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

Destinations

Tripadvisor names top 10 foodie experiences worldwide

Because what’s a Friday without a story filled with pictures of delicious food from your pals at Travel Weekly?

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

Air France to welcome its first female CEO

This is a huge win for the airline industry, considering only 12 out of 286 IATA airlines are run by women.

Share

CommentComments

Cruise

ATTN AGENTS: Royal Caribbean launches its biggest incentive yet!

Just when you thought all the exciting end of year incentives were over, RCL has gone and blown our expectations launching their biggest consultant incentive yet.

Share

CommentComments

Hotels

The off-the-grid cabins every city-slicker is dying to book

by Melina Gouveia

Ditch the commitments, heed the call of the wild, and cure your nature deficient disorder with these swanky cabins.

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

Let’s make Poke! Hawaiian Airlines’ industry guests join Chef Lee Anne Wong in Sydney

Hawaiian Airlines hosted a fun promotion at the Sydney Cooking School recently inviting guests including key travel industry partners to meet Hawaiian Airlines Executive Chef Lee Anne Wong

Share

CommentComments

Destinations

Why Hawaii is the perfect destination for conferences and incentive groups

From lei greetings and a backdrop of palm trees, to white sand beaches and championship golf courses, the Hawaiian Islands are the ideal destination for memorable meetings, conventions and incentive programs.

Share

CommentComments

Destinations

What’s new in Kauai?

Check this list to see what’s happening in Kauai, Hawaii.

Share

CommentComments

Destinations

Sizzlin’ December news from the Island of Hawaii

As winter weather arrives on the continental United States, the island of Hawaii’s golden beaches, tropical weather, fresh cuisine and bounty of activities beckon visitors to experience it all.

Share

CommentComments

Hotels

Big Fat Hotel Wrap

Buckle up, because this is possibly one of the longest hotel wraps we’ve ever done. And if you read it slowly enough, you might be able to procrastinate until the weekend!

Share

CommentComments

Destinations

TTC CEO John Veitch tips Egypt as “the hot destination” for 2019

And that’s not just because of the temperature! Though we assume it would also be very hot climate-wise, considering it’s mostly desert.

Share

CommentComments

Road & Rail

Big Fat Road & Rail Wrap

We’ll save our usual procrastinating joke because this road and rail wrap is short and sweet – so you’ll have to find another excuse not to do any work today.

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

Start packing lighter: Aussie airlines are now weighing carry-on bags

However, there’s no rule to stop you wearing everything you own to thwart baggage weight restrictions instead. Well, not yet.

Share

CommentComments