By Roslyne Buchanan
Driven to consistently deliver exemplary experiences, Cheers Okanagan Tours is making once-in-a-lifetime events a regular occurrence for its customers. Every day you tour with Cheers, you’ll find the experience far from everyday.
That’s why Cheers vaulted from 124th to 2nd ranking on TripAdvisor®. Family-owned and -operated, Cheers is celebrating its fifth anniversary this year. Allen and Lou Burke were joined by their son Reign to launch the multi-faceted tour and event transportation company in 2016, aspiring to three simple goals. Those goals are to be:
1. The most recognized tour and transportation brand in the Okanagan.
2. The top-rated employer in the Okanagan.
3. The best-managed company in the Okanagan.
Services include top-tier wine and experience tours throughout the 220-km-long Okanagan region, airport shuttles, weddings, golf, group transportation, ski shuttles, family-friendly and accessible tours, plus specialty tours such as bachelorette and boat excursions.
The Owners’ Stories: The Why Behind Cheers
“I care” is Allen’s “why?” He describes himself as “authentic and a little nutty. Achieving positive change and making a genuine difference in people’s lives has always been exceptionally rewarding for me.”
In his work as an international humanitarian, the gratitude of the disadvantaged in emerging nations brought him to tears. He and Lou adopted twin Haitian orphans and raised them as global citizens. More tears ensued when the twins later volunteered in orphanages. The decades of helping children overseas blend with newfound opportunities like Cops for Kids, Dreams Take Flight, and other initiatives that help little hearts at home.
Allen is obsessed with delivering extraordinary tour and transportation experiences. He finds the privilege of earning each guest’s trust, commerce, testimony, and a lifetime of referrals intensely fulfilling. Constant improvement across the board is routine at Cheers.
Allen learned the Japanese have a word for his core principle that resonated with him: “kaizen,” the Sino-Japanese word for “improvement.” Kaizen is a concept referring to business activities that continuously improve all functions and involve all employees, from the CEO to the assembly line workers. It is a gradual, mindful process to create a better business while building a team and enhancing the work environment, making it safer and more joyful.
Guided by Humour and Adventure
Lou has a knack for finding fun and making you feel you have found your best friend. She has a wealth of knowledge, and her international experience gives her a broad perspective on the little things.
Born in an earthquake-ravaged, cockroach-infested hospital with intermittent electricity in a developing country, their son Reign got a jump on a lifetime of adventure and is keen to share his enthusiasm.
In addition, Cheers has a growing team of 26 employee-partners who typically receive 4- or 5-star detailed reviews on TripAdvisor®. Read all of their bios and learn more about Cheers Okanagan Tours and all its services at cheersokanagantours.com. Follow @CheersOkanagan on Facebook and Instagram.
There’s nothing standard about touring with Cheers Okanagan Tours. You’ll enjoy exceptional experiences meticulously crafted with you in mind. On a Cheers tour, you’ll visit wineries and winemakers who deliver exemplary experiences guests rave about. You’ll also meet amazing people and enjoy extra personal touches and carefully chosen little surprises that make you feel welcomed, lavished and treated like royalty. Take, for example, the exclusive charcuterie picnic lunch served on vineyard properties.
Cheers features transparent, all-inclusive pricing, including your guide’s gratuity, so you are clearly informed about the total price up front. No hidden fees. No unwelcome surprises.
Cheers’ renowned guides share “Wine 101”––a fun, down-to-earth system allowing you to quickly understand the complexities of viticulture and winemaking blended with how to choose the right wine for you 100 per cent of the time. It will help you feel at ease, relaxed, confident and comfortable.
Customer Enthusiasm Is the Mission
Recently, Cheers took up residence at the Kelowna International Airport. Two and a half years ago it scaled into Vernon, and this year it begins delivering Osoyoos- and Oliver-based wine tours and transportation services.
Plus, premium top-tier tours will be added to the modest and classic offerings (modest tour experiences run from $99 per person, classic from $199 per person, and premium from $449 per person).
“Cheers!” to Cheers Okanagan Tours and their insights on how they can serve you—to be continued in the next issue of Food & Wine Trails.