TravelManagers has an ongoing commitment to provide product training to its personal travel managers (PTMs) and to facilitate strong supplier-PTM relationships. To this end, the company's National Partnership Office (NPO) has recently held airline training days in both Melbourne and Sydney, along with a river cruise training day in Brisbane.
According to TravelManagers’ Executive General Manager, Michael Gazal, the NPO and the attending suppliers were very happy with the number of PTMs who supported the training days.
“These training days were, as always, a big hit, both with suppliers and with our PTMs, as we were able to bring together larger numbers of both in one place. We design the sessions to fit within a typical PTM’s day so that it’s accessible for as many as possible,” he explains. “We had a total of 76 PTMs attend over the course of the three days, and we put them in touch with a twelve major river cruise and airline suppliers.”
Sharon Hando of Tauck River Cruises agrees that the training days are very successful from a supplier point of view.
“It’s a great opportunity for us to speak to as many PTMs as possible, update them on our latest product offerings… and then get to know our industry partners better on a more informal basis when the work’s been done.”
As Gazal explains, the NPO strives to provide their PTMs with a format that is both informative and fun, balancing relatively fast-paced supplier presentations and a working lunch with networking opportunities before and after the training sessions as a way to strengthen PTM-supplier relationships in a more casual setting.
Gazal says the recent training days are part of a calendar of training events that are scheduled by the NPO at the start of each year and includes supplier training days such as these, destination days that are co-hosted by national or regional tourism offices, and fun events that bring together personal travel managers, NPO staff and suppliers in a relaxed environment.
“Without giving too much away, our next social event is taking place in five states this month and promises to be both great fun and a great networking event,” Gazal confides.
TravelManagers’ Erin Ross, representative for Mount Cotton, attended the river cruise training day in Brisbane, and says she enjoyed the opportunity to update her product knowledge whilst catching up with colleagues at the same time.
“It’s important to me that I am providing my clients with the best possible advice when they’re planning their next trip: to do that, I need to ensure that my product knowledge is constantly updated,” she explains. “These days give me direct access to many of the major players, and I really value the opportunity to ask questions and share ideas with my colleagues. They’re also a lot of fun,” she adds.
Venessa Keating, representative for Engadine NSW, took part in the Sydney-based airline training day, and described the supplier presentations as engaging and easy to listen to.
“I loved every minute of the day and found all of the information that we were given to be extremely useful. At the end of the day I felt energised and motivated, and very grateful to each presenter for the effort they went to in showing how best to sell their product.”
Another PTM who took part in the airline training days was Trish Clowes, representative for Traralgon VIC. She says she found the length of each session to be just right and appreciated having material to take home for future reference.
“It was a really great day – great to have a variety of airlines covering multiple destinations including Asia and Europe, and the sessions were very interactive,” she explains.
Gazal says the success of the days is self-evident when you look at the attendance numbers and the feedback from the attendees.
“The ongoing support for these days by both PTMs and suppliers ensures their continued success, which in the end means we are able to deliver better service to our clients.”
Travel Managers 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 2017. 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 secure and only used for client purchases.
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