Travel Agents

Agent Wrap: New AFTA chief mingles, Tripadvisor trials customer-to-agent service + MORE

It’s finally Friday! Or, as we call it in the Travel Weekly office, Agent Wrap day. Check out all the latest news from amongst your industry peers below…

AFTA chief Darren Rudd meets with local MPs

Australian Federation of Travel Agents (AFTA) CEO Darren Rudd has been working with local members of parliament by electorate during this turbulent time to ensure the concerns and hopes of ATAS travel agents have a clear and uninterrupted voice to all levels of government, irrespective of political persuasion.

On Wednesday, Rudd met with Federal Member for North Sydney, Trent Zimmerman (see below), which followed last week’s visit to Blacktown where he and Michelle Rowland (MP for Greenway) met with long-established travel agents (featured image).

Tripadvisor tests customer-to-travel agent service

During this quiet period, Tripadvisor has begun working on a new platform connecting consumers to “expert trip designers” for a fee of US$199.

The service, which is called Reco, is currently being beta-tested in the US, according to PhocusWire, and asks travellers to choose trip dates, length of stay, budget and “vibe” so it can pair them up with an agent with expertise in those areas.

So far, it appears Tripadvisor has been tight-lipped about its plans for the platform, with no word yet on when it will be available in Australia.

TravelManagers PTMs do the COVID-19 pivot

Two Western Australia-based personal travel managers (PTMs) have pivoted their business, Travelling Femmes, to offer tailored itineraries that explore their own backyard: Western Australia’s southwest region.

Linda Power and Julie Marchese, who are TravelManagers’ representatives for Aubin Grove and Australind respectively, joined forces in 2019 to sell women-only escorted group tours to overseas destinations such as Lombok, as well as a southwest Western Australia getaway that planted the seed for their latest offerings.

The pair are now liaising with a local Margaret River-based tour operator to offer small group tours in August and September. They have also teamed up with a local day tour operator for a “sunset hike, wine and dine experience”.

“Having wondered at the outset, ‘what if it’s only us’, we have been blown away by the demand for our tours,” Marchese said.

“Our September departure sold out within half an hour, so we had to create another departure in August, which also sold out in record time!”

The pair said they have been able to incorporate the necessary COVID-related precautions into their tours without jeopardising their clients’ safety or enjoyment.

Ally Kilpin celebrates 20 years with MTA

MTA-Mobile Travel Agents’ Ally Kilpin (pictured above, third from left) is celebrating her 20th anniversary with the company having joined as one the original ‘mobile travel agents’. MTA now boasts over 430 mobile travel agents based nationwide.

Based on Sydney’s Northern Beaches, Kilpin has worked in the travel industry for 40 years in South Africa, the United Kingdom and Australia.

Together with her business partner and husband Nick (pictured above, far left), they run a highly successful business focusing primarily on corporate travel but, as relationships with clients have grown, they also look after many of their corporates’ leisure travel.

SEE WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING

Leave a Reply

Wholesalers

Abercrombie & Kent unveils remote Flinders Island adventure

The luxury travel connoisseur is bringing remote and unusual parts of Australia into the spotlight with the launch of this new active adventure off the Tasmanian coast.

Share

CommentComments

Tourism

“There’s a fair bit of work to still go there”: ScoMo plays down hype around ‘vaccine passports’

by Ali Coulton

When the PM talks about international travel, the whole of Australia listens. However, in this instance, you’re going to have to switch your eyes on rather than your ears.

Share

CommentComments

Travel Agents

Flight Centre posts $234m loss, but grows its share in “large and important” Aussie leisure market

by Huntley Mitchell

If you ignore that big negative number in the headline, it’s all very positive news here from FCTG.

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

Qantas suffers $1bn half-yearly loss, pushes back international flight plans

by Huntley Mitchell

The flying kangaroo won’t be hopping overseas as soon as originally hoped, after posting a “stark, but not surprising” loss.

Share

CommentComments

Destinations

Brisvegas tapped as preferred host for 2032 Olympic Games

Crack a tinnie of XXXX Gold, because it looks like the Olympics might be coming to Queensland 32 years after Sydney’s hosting efforts.

Share

CommentComments

Cruise

Carnival Cruise Line extends US pause, as Canadian port closures spark Seabourn, Princess and HAL cancellations

Canada’s obnoxiously handsome PM, Justin Trudeau, has chucked a spanner in the works for cruise fanatics over on that side of the globe.

Share

CommentComments

Technology

Intrepid co-founder backs the Pinterest of travel apps

The social media platform claims to be the first to let users share travel-specific content to create real-world itineraries.

Share

CommentComments

Destinations

Why your clients will be drawn to Japan’s heartland once international travel restarts

by Sponsored by Gifu Prefecture Tourism Federation

With your clients no doubt itching to get back overseas, here’s a destination that’s a realistic chance of reopening to Aussies before many others.

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

“I thought we were going down”: What we know about the United Airlines engine explosion

The flight was forced to make an emergency landing in Denver when one of its engines blew apart, raining debris on suburban neighbourhoods below.

Share

CommentComments

Cruise

Royal Caribbean cops further punishment for detaining Aussie cruiser over threesome

The man had already been paid almost $100,000 by the cruise line after being detained by crew members on Explorer of the Seas for six days over false rape allegations.

Share

CommentComments

Travel Agents

Helloworld bears $15.1m loss, but retail networks still “largely intact”

by Huntley Mitchell

Helloworld swung to a loss in the first six months of FY21, but it wasn’t all bad news for the ASX-listed group.

Share

CommentComments

Destinations

Traditional owners threaten closure of key Kakadu tourism sites over “mismanagement” by Parks Australia

Traditional owners of Kakadu National Park have warned they will close parts of the tourism hotspot after claims it has fallen into “disrepair”.

Share

CommentComments