Meet a SATIC Member – Griffens Marina Blanchetown

14 August 2018


Located on the beautiful Murray River in Blanchetown, Griffens Marina is a small family business, offering a range of quality hire houseboats suitable for two to 12 people.

The business was established in 2000 when owner Miriam Griffen and her late husband Don decided to make a river change from their farming and sheep property in the Mid North.

18 years later, the business has gone on to become an award-winning success story and was inducted in the South Australian Tourism Awards Hall of Fame in 2017.

Miriam says this year has been an exciting one for the business, not only having recently celebrated their 18th birthday, but earlier this year the business welcomed a new Daydreamer 6-bedroom deluxe houseboat, complete with a roof top spa.

“Daydreamer offers our guests the opportunity to cruise with larger groups and has already been extremely popular for special celebrations and family get togethers. It also gives us the opportunity to explore some corporate options and partnerships,” says Miriam.

“By having a full range of houseboats suitable for couples, families and groups of friends, coupled with our very personal service, we have a high rebooking rate.

“We want our clients to have a truly wonderful holiday and leave with new memories, so it is very important for us to build a relationship with them from the moment of first contact.

“We have been delighted to see many of our younger couples returning over the last few years now as a small family and introducing their children to the simple joys of a houseboat holiday,” Miriam says.

Having always been actively involved in tourism and industry bodies, Miriam says this has been essential to their development of relationships – locally, regionally and also at a state and national level.

“Small businesses are the backbone of many communities and we love being able to promote where we live, work and play!

“It is important to always be learning and striving to improve, and you gain so much from interacting with other operators, industry groups and businesses, as well as helping others where you can,” she says.

With the rise of social media and digital marketing versus traditional marketing, the business actively uses these platforms to increase brand awareness, educate their audience on the importance of a healthy river, as well as promote and share stories from around the region.

“It is now so easy to help promote and share stories from many sources and this helps grow the tourism pie for everyone.”

Not long after Griffens Marina was first established in 2000, Miriam says the business became involved in the Australian Tourism Accreditation Program (ATAP), which provided tools to help better understand and grow the business.

“It is also an outstanding way to keep records and information up to date.

“By reviewing our processes regularly and analysing statistics as an important part of our management activities, we always have strategies in place to adapt to changes when needed, says Miriam”

Looking ahead to next year, the business will be undergoing some facility upgrades planned for the marina.

“We also have a program of continually upgrading and refurbishing our houseboats,” she says.

As for her top three tips for business success, Miriam believes it is all about having a passion for what you do and working hard to be the best that you can be.  

“Genuinely enjoy your customers and strive to give them the best experience possible.

“Have pride and believe in your business and continually review your plans and actions to help you achieve your goals.

“Lastly, take opportunities to learn and grow whenever they may arise, says Miriam.”

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