Tony is a combination of humour, inspiration and great business messages. Just seven years ago Tony opened a travel agency against everyone's advice, including the Bank Manager's. Against all odds, this business has become one of the largest travel companies in New Zealand. His presentation "How the Hell did that Happen?", describes a no-nonsense, common-sense, roller-coaster ride of adventure, controversy, intrigue and some great business ideas.
Tony was born & raised in Bluff, the son of a fisherman, and enjoyed a “true red & white Bluffie upbringing”. He describes his schooling as simply eating his lunch until he was old enough for someone to decide if he was bright enough to steer the boat or just work the deck.
Just seven years ago, Tony and wife Tracey decided to open their own Travel Agency in Invercargill. Every travel industry expert (not to mention the Bank Manager) warned it was a terrible idea and proceeded to list a host of very good reasons why.
Against all odds, Laker House of Travel has quickly become one of the largest Travel Companies in New Zealand with a staff of twenty and an annual turnover in excess of $19 million. Compare that to the average sized New Zealand Travel Agency of 3 staff and 2.9 million.
Join Tony for his talk he has entitled “How the Hell did that Happen”? which he describes as a no-nonsense, common-sense, good fun, 45 minute roller-coaster ride of adventure, controversy, intrigue, some good ideas, and if time permits – a little bit of travel.
Find out the secrets to the Laker House of Travel success and how anyone can apply these very same simplistic principals to their business and life.
“Tony recently spoke at our first Travel Managers conference in Australia. He was a huge success with our travel managers and they found his talk both inspiring and educational. Some comments from our delegates follow: “What an asset to HOT, that guy should be dipped in gold, he is really amazing”. “Fantastic! Could relate to all that was said. Very real and down to earth. Great timing and got us all inspired and laughed at the same time. Loved his sayings especially ‘Life’s hard, get a helmet!’. “Funny, funny, funny! Made a great point and got the message across to us. Broke up the day with a lot of humour, whilst it was still educational”
Retail Travel Managers Australia
“Very personable, positive and keeps audience attentive. We would have him back again” Harcourts “Thank your for giving up your time to speak at the Merchandise Strategy session and sharing with the team some very valuable insights. It was beneficial to everyone of the team. We really appreciated it very much and I have received a lot of positive feedback. I plan to print out some of your quotes and hang them on the walls around Merchandise."
“I just wanted to say thanks for inspiring me, our company and later those that will now hear about your ‘simple’ philosophy on life - ‘Attitude, Belief and Focus’. You said you thought the philosophy was simplistic – I disagree, judging by the number of people that kept telling me how much your speech and words resonated, I’d say you hit the mark a million times over and that’s not simplistic, that is sheer brilliance.”
Michegro Chisholm, House of Travel Conference
“On behalf of the LAPA Committee and conference attendees, I am writing to congratulate you on your amazing speech at our recent conference. I’d heard great things about your public speaking abilities from several sources but to experience it was something else again. You managed to combine real humour with your inspiring and challenging story; to do that and to deliver it in such a personal and heartfelt way is certainly a gift. Your story is simple and very powerful yet something that everyone can bring to their work and their life every day”
Local Authority Property Assoc.
“Tony’s ‘performance’ is a flawless expose of a boy growing up in the rough and tough town of Bluff, who struggled through school (due to boredom), took major risks and ‘made good’ in his mature years. I watched my team who were totally enthralled by his speech, hanging on his every word, and soaking up his messages like sponges. I loved the way Tony utilised his real life experiences, links in humour and brings it all together with a permanent smile on his face. From a frontline perspective through to an Executive long-term strategic level Tony covered it all. I look forward to hosting Tony again soon and hearing all about space travel!”
Southland Building Society
“I loved working with Tony Laker. He is an amazing man. His presentation was superb. I have seen a lot of motivational speakers and Tony is particularly impressive – he is self-deprecating and yet incredibly inspiring. Very funny, very moving and with ideas that anyone in any business could use. He is also tremendously efficient at the whole organising thing – creative, efficient and always calm and good-natured about everything. There were many last-minute changes with Southland winter weather throwing us a few curve balls, and Tony always cheerfully managed to accommodate the changes and find ways to make things work. Positive attitude, generous spirit and very safe hands”
Michele A’Court, Speaker
“Tony was brilliant – the best speaker yet”
Local Government Committee Advisors Conference
“The perfect balance of humour and motivation emphasizing the importance and value of people and relationships”
NZ Pork Industry Board
Encore Events on behalf of Romeo Bragato Conference
“I was a little apprehensive about choosing a travel agent from Bluff as our keynote speaker, but I should not have worried. Tony was simply brilliant and immensely enjoyable. A successful businessman in his own right, Tony delivers clear simple business messages in an entertaining presentation that’s hard to beat”
Retail Meat NZ
“Excellent, fantastic – very relevant to retailers being a practical not theoretical address”
Composite Retail Group
“Once again thank you very much for speaking at our workshop dinner. I think you provided just the right boost of our enthusiasm and moral that we needed at that time in the meeting. I am now working on an excuse to book you again to hear you once more”
Otago District Health Board
“Of all the sessions for our PD days, Tony Laker’s was by far the most popular and received excellent feedback”
AMP Financial Services
“Tony recently spoke at our annual More FM Top Shop Business Awards Breakfast. He was truly inspirational and held the audience captivated with his humorous and motivational speech. His ‘simple’ philosophy to life and how he approaches each day certainly makes you take a step back and reassess what is important. If everyone took his approach to life, the world would be a more positive environment. Thank you” RadioWorks Southland