An early morning start was on the agenda for the final day of the 2016 TravelManagers conference in Bangkok. Over 170 personal travel managers, national partnership office staff and suppliers gathered to learn about this years national Conference’s community project, that had been organized in conjunction with Hands Across the Water.
“You would expect after a night of partying at Bangkok’s Zense Gourmet Deck and Lounge Panorama, the excitement of getting up early would be not that appealing. A key philosophy of the TravelManagers culture is the difference we can make to the communities within which we live and work, directly and indirectly, locally or further afield. This is a part of the conference everybody loves – the ability to make a real difference so everybody was excited and rearing to go,” says Chief Executive Officer Joe Araullo.
The second keynote speaker Peter Baines OAM, founder of the Australian and New Zealand charity Hands Across the Water set the scene for the mornings’ charity event.
“After meeting the children left orphaned by the Tsunami, I felt compelled to act. This charity which gives at-risk Thai children and their communities a helping hand has gone on to create opportunities for hundreds of children across Thailand,” says Baines.
The group was split into teams, each consisting of personal travel managers, national partnership office staff and suppliers who volunteered their helping hands working together for the morning in the Khong Toei district, a slum and low social economic area of Bangkok.
Khong Toei is located approximately a 30 minute drive from the city centre. The area is made up of a number of small one way roads, with the dwellings being a mixture of single story shacks and multi-story apartment blocks.
In light of the recent bombings in provincial Thailand, TravelManagers retained a New Zealand-based security specialist company to survey all locations where conference activities were being held, including the Khong Toei area.
“The safety and security of our people is paramount. We are extremely comfortable following the professional assessment of the Khong Toei area that security issues are low to medium. It will be important for everybody to be vigilant but the rewards of helping this community far outweigh the potential risks,” says Araullo.
With many helping hands, collectively the group achieved:
- Repairing seven tricycles for the disabled
- Sewing nearly five hundred craft dolls for the children
- Constructing and painting vegetable garden framing within the kindergarten
- Painting of the playground and playground equipment within kindergarten
- Painting walls and furniture at several locations within the low cost housing area
It was not only the children of Khong Toei district that was touched by the TravelManagers support.
“This experience was one of those moments in your life that you never forget. Seeing the looks on the faces of the handicapped tricycle riders as they saw their tricycles that had been unusable and badly in need of repair for so long, give them reliable and convenient mobility again is something that will stay with me forever,” says personal travel manager Phil Kimberlee.
TravelManagers has been supporting local community projects during its national conference for five years starting with its highly successful 2012 Fiji conference project where all participants worked together to give a local primary school a makeover, after it was damaged by floods earlier that year.
“The strongest message for TravelManagers is the culture of our business and our desire to give back to the community. The opportunity for our personal travel managers to do something that benefits the community mirrors our business philosophy of going the extra mile. The entire TravelManagers’ team has done something they wouldn’t ordinarily have had the chance to do and it’s touched their lives. That sums up the culture of TravelManagers and we are extremely proud of that,” says Araullo.
The afternoon resumed a more business focus for the final day of this years’ national conference.
“From a business perspective the conference objectives focussed on equipping personal travel managers with the skills they need to truly make a positive difference, enhancing the clients’ travel experience from itinerary planning right through to returning home. It’s all about adding value,” says Araullo.
The TravelManagers 2016 national conference is being held 19-21 August at the Renaissance Bangkok Ratchaprasong Hotel in Bangkok.
For more information or to speak to someone confidentially about TravelManagers please contact Suzanne Laister on 1800 019 599.