Travel Agents

Agent Wrap: Travellers Choice award winners, agents cruise Croatia, MTA conference speaker + MORE!

Congrats, folks – you made it to Friday! As a reward, here’s an extra-long Agent Wrap for you to peruse before knock-off drinks.

Agents cruise Croatia 

Cruise Croatia by Beyond Travel recently hosted 18 agents from around Australia on an eight-day cruise aboard the new deluxe MS Bella to experience first-hand the reasons behind Australians love affair with Croatia and cruising its coastline.

The famil was arranged to educate agents on the variety of deluxe vessels in Croatia that are now available to the Australian market.

The voyage was a roundtrip from Split with visits to popular ports such as Bol, Hvar, Korcula, Dubrovnik, Mljet, Puscica and Omis,  as well as plenty of time for activities on the boat such as sunrise yoga on the sundeck and jumping over board into the Adriatic Sea.

Personal Travel Managers helping out at Ronald McDonald House

Ronald McDonald House Charities has been supporting the families of sick children in Australia since 1981, and now has Houses in eighteen locations across the country, including its longest-established in Sydney’s Westmead, which provides services to around 1360 families per year. TravelManagers recently contributed fifteen eager volunteers to take part in ‘Meals from the Heart’, a program in which participants prepare and serve food to the families staying at Ronald McDonald House.

This time around, the volunteers included members of NPO’s support team and NSW-based PTMs, who donned hats and aprons and were put to work in the kitchen, preparing and serving dinner for a full house – an estimated 200 people. The volunteers came bearing gifts in the form of delicious hand-crafted cupcakes, and also brought with them a balloon man, who performed a magic show to entertain the families during and after dinner.

Savenios gather at Brisbane Symposium

This year’s Savenio Symposium will welcome a number of new affiliates to the network as the team gathers in Brisbane this weekend and celebrates a year of success.

Over three days (22-24 November) Savenio advisors will hear product updates, take part in learning and development workshops, networking events and the highlight of the weekend, the ‘Crystalized Private Dinner’ in the Emporium Hotel’s Penthouse, hosted by Crystal Cruises.

Symposium will also feature the Savenio ‘Travel Mart’ with over 20 luxury travel products offering updates for advisors along with updates from the senior management team.

Choice Award winners look forward to Rivers of Gold in 2020

Travellers Choice’s top 10 members can look forward to sundowners beside the mighty Victoria Falls and encounters with Africa’s wildest attractions next year – just part of their reward for being named the national retail group’s 2019 Gold Choice Award winners.

Each year Travellers Choice presents its top-performing agencies with Gold, Silver or Bronze Choice Awards, with 10 winners in each category determined by the level of support they provide the national network’s preferred suppliers.

In addition to winning coveted spots on enticing Choice Reward Trips, recipients attend an exclusive peer-to-peer networking event and receive service grants worth up to $1,500 per agency, which they can use towards the network’s extensive suite of innovative business and marketing services tailored to supporting independent travel agents.

This year’s Silver Choice Award trip is hosted by Swagman, which will take winners on a Spiritual Sri Lanka tour in April.

Meanwhile, Bronze Choice Award winners will board Majestic Princess, one of the newest ships in Princess Cruises’ fleet, for an eight-day voyage next February.

2019 Gold Choice Award Winners

  • Ballina Cruise & Travel (NSW)
  • Capricorn Travel (WA)
  • Jamison Travel (ACT)
  • Maria Slater Travel (ACT)
  • Oliver Travel (SA)
  • Select World Travel (QLD)
  • Savenio (QLD & SA)
  • Ucango Travel & Cruise Centre (QLD)
  • Windsong Travel, (NSW)
  • Weston Cruise & Travel (ACT)

ANZCRO makes it easier to sell NZ holidays with self-service booking platform

ANZCRO now provides a new service for travel agents with the launch of ANZCRO Connect, an online booking platform giving instant access to thousands of New Zealand travel products, including accommodation, rental cars, campervans, tours and activities, coach tours and packages.

ANZCRO Connect not only provides one place to go for access to all New Zealand travel products, but the platform enables travel agents to easily create itineraries, generate quotes 24/7 and offers competitive pricing with dynamic rates and real-time availability.

