With the current uncertainty in the travel industry due to COVID-19, we are committed to continuing to create initiatives that help local partners and their businesses. That’s why we are proud to announce the third annual GetYourGuide Awards. This year we adapted our awards program to current travel trends and celebrated the best activities in three different categories: Best tours for locals, Best family-friendly experiences, and Incredible tour guides.

Thames Rockets of London won the award for best family-friendly experience with its Speed boat tour of the river Thames. General Manager Jane Kelly recently sat down with us to share how it feels to win this prize and explained how the company made sure to keep offering incredible experiences to customers throughout the pandemic.

Please tell us a little more about yourself and your business.

Thames Rockets is the pioneer of speedboat sightseeing on the River Thames, having won the VisitLondon’s Family Friendly Attraction title. Carving the way for this new London attraction to exist back in 2006, our endless aim is for every passenger to feel valued, happy, and glad to have spent their time and money with us. [We are] committed to 100-percent delivery of quality experiences from booking to aftercare, every single time. 

How long have you been on GetYourGuide?

We set up our profile with GetYourGuide in September 2011.

How do you feel about being a winner of the awards this year?

We’re always over-the-moon to be recognized, but this year more so than ever. Our team works hard, our industry is often overlooked, and London is currently crippled. Wins like this offer us motivation. 

How did you adapt your business and tours to offer incredible experiences to local customers during the pandemic?

We are lucky to be an outdoor COVID-19 secure attraction on the most iconic river in (perhaps) the world. With all the safety measures in place, enhanced cleaning, sanitizing stations at our boarding gate at the London Eye pier, socially distanced check-in, and a flipped boarding procedure (back to front, rather than front to back) the operational elements were seamless to roll out. Our experienced, dedicated team was executing our ‘new norms’ from Day 1 as part of our daily routine. Our commitment to passengers has always been ‘Your safety first, your enjoyment a very close second,’ [and] this has not changed. 

Do you have any tips to share for suppliers to overcome these difficult times?

Know your business. Adapt, listen, support. Everyone: Your team, your partners, your suppliers, your customers, and each other. Understand everyone’s story, everyone’s background and everyone’s fears. Offer words of encouragement. Again, listen. We are all in this together and London will rise again. 

What do you like the most about working with GetYourGuide?

Throughout lockdown GetYourGuide offered a support network. We were impressed very early on with the due care and attention you offered us as a supplier. Many partners we’ve still not heard from, but instead of ‘shutting up shop,’ GetYourGuide listened, supported, and adapted. [GetYourGuide acts] quickly, professionally, and properly looking ahead always to the future while not ignoring the obvious. We are proud to work with GetYourGuide and look forward to recovering together. 

Want to learn more about the initiative? Check how GetYourGuide launched its third annual GetYourGuide Awards and first round of Best-in-Class Badges. For more examples of initiatives taken by our partners, check our inspirational stories from Wingly in France and Mohamed in Egypt.