What do you/your organisation do?
Celtic Quest Coasteering specialise in the one activity, coasteering on the Pembrokeshire coast. A small team with a big personality, dedicated to making every experience unforgettable. We are keen to promote adventure to all, especially to those who may believe it is restricted to people with previous experience and a certain level of fitness. We tailor every adventure to suit all adventurers abilities and expectations. What is coasteering? Everything you may have been told not to do at the beach as a child. Wriggle into a wetsuit, slip on your buoyancy aid and helmet and you’re off, exploring the coast at sea level. Scramble climbing, cliff jumping, adventure swimming, exploring sea caves and more! It’s all about challenge by choice, don’t want to jump?…you don’t have to, not a strong swimmer?…we’ll tailor the session to suit and be close at hand if you need a hand!
How long have you been an AIM Member?
We have been an AIM member since 2014. Finding excellent insurers for the activities we offer has been a challenge in the past. Since we came onboard AIM have been superb. Affordable, professional, knowledgeable, understanding of the current situation especially during the first wave of lockdown.
What’s the best part of your job?
#LoveMyJob is one of our favourite hashtags. The best part of our job, other than being paid to play in the sea every day, is sharing everyone’s adventure. The buzz of excitement is renewed with every session. For many it is their first time doing anything like it. Playing a key role in their achievement, be it swimming in the sea for the first time or taking that step off an 8m cliff jump. Meeting new people every day or being joined by returning clients. We love it!
What issues do you think the industry faces this year?
2021 saw a bumper season for the outdoor industry. Everyone was keen to get away, outside and active. We saw a lot of people who would traditionally have taken a ski holidays etc. This season will be busy again, there still isn’t the public confidence in ‘normal’ travel. We will definitely see some of last seasons new visitors again. People who visited Pembrokeshire for the first time and fell in love with it. We are hard at work training new staff and gelling the team in readiness for another epic summer of screams and laughter. Once again recruitment was a challenge. In the past we have relied on social media and organic search results to get our vacancies out there. This year we used a selection of channels including paid for promotions on indeed.
The other challenge is last minute booking trends. People still have little confidence in the bigger picture, “if I book now, what if something happens and we can’t go?”. Last season was a pickle when it came to changing the program due to cancellations, luckily we had a waiting list of visitors to fill the gaps and a LOT of last minute bookings.
What benefits have you gained from being an AIM Member?
Being an AIM member keeps us up to date with all that is going on in our industry. They certainly have their finger on the pulse, which is vital given the current economic instability. With timely emails, webinars and there’s always a friendly and helpful speedy response to any queries.
What exciting projects do you have lined up for the future?
Watersprouts…There has always been demand for us to drop our minimum age. No doubt our team were little daredevils from a young age. We are keen to welcome this junior enthusiasm. Traditionally our minimum age was 8 years, last summer we started welcoming families with children as young as 5 years to join us for bespoke coasteering adventures. Sessions are a little shorter (little bodies get cold and tired quicker than big kids), jumps don’t go quite as high (growing bones don’t like the impact), kit is smaller (the new kit purchased is tiny but just as mighty as the standard stuff, it’s so cute!)…but the session can include elements to suit mum/dad or adventurous older siblings (thats the bespoke bit). Having tested the market, we’ll be offering Watersprouts sessions again this season.
I started out in the industry working my way through sea kayak instructor, climbing, surfing, sailing etc. Coasteering is hands down my favourite, it is the reason I set up Celtic Quest Coasteering back in 2009. Do something you love every day, do it your way, do it to the best of your ability, constantly strive to better yourself and your service/product. My favourite activity within an activity… Coasteering with young children. Exploring the coast, finding ‘new’ things in rock pools, experiencing things for the first time. Guiding young adventurers out there is awesome. People often ask if I get bored doing the same thing very day? Heck no, other than working in a stunning location with crazy changeable conditions, it’s the people, facilitating so much joy and excitement that children especially will never forget, #LoveMyJob – because I do!”
With huge thanks to Cleopatra Browne – Founder & MD of Celtic Quest Coasteering and AIM Member for this great interview.
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