Tributes paid for ‚Äúour Michelle”

Tributes paid for ‚Äúour Michelle”
By admin

Tributes have been paid to Perth travel agent Michelle Smith with friends and colleagues remembering the 60-year-old mum of three as a dedicated professional bursting with energy.

Michelle, an agent at RAC Travel Joondalup, was murdered in Phuket on Wednesday night during an Asia Escape Holidays famil to Phuket. She was stabbed as she bravely struggled with two men who attempted to snatch her handbag.

The attack sent shockwaves through the industry with Australian Federation of Travel Agents chief executive Jayson Westbury describing it as a tragedy shared by all.

Clynton Chatfield, a supervisor at RAC Travel West Perth who was Michelle’s boss when they both worked at RAC Central Park, told Travel Today: “I was her supervisor for a number of years but more than that, Michelle was my friend.

“She was such a fun loving girl who was well liked not only by her colleagues but also her clients. She was passionate about travel and loved the industry. She always did a terrific job.”

Michelle also worked with Clynton at West Travel, which RAC took over in 2000. One of her favourite roles, and one which she thrived at, was when she travelled with clients, Clynton said.

“She got very excited when she was escorting tours. Michelle excelled at it. She loved the people and was the life of the party,” he said.

Clynton said his heart sunk when he heard early yesterday morning that a travel agent had been killed in Phuket. “I had a premonition that it was Michelle,” he said. “It is absolutely senseless. Our Michelle, we will miss you terribly.”

Angela Graham from Breakaway Travel in Western Australia, wrote: “Such a sad day. We go overseas for work, to inspect hotels, to see what we can offer our clients with confidence, this has saddened the whole WA Travel Agents and Sales Reps. RIP Michelle your (sic) going to be missed.”

David Van Der Meer from Harvey World Travel, South Perth added: “She was an industry treasure.”

Travelways agency in Gosnells, WA, said: “Such a shock this could happen on an educational. Our hearts go out to the educational group, Asia Escape, Michells’s family & friends.”

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