Tourism business a tour de force
When it came to pursuing her passion, Oh Hey WA founder Adie Chapman was happy to walk the walk.
For Adie Chapman, founding director of Oh Hey WA, the best way to discover any city is on foot.
The energetic and self-described Perth enthusiast says she fell in love with walking tours while backpacking around Europe about 12 years ago.
“It's always the first thing I do when I get to a new city, because it's the best way to uncover those little hidden gems and learn about the people and the culture and the art and the nightlife,” she says.
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Upon returning to Perth she decided to abandon plans for a career in mechanical engineering and turned her European learnings into a business idea, with the result being Oh Hey WA.
“I wanted to find something that I was really passionate about,” Adie explains. “I started working as a guide, and just fell in love with it. It's absolutely what I was born to do.”
Showcasing contemporary culture
Eight years on and Oh Hey WA now offers a wide range of tours run by Chapman, her sister Robyn, who joined the business in 2017, and a team of five guides.
Adie says the focus has always been on showcasing the city’s contemporary culture, with tours such as The Perth Street Art Tour, Small Bar & Street Art Tour, Northbridge Stories & Secrets Tour and Gin Masterclass Walking Tour as well as more traditional tours such as The Ultimate Perth Walking Tour.
However, she adds that they can tailor tours for just about any event or theme, and enjoy putting together corporate tours for businesses looking for a different style of work event.
“Our focus is on all those exciting things that are happening right now,” she says. “They're super fun. It feels like a good mate showing you around their favorite spots in town.
“It's really to help people uncover those hidden gems of Perth and find things that they wouldn't find on their own.”
Tourists are back
Adie says after a tough two years due to border closures and venue restrictions during COVID-19, she’s happy tourists are coming back to the city.
To help with the business’ recovery she also signed up to the City of Perth’s Bounce Back program, which among other things provided a six-month free CCIWA Membership.
As she began hiring new staff, she engaged with CCIWA’s Employee Relations Advice Centre specialists who gave her advice on applicable Award rates for her industry.
“They sat me down and showed me all the different pay rates and how it works,” she says. “Everyone really took the time to go and research it for me and helped me, so that was just a huge weight off my shoulders to know that I was doing the right thing.”
Her Membership, she says, also provides valuable networking opportunities. "To meet with like-minded people or business owners, because we're a very small little business, is really amazing,” she says.
Growing the team
Adie points to growing her team as a key achievement, along with winning the WA Tourism Awards Sir David Brand Young Achiever Medal in 2021and maintaining a five-star rating across all review platforms.
She expects the next few years to comprise growing her team and offering more theme tours.
“It’s just to continue providing amazing experiences for the people and visitors,” she says.
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