Margaret's 28-year journey with Villa
Read about Margaret's 28-year journey with Villa
On 1 September 2020, we celebrated Villa's 28th anniversary! Our Director, Margaret Buswell, has been leading the business since it began back in 1992. Here, Margaret reflects on how the Busselton-based business has grown over the past 28 years.
"When we first started back in 1992, we had a small private hotel that accommodated about 20 people in shared facilities and a coaster that held 22. We picked up our passengers from the Australind terminal in Bunbury on a Monday and returned them to the Australind on a Friday. Each day we took our guests out on a day trip around the South West."
"By 1995, we could accommodate 40 people in our new motel-style accommodation and we had a brand new 46-seater motorcoach. We had also commenced touring further afield in WA out of Perth; first with wildflower tours, followed by tours up north."
"I vividly remember being pregnant with my second son, Sam, and being the hostess (as we used to be called!) when we ran one of our first tours up north. We drove up to Broome via inland roads and back more along the coast. Our latest tour to Broome flew up and back in just two hours and 20 minutes each way - a far cry from the hours spent in the coach on that first trip! We had fun though, with quizzes, lotto, informative commentary and lots of jokes. Sunset drinks at Cable Beach are just as enjoyable now as they were back in 1995."
"Interstate tours soon followed, and by 1999 we were doing our first Norfolk Island trip and many cruises on the Superstar Gemini out of Singapore."
"Our most recent development is the ability to book independent travel for our customers."
"Having a travel agency has allowed our passengers to receive the same care with booking independent holidays as they do with a Villa tour. We were very pleased to welcome Karen to our team last year. Karen assisted me in my latest bucket list travel experience, as I went to Norway and Finland to chase the Northern Lights to celebrate my 50th birthday."
Margaret’s most memorable tours
"I loved the tour that I escorted to Tasmania in 2017, the passengers were fabulous and Kerry, our Coach Captain, was incredibly knowledgeable about this island state that is so scenic and steeped in history," Margaret said.
"One of my most memorable tours was my recent visit to Norfolk Island in October last year. I first went there in 1998 to set up our original tour, and it was still as beautiful as I remembered with rugged coastlines and vivid green hills and valleys.”
"But it is the characters you meet that you will always remember; many of them are descendents of the mutineers on the Bounty. They are proud and resourceful people who love a laugh and a chat."