“I also use Simon to book travel for our international adjudicators. He always provided a fast and efficient service and fantastic back-up service when disaster strikes as it did a few years ago with an airport bombing in the UK. Simon was able to make new travel arrangements immediately so that our adjudicator arrived in the country in time for our contest.”
Helen Lee – Contest Manager and Executive Officer – Brass Band Association of New Zealand.
"I was first put in touch with Simon by a friend who was involved with Brass Bands at a high level back in 2010. We first used Simon when we took the Foundation New Zealand Youth Pipe Band to Australia in 2010.
Simon took care of all of the travel and accommodation arrangements for us. Our trip was extremely successful and we could not fault any of the arrangements made by him.
We used Simon again in 2014 when we toured Canada and the United States of America. Again excellent service with regards to travel, accommodation and sight seeing opportunities.
Simon is sympathetic to our needs and is prepared to run with our ideas.
At the end of the day we got excellent value for our money."
Sheran Hancock - FYNZPB Director
I have been booking flights through Simon Hocking for our international representative choir tours for several years. He works extremely hard to find the best possible fares, and his communication and response to any requests are nearly always immediate. He sorts any problems effectively and with no fuss. I feel I can trust him to achieve the best possible prices and routes for our large touring groups - in our cost-sensitive, charitable organisation this is very important. I really enjoy working with Simon and I would definitely recommend him.
Anna Bowron, executive Officer, New Zealand Secondary Students’ Choir.
I have been working with Simon Hocking and his team at House of Travel since 2010. In that time we have organised trips to Cambodia (4 times), Vietnam, Laos, Thailand and Australia. Trips have included humanitarian aid work, leadership and music tours. Groups have all been 20 + students and staff. I have also arranged personal bookings through Simon. Our trips have been quite complicated at times, requiring massive flexibility and taking us to places off the beaten track. I have always had the confidence that Simon and his team would accommodate our changes as well as put together the best itineraries at the best price. Each trip I have tendered out to multiple parties and HOT has always come out on top price-wise. Best connections, best itineraries, excellent communication and we have always had magnificent, safe, life-changing (for the better!) expeditions. When I booked a personal trip back in 2011, we had some major problems in a third world country to do with local service and flights. We were at the end of a long trip through a number of countries and just wanted to get home. Despite the 12 hour time difference, despite it being Easter Weekend, despite the poor communication in a third world country Simon’s ability to fault fix and get us back on track rapidly and at no cost was legendary. I cannot speak highly enough from both a personal and group perspective. Great support, best trips, great value – what more can anyone ask for.
Phil Muir, Regional Principal, Westmount Education, Northern Region
It was always been a pleasure to work with Simon and his outstanding team of international agents to plan tours to Europe and the UK for the Christ's College Chapel Choir. Simon is our agent for domestic and international tours and is a details man who ensures nothing is left unturned. When there are issues, these are dealt with confidently and with due respect even when we are on the other side of the world.
We spend a lot of time developing our tours and ensuring we get the best value for $ for the boys and their parents. As a result the three previous tours have both been musically and life changing experiences for the boys and a real joy for the staff to lead.
The ability to experience performing in some truly outstanding venues as the Vatican in Rome, St Marco in Venice, La Sacrada in Barcelona and La Madeline in Paris to name a few is a credit to Simon's ability to open performance opportunities that few other agents are able to offer.
While Simon is an experienced travel operator he fully understands the demands of touring musicians and their needs. I have confidence in Simon's ability to create opportunities for our students.
Robert Aburn, Senior Master, Christ's College, Christchurch
Simon and his team have arranged three tours for the New Zealand Male Choir in my time as Musical Director. These have been to the UK and through Europe, and more recently through Canada. His attention to the needs of the choir in arranging accommodation and rehearsal spaces is of paramount importance. I have appreciated Simon's ability to navigate around performance dates and to negotiate hotel and work around other constraints touring throws at the organisers.
Recently on the Canadian tour he was able to arrange a superb mixture of accommodation and to ensure the choir included some great R&R opportunities such as the fabulous Rocky Mountaineer train trip from Banff to Vancouver and a trip to Vancouver Island be included.
Robert Aburn, Musical Director, New Zealand Male Choir