TravelManagers participate in Industry Leaders Symposium
The Australian Travel Careers Council hosted its 2017 Industry Leaders and Educators Engagement Symposium in Sydney this week with an extensive two-day agenda. With an overall theme of Connectivity Creates Opportunities, the objective of the Symposium was to connect Australia’s top educators and industry leaders to share knowledge and stimulate views on education, training and career development initiatives.
Australian Travel Careers Council CEO and host Rick Myatt invited TravelManagers’ Chairman Barry Mayo to address the Symposium.
“Rick suggested an ideal topic in keeping with the Connectivity Creates Opportunity theme would be how an effective connectivity can create opportunities for customers, staff and organizations. With the internet and related technology enhancements having created the opportunity for TravelManagers and the personal travel manager concept to be born, it was an easy decision to focus my speech on the internet and ask the question is it a competitor or facilitator?” says Mayo.
Mayo initially set the scene by highlighting how the internet enables the company’s 500 plus personal travel managers to operate efficiently and effectively.
“TravelManagers’ systems include providing each personal travel manager with a suite of tools supported by centrally delivered services that encompass booking systems with integrated itinerary generation and accounts processing along with the support of fares, marketing and technology experts. This together with the connectivity of the internet and enhanced Wi-Fi access means that a personal travel manager is able to be fully operational 24/7, and is also mobile, enabling them to consult and advise at client’s home, office, a nearby coffee shop or anywhere that suits them. At the same time, personal travel managers are equipped to handle an emergency at anytime from anywhere in the world. None of this would be possible without the internet.”
The role of TravelManagers’ intranet is also an important technology enhancement.
“The intranet creates a sense of belonging, comradeship and teamwork for a workforce that works remotely, often independently and physically isolated from their peers. TravelManagers intranet, known as The Oracle, assists in creating team players who offer encouragement, advice and guidance via the many online forums devoted to specialist areas of the personal travel managers’ businesses. The quantity and quality of communication in response to requests for information via this connectivity has to be seen to be believed.”
Mayo provided an audience of 70% educators, 25% industry business practitioners and 5% of government and other authorities some context to the business environment the travel industry works within, particularly in relation to TravelManagers business philosophy.
“Mobile home-based travel consulting has undergone enormous growth over the last 10 years. Of critical importance is the internet in enabling our personal travel managers to operate with a powerful focus on delivering superior service and tailor-making individual experiences.”
Mayo adds “Online travel agents and personal travel managers are travel intermediaries just as traditional bricks and mortar travel agents are. Online travel agents are commodity orientated and price focused with little or no customization whereas personal travel managers are focused on superior service, tailoring travel arrangements to individual client’s taste or needs with the intent of adding value via bespoke travel arrangements that are intended to deliver a high level of after sales satisfaction.”
The travel industry like many other commercial enterprises has undergone significant changes in the way it operates over recent years with the way client funds are managed being just one of a number of changes. Mayo described how TravelManagers provides transparency and assurances for clients around the protection of their funds.
“All client payments are directly deposited into a central audited client trust account and are held in trust until payment is made directly to each travel service provider. This is regularly validated by TravelManagers engaging an accredited chartered accounting firm, to independently audit and review TravelManagers Client Trust account with copies of these ‘Independent Audit Reports’ regularly published on the company’s consumer website to continue to provide assurances to clients regarding their funds. To our knowledge we are the only travel intermediary in the world to publish details of our Trust Account audit reports on its consumer website.”
Furthermore Mayo adds “as part of TravelManagers guarantee of comprehensive financial surety the company has a Trust Account Fidelity Risk insurance policy. This insurance protects client funds in the unlikely event that they are missing from, or not paid into the Insured Trust Account as a result of fraudulent or dishonest activity. Again, details are published on TravelManagers website to provide transparency maximizing the communication opportunity provided by the internet.”
The Australian Travel Careers Council 2017 Industry Leaders and Educators Engagement Symposium was held 13-14 March at Parliament House Sydney.
For more information or to speak to someone confidentially about TravelManagers please contact Suzanne Laister on 1800 019 599.
TravelManagers operates in all Australian States and is a wholly owned subsidiary of House of Travel, Australasia’s largest independent travel company which has a forecast turnover of $1.5 billion for 2015. TravelManagers is a sister company to Hoot Holidays, also owned by House of Travel, and has more than 500 personal travel managers throughout Australia with a dedicated support team at the company’s national partnership office in Sydney. TravelManagers places all customer money in a dedicated and audited Client Trust Account which is separate from the general business accounts, ensuring client funds are only used for client purchases.