AUGUST 2023 ISSUE
THERE’S A new face on the Australian travel landscape offering off the beaten track nature and adventure tours.
Mr Linh’s Adventures has 15 years’ experience in both FIT and groups across Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos. They will now be using SLC Representation to promote their itineraries in Australia.
From national parks to the Mekong Delta, Mr Linh’s incorporates nature, activity and exercise for all levels of fitness to must-see destinations. The company has offices in three key locations across Vietnam plus a multi-lingual team.
Itinerary highlights include trekking and kayaking through Ba Be National Park, jungle trekking with the opportunity to meet and learn about the cultures of the H’mong & Dzao tribes who live deep in the remote mountain jungle landscapes and riding motorbikes through mountain passes and valleys along the Chinese border.
The company focuses on developing sustainable community-based tourism, dedicated to conducting operations as environmentally friendly as possible and ensuring that their activities benefit the locals.
“The product offering and itineraries are absolutely perfect for the Australian market,” said Matt McCausland, Global Trade Account Director for SLC Representation.
Mr Linhh’s Adventures also owns and operates its own homestay overlooking Ba Be Lake. Situated in the untouched forest of Coc Toc Village, the property offers boutique accommodation in the rustic style of the ethic tribes that live there.
“Having returned from holiday in Vietnam myself this year, I’m really excited to talk to the trade about what an exciting destination it is and how Mr Linh’s Adventures presents Vietnam in a really innovative, fun and unique way,” said Shirley Dodt, Account Manager.
Travel Associates Australian Leadership Team
BEST OF THE BEST GET THEIR REWARDS
MORE THAN 250 Travel Associates business leaders and advisors walked the purple carpet recently for the brand’s annual Gala Awards.
The silver service luncheon celebrated the most successful year the business has experienced in its 25-year history and the performance of its people.
Awards were presented to both individual advisors for longevity of service, exceptional personal performance and commitment to client service, and to teams for excellence in productivity, luxury standards and overall business performance.
Length of Service awards were presented to almost 30 TA advisors for service of between 15 to 35 years.
The brand’s ‘Most Outstanding’ award went to Ian Carswell, business leader of the newly renamed Carswell & Turner Travel Associates in Coffs Harbour (formerly Travel Associates Coffs Harbour) in New South Wales.
Jo Kennedy, business leader of Kennedy & Turner in Brisbane, was awarded ‘Top Advisor’ in the company for her exceptional performance and her outstanding commitment to her luxury clients.
“It really is hard to express just how much we appreciate what you have achieved this year as a team,” said Rachel Kingswell, General Manager AU & NZ.
“We have enjoyed the strongest performance in our 25-year history and we have all contributed to this exceptional result. Not only did Travel Associates achieve a ‘personal best’ but so did an incredible 85 per cent of the people in this room.”
Travellers Choice national BDM Paula Moylan (far right) celebrates with the Jamison Travel team (L-R) Emma Sullivan, Emily Troube and Michelle Everson
WHEN PAIN FINALLY TURNS TO GAIN
AFTER THREE decades in the business, award-winning travel agent Michelle Everson knows a thing or two about survival.
Asked to reflect on the highlights of the past 30 years, Everson says it is the “pain points” that remain most vivid.
“I’m just incredibly proud that despite all the challenges we’ve faced – from the Ansett collapse to 9/11 and, worst of all, COVID – we survived and thrived,” she said.
“And those are the things our clients remember as well. I still have people coming into the office to remind me how we were the only one who could get them home when volcanic ash closed Europe’s skies in 2010, or to thank us for getting their money back when Ansett collapsed.”
Everson was just six years into her travel career when she acquired Jamison Travel in 1993.
At the time, the Canberra agency was struggling, but thanks to some hard work and a relentless focus on customer service, Everson turned the business around.
Within a few years it was winning accolades, eventually becoming a perennial winner of a Travellers Choice Gold Choice Award.
In 2019, in recognition of the agency’s outstanding business success, Jamison Travel was also named as the inaugural recipient of the Travellers Choice Leading Agency Award.
