Scott Hirst is the founder of Pure Traveller and a driving force behind Johnny H Adventures.

A love of travel was instilled in Scott by his parents, Bruce and Lyn, as a toddler — and he hasn’t stopped since.

When he’s not planning his next trip (or yours!), you’ll find Scott hanging his family on the Gold Coast, watching motor racing or attempting to fix something around the house.

Learn more about Scott and the origins of Pure Traveller and Johnny H below.

What is Pure Traveller and how did it come about?

“Pure Traveller is an independent travel service which specialises in customised itineraries for travellers who are wanting a unique experience.

It started out as a hobby business and grew from there. In the beginning we were booking travel for friends and family who then recommended us to their friends and family.

Even now most of our business comes via personal relationships and word-of-mouth recommendations.”

Did your own travels lead you down this path?

“Travel has always been a huge part of my life. My first trip was to New Zealand at 16 months of age and I’ve been travelling ever since!

My wife Lucy has visited 65 countries and we now travel with our children. We spent five weeks in the US last year and we’re headed to Canada in early 2020.

We did 98% of our travel before we started a travel agency. We’ve paid our way and seen it from the traveller’s perspective, as have our team. At last count the Pure Traveller team has collectively visited more than 100 countries.

Our passion for travel fuels everything we do, and our clients appreciate that in terms of the advice and experience we offer.”

What kind of traveller do you help?

“We do high engagement travel, meaning we’re not the type of travel agent you call if you’re looking to insert yourself in a pool lounger in a resort for 7 days! On the other hand, if you want to go to Africa for three months and you’re not sure where to start, we can sort that for you.

We create custom itineraries that often involve lots of moving parts — 70% of the flights we book are multi-city; 80% of the trips we arrange involve 20+ travel segments.

In 2018 Pure Traveller sent people to 64 countries and 400+ cities. We booked 3000+ flights on 50 different airlines, 2000+ nights on cruises, and 3000+ nights on organised tours. The biggest group we catered for was 93 people. The longest trip we organised was 81 days.”

That sounds like a game of logistical gymnastics! Do things always run smoothly?

“Our service is built entirely on trust and credibility. If there’s an issue while you’re away, we don’t argue — we fix it and move on, regardless of whose fault it is.

We also invite our clients to stay in touch while they’re away — it’s not a set-and-forget relationship. Clients know they can contact us via phone, email, Facebook and so on. We’re happy to help, and it’s that level of service that you’re investing in.

Being independent also means we’re not locked in with certain suppliers. We deal with suppliers directly based on your needs.”

Why did you create Johnny H Adventures? 

“The Johnny H Adventures program was created in memory of my great uncle, Johnny Hirst, who had Down syndrome.

John was born in 1942 at a time when independent travel was not an option for the disabled, but John was known for his love of meeting new people and visiting new places.

Johnny H Adventures provides mildly disabled people with the opportunity to enjoy active, adventurous travel in a supported environment.”

What is it about travel that leaves us wanting more?

“For many, travel is an interest and a hobby, and one that builds you as a person. It’s opens your eyes to new ways of thinking and experiences.

I firmly believe that if everyone were to travel, we’d have far less conflict and judgement in the world.

Travel brings out the best in us all in the long run.”

To chat with Scott about your next adventure, call 1300 053 001 or email [email protected] To get on board a Johnny H Adventure, email [email protected]