team, it’s been their competitive quotes and the exceptional experiences that are keeping their customers coming back for more. Andrew says that being able to see their margins in the Tourwriter platform has been vital in helping them prepare more competitive quotes.
Pygmy Elephant has also found that Tourwriter allows them to create quotes, itineraries and the associated handbooks faster than ever before; this newfound speed is helping them stand out from the crowd. “It used to take months between the quotation phase and the handbook creation. Now, it can be done immediately after the client books the trip with us,” says Andrew.
The entire team at Tourwriter are thrilled to be working with a tour operator that is so dedicated to their craft. We look forward to seeing what the future holds for this meticulous, passionate and extremely loveable team.