More than 90 of Michelle’s loyal clients gathered at Canberra’s Labor Club recently to help Jamison Travel celebrate its 30-year milestone.
“It was wonderful to hear people talk about all the good times and great trips they’ve enjoyed. And many of the people have been with us since the beginning.
“There was even one woman who came with her 34-year-old adopted daughter, who I helped bring over from Korea as a child.”
Far from resting on her laurels, Michelle is looking forward to the future with enthusiasm.
“We’ve written more business this year than in 2019, so it’s onwards and upwards, with our focus, as always, on continually looking for new ways to enhance our service levels.”
EXCITING NEW CHAPTER FOR FLIGHT CENTRE
IT’S BEEN a long time between drinks but brand leaders from Flight Centre have gathered for the first time in more than four years.
Andrew Stark, Global Flight Centre brand Managing Director, said that in the coming year customers can expect to see an enhanced omni-channel offering.
“Flight Centre’s shift from old retail to new retail is all about offering customers the convenience of booking flights, holidays and other travel products both online and in-store, while at the same time providing them with our collective years of travel experience and expertise.
“It’s the quality of this omni-offering which is making the Flight Centre brand truly unique.
“With more air routes opening up and airlines nearing pre-pandemic capacity, Flight Centre brand is eager to soar ahead providing customers with what we’re most famous for – flights.”
BRINGING HOME IMPRESSIVE RESULTS
TRAVELMANAGERS HAS announced record-beating sales results during the first half of 2023.
The home-based travel network has achieved these results despite having 30 per cent fewer personal travel managers (PTMs) than pre-pandemic.
“The numbers are even more impressive when compared with the same period in 2022, which we surpassed by a massive 104 per cent,” said Grant Campbell, TravelManagers’ Chief Operating Officer (pictured above).
“Our PTMs have been working incredibly hard, delivering month after month of record sales: since November 2022, there have been eight consecutive record-breaking months, including our biggest month ever in March 2023.”
Growth in the average sales value per customer has been a key contributor to overall growth, with Campbell revealing an increase of more than 50 per cent compared with the same period in 2019, and almost 60 per cent compared with January to June 2022.
“With average PTM commissions having increased alongside overall sales growth, TravelManagers’ business model means that our individual PTMs are reaping the financial rewards of their labours.”
LOOK WHAT’S COOKING FROM THE CAPTAIN
CAPTAIN COOK Cruises Fiji has united with Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) to help build its presence in the Australian market.
The partnership brings the Fijian operator into CLIA’s wider Australasian cruise community, made up of lines from around the world as well as travel agent members from across Australasia.
Captain Cook Cruises will now take part in CLIA’s extensive travel agent training and events program, including September’s Cruise360 Australasia conference and trade show.
“Captain Cook Cruises has been a pioneer of cruising in Fiji for more than 25 years, taking guests to unspoilt islands and remote destinations throughout the Fijian archipelago,” said Joel Katz, CLIA Managing Director in Australasia.
“Small-ship expedition cruising is one of the most dynamic and exciting areas of cruising, so we’re delighted to have Captain Cook Cruises join our community at a time when there’s so much energy and innovation in the sector.”
These are exciting times for the Fijian operator as it prepares for the introduction of its new luxury expedition ship MS Caledonian Sky in November.
Itineraries will include the previously unexplored Lau Islands, the company’s own private island Tivua, the volcanic Yasawa Islands and Fiji’s remote Northern Islands.
“We are looking forward to working with member agents to open up and share many previously unexplorable destinations in remote Fiji,” said Allison Haworth West, Captain Cook Cruises CEO.
To mark the new arrival, the cruise line has announced a limited-time bonus offer with a complimentary upgrade for new bookings.
Book any cruises MS Caledonian Sky expeditions from her arrival on November 11 and receive a complimentary upgrade to the next available suite type.
Offer is valid for new bookings for a limited time until September 30 or until sold out, for travel until June 30, 2024.