Travel Agents

PTM awarded Avis Travel Agent Scholarship 2017

Daisy Doctor

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again, we love a feel good story at Travel Weekly.

And this one is the stuff of fairy tales and social media dreams.

The winner of the 2017 Avis Travel Agent Scholarship, winning $40,000 and a slew of prizes, is Nakita Byrne, a regional New South Wales-based Personal Travel Manager with the TravelManagers network, who won the judges over with her savvy social media skills and penchant for creativity.

Avis Scholarship 2017 Winner_Nakita Byrne

Judges for this year’s Scholarship — which for the first time in its 21-year history expanded to include New Zealand and adopted a fresh emphasis on innovation — praised Byrne for her inventive approach to building closer relationships with customers.

In her application, submitted as a series of YouTube videos, Byrne demonstrated a number of customer service initiatives.

Among them was her use of Instagram tags to encourage customers to submit images during their trips, which ultimately led to an upsurge in endorsements, increased brand awareness and new bookings.

 Kaye Ceille, Managing Director Pacific Region, Avis Budget Group, said Byrne highlighted the benefits that can flow to travel agents who can embrace social media to engage in the trust economy.

“Consumers put a premium on endorsements by people in their social networks and Nakita has cleverly leveraged those connections to build credibility and trust.”

“The results have had a clear and positive impact on her business.”

Byrne was announced as this year’s recipient at an award ceremony at the Four Seasons Hotel Sydney attended by Australian and New Zealand travel industry leaders. As the 2017 winner she receives a Scholarship prize package that includes:

  • travel on Qantas Airways to the United States, Europe or Asia to attend a Phocuswright conference, where she will hear from some of the global travel industry’s most visionary leaders
  • 12 months’ individual membership of Cruise Lines International Association Australasia (with exclusive access to the CLIA Accreditation Program and unlimited access to the CLIA Learning Academy)
  • free registration to attend Cruise360, the industry’s largest professional development event of the year, in Sydney in 2018
  • a Polonious Resources Personal Profile, Feedback Session and on-call personal/professional coaching for 12 months
  • full tuition for two units of a Graduate Certificate of Business degree from Australia’s Southern Cross University (completed entirely online and over a two-year period, providing maximum flexibility and convenience)
  • two tickets to the 2018 AFTA National Travel Industry Awards (including return flights and overnight accommodation).

This year’s Scholarship finalists also included:

  • Amber Halleday, MTA Travel (Mt Gambier, South Australia)
  • Brigitte Kempf, New Zealand Travel Brokers (Timaru, New Zealand)
  • Kim Mason, TravelManagers Australia (Sydney, New South Wales).

All will receive a Personal Behavioural Profile and a consultation session with a Polonious Business Coach.

Avis Scholarship 2017 (L-R) Nakita Byrne_Amber Halleday_Kaye Ceille (Avis)_Brigitte Kempf and Kim Mason

Ceille thanked every travel agent who took part in this year’s Scholarship program, and acknowledged the award’s major sponsors for their ongoing commitment and generosity.

SEE WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING

Travel Agents

Big Fat Agent Wrap

by Vanessa Bussoletti

It doesn’t get more jam-packed than this, readers. Unless you count our jam sandwich because that’s overflowing all over our desk.

Share

CommentComments

Tourism

“We’re all getting robbed”: Vic tourism hit by scam

by Hannah Edensor

At least nine Victorian tourist attractions have been hit by a credit card scam. We too were busted for buying clothes under our boss’s name but only to avoid buyers shame in the office.

Share

CommentComments

Hotels

What can you actually take from hotel rooms?

We could tell you this was an exclusive insight into what you can get away with stealing from hotels, but we’d be lying. We nicked it off an online forum.

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

At last, Qantas inflight Wi-Fi takes off

by Hannah Edensor

As 56% of travellers get stoked about Qantas’ inflight Wi-Fi, our concern lies with the other 44% who clearly hate looking at cats on YouTube.

Share

CommentComments

Destinations

Travel warnings for Gallipoli after terror threats

by Hannah Edensor

New updates on Smart Traveller have upgraded warnings for Turkey with news Anzac Day commemorations could be a target of terror attacks.

Share

CommentComments

Travel Agents

Flavour of the Week

Find out who won new roles & who fell on their swords in this week’s Flavour of the Week. Yes, we added that sword bit for effect.

Share

CommentComments

Cruise

Cruising for young travellers is finally here

This first of its kind cruise brand had us at ‘Wine & Paint Classes’ because it combines two of our favourite things. Well, one, we hate painting.

Share

CommentComments

Technology

52% of travellers swayed by Facebook photos: study

All of our Facebook friends’ photos inspired us to travel. And by ‘friends’ we mean the public profiles we stalk because we only have 4 friends.

Share

CommentComments

Tourism

Is your boss the Executive of the Year?

We tried to nominate ourselves for this award, but apparently ignoring the boss and pretending to be your own boss doesn’t actually make you CEO.

Share

CommentComments

Travel Agents

Final week of LAX agent incentive kicks off

We’re re-running this again from Monday (minus the typos). You get déjà vu & we do less work. A win-win, we say.

Share

CommentComments

Destinations

A world of special Sunshine Coast Deals

by Vanessa Bussoletti

Visit Sunshine Coast has partnered with Escape Travel to launch a major new campaign offering a wide range of activities […]

Share

CommentComments

Hotels

Big Fat Hotel Wrap

by Vanessa Bussoletti

If you read one thing today make sure it’s Travel Weekly’s hotel wrap. Actually, your medication instructions and train timetable probably take priority.

Share

CommentComments