After just two years with TravelManagers, personal travel manager (PTM) Jo Patton from Ulladulla has just been confirmed as one of four finalists for the industry’s prestigious 2018 Avis Travel Agents Scholarship. The finalists must now prepare themselves to face a judging panel in November before the eventual winner is announced at an awards dinner at Sydney’s Park Hyatt Hotel the same evening.
Patton says she is delighted to have reached this stage in the process and considers her progress thus far as a wonderful recognition of the special-interest tour business she has built since joining TravelManagers.
“To know that travel industry leaders have acknowledged that what I am doing is innovative and worthy of being a finalist, among so many other amazing travel professionals, has given me a real sense of pride and achievement.”
The Avis Travel Agent Scholarship Program is designed to judge extraordinary customer service and innovation in the workplace, with an application process that is in equal parts rigorous, transparent and impartial. Individuals are required to answer a series of questions in the most creative way they see fit, submitting their responses in the format of their choice, including Word, PowerPoint or video.
“I was encouraged to enter by my Business Partnership Manager (BPM), Julia McLean,” explains Patton. “She has been very encouraging and supportive of my business and I’m very grateful to her for the push I needed to enter.”
The winner of this year’s scholarship is set to receive a prize package that’s valued at more than $40,000 and includes a range of prizes and experiences such as international travel to Singapore to attend the Phocuswright Conference, professional guidance and access to exceptional training opportunities with organisations such as Cruise Lines International Association Australasia (CLIAA).
TravelManagers’ Executive General Manager, Michael Gazal, says the company is extremely proud of Patton’s achievement, noting that she is the eighth finalist that TravelManagers has fielded over the past twelve years.
“It would be wonderful to build on the success of last year’s win by Nakita Byrne, but win or lose, the entire TravelManagers family is already delighted for Jo,” he notes. “Becoming a finalist is a highly-prestigious achievement in itself, and we couldn’t be happier for her.”
Regardless of the outcome next month when the eventual winner is announced, Patton is satisfied that the nomination process has already been of great benefit to her, both in terms of personal development and for growing her business.
“I feel like I’m already a winner,” she says. “Presenting to the panel of judges will take me out of my comfort zone, but it will be a great learning experience and can only benefit me and my business in the long term.
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 $1.8 billion for 2018. TravelManagers is a sister company to Hoot Holidays, also owned by House of Travel, and has more than 540 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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