Charleston Harbor Tours & Events has acquired Adventure Sightseeing, a provider of historic Charleston bus tours for more than 25 years.
The acquisition, completed at the end of February 2014, was a matter of good timing and a proper fit, according to Charleston Harbor Tours Director of Sales and Marketing Drew Yochum. “We had been looking to expand into bus tours for some time, but it had to be just the right opportunity,” he said. “We pride ourselves on customer satisfaction; our ratings are impeccable across the board. Whatever company we might acquire would have to enjoy the same reputation on the street as we did in the harbor.”
Coincidentally, Yvonne Santos, owner of Adventure Sightseeing, was preparing to retire. Also fiercely protective of her customer service reputation, Santos was not inclined to sell to just anyone. “They are a cut above in the tour bus business,” Yochum said. “One of the only tours with hotel pickup, the only one that goes to The Citadel, a Magnolia Plantation package … they’re a full-service, highly respected bus line, and a great fit with Charleston Harbor Tours. Fortunately, they felt the same way about us.”
According to Yochum, the new company will retain the Adventure Sightseeing name, as well as the drivers and key office personnel. Additionally, the company will upgrade its bus fleet, look for opportunities to expand service, and explore ways to better integrate the bus and harbor sides of the business.
“Other than that, we will just keep on doing what we do – delivering value, earning the customer’s trust, and getting that favorable word-of-mouth,” Yochum said. “For Charleston Harbor Tours, and now Adventure Sightseeing, it’s about the convenience, the comfort, the interesting sights and the variety of tour packages. It’s also about a staff of highly trained guides, folks who have passed one of the most stringent exams from one of the toughest historical societies in America. Our people have the knowledge and personality to bring every tour to life. These things will never change, and visitors can count on that.”