Travel Agents who are already registered with can use their existing log in details, otherwise, they can register directly on the new portal.

Helloworld Travel and China Southern Airlines ultimate entertainment experience in the UK!

To showcase the breadth and reach of the China Southern Airlines network, 8 Helloworld Travel member network agents were invited on a famil to the United Kingdom as a reward for their excellent results contributing to an agent incentive earlier in the year.

One of the highlights of the trip was a VIP evening to see the Bootleg Beatles perform with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra at the Royal Albert Hall. The evening also included a 3-course a la carte dining experience, including drinks, in the Elgar Room Brasserie prior to the show.

Another stand-out was London Explorer passes for all the agents to experience London with ease, a night at the West End to see world-renowned musical Wicked and great accommodation at the Copthorne Tara Hotel London Kensington.

China Southern Airlines provided access to the VIP Lounge in Guangzhou, where the group were able to refresh and relax before continuing on their journey. Thank you for China South Airlines for hosting the agents on the Ultimate UK Entertainment Experience!

Brand USA announces Arizona training incentive winner

Brand USA, in partnership with Arizona Office of Tourism, has revealed Nicole Bridges from Flight Centre, Westfield Warringah in Brookvale, NSW as the Australian winner of Arizona Specialist Badge trade training incentive.

Agents across Australia competed for a chance to win an Apple iPad, courtesy of Arizona Office of Tourism.

To enter, agents had to register for the USA Discovery Program and complete the Arizona Specialist Badge. During the incentive period – which ran from 8th October to 15th November 2019 – 213 Australian users completed the badge The USA Discovery Program is an innovative, interactive online training program that provides travel agents with comprehensive knowledge and skills to effectively book trips to the USA.

The Arizona Specialist Badge is a training module that informs and educates agents on Arizona’s many destination offerings – from the best wellness spots and top accommodation options to must-do adventure activities and must-try food and drink.

Virtuoso Incubator Program seeks promising travel technology startups for its 2020 class

Virtuoso is seeking out and supporting the globe’s most compelling travel technology startups by opening space for new applicants in its 2020 Incubator program.

Virtuoso’s 2020 Incubator program is looking for companies focusing on advisor productivity tools, travel industry-specific client communication and marketing products and invoicing tools. Startups can express their interest here. The deadline for applications is January 15, 2020.

Through Virtuoso Incubator, travel technology developers receive real-world insights from its professional travel advisors, offering a unique perspective from their target audience for their products. With this input, Incubator companies refine their tools to better meet market needs.

An Incubator company is eligible for full Virtuoso partnership once its trial period ends. This year Virtuoso has elevated two former participants to preferred partner status:

  • ApproachGuides, whose Trip Reads destination content service — featuring inspirational videos, articles, books and podcasts — has been integrated into Virtuoso Wanderlist™.
  • ZoomandGo, a map-based hotel reservation and analytics tool to facilitate booking via the GDS, increasing advisor productivity and sales.

MTA’s Adviser privileged to meet ‘the voice behind the walls’ in Cambodia

Mobile Travel Agents’ Vicki Williamson with celebrated Cambodian author and ‘Killing Fields’ survivor Chum Mey, the man known as ‘the voice behind the walls’.

The MTA Adviser met the author while visiting the infamous school-turned-prison S-21 Tuol Sleng, an experience she described as “confronting but also a privilege to be able to meet one of the survivors from this dark period of Cambodian history.”

The prison visit was part of a seven-day Scenic Mekong River cruise study tour travelling from Siem Reap to Ho Chi Minh City visiting Angkor Wat, Wat Hanchey, Phnom Penh, Tan Chau, Sa Dec and Cai Be en route.

Virtuoso CEO to present at MTA  20th anniversary conference

Having secured the presence of Australian music industry heavyweight, Guy Sebastian for the ‘People, Purpose Passion’ themed 20th anniversary national conference taking place next February, MTA – Mobile Travel Agents has now confirmed the head of the world’s foremost luxury travel organisation, Virtuoso CEO, Matthew Upchurch will also join the event.

Upchurch, a long-standing associate of MTA co-managing directors Karen and Roy Merricks, will deliver a keynote address to the 420-plus delegates attending the conference taking place at the InterContinental Sanctuary Cove on the Gold Coast from 28 February – 01 March 2020.


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