Agent wrap: Travellers Choice ramps up member mentoring, A&K hosts top agents at Connoisseur Club + MORE

Agent wrap: Travellers Choice ramps up member mentoring, A&K hosts top agents at Connoisseur Club + MORE

It’s Friday, which means two things: Travel Weekly’s agent wrap has arrived, and our editor has already made his way to the pub.

Travellers Choice launches Member Mentoring 2.0

Travellers Choice is now rolling out the second instalment of its Member Mentoring Program, with a number of enhancements designed to make the experience even more valuable for the group’s mentors and mentees.

Twenty Travellers Choice agents took part in the network’s inaugural six-month program, which saw mentors and mentees work together on a range of business and personal development issues.

General manager Sales Nicola Strudwick said some subtle but important changes have since been incorporated in the program in response to feedback from participants.

“In particular, we have refined the way we assess the skills and requirements of each participant, ensuring we get an even better match of mentor and mentee,” she said.

“At the same time, we are now providing extra guidance and support, especially during the initial contact stage when participants are exploring the most effective areas in which to focus.”

A&K hosts top agents at annual Connoisseur Club conference

Travel agents at A&K's raptor rescue visit

Abercrombie & Kent recently hosted top agents at its annual Connoisseur Club conference.

Held this year in Hobart, the group stayed at the timber-clad, waterfront hotel Macq01, attended a forum on luxury travel and were treated to a private, after-hours visit to MONA with whisky tasting and a gourmet dinner.

Award-winning photographer, published author and host of A&K’s ‘Golden Eagle Festival Limited Edition Small Group Journey’, Palani Mohan, entertained participants with a presentation of his experiences in western Mongolia.

The conference concluded with an exclusive behind-the-scenes visit to the Raptor Refuge, south of Hobart, which is supported by A&K Philanthropy.

Temperance TIME for Fiona Dalton and Trish Shepherd


Travel industry Mentor Experience (TIME) mentors Fiona Dalton and Trish Shepherd are raising funds for TIME by abstaining from alcoholic libations for 90 days.

Dalton and Shepherd’s abstinence from alcohol will be followed closely by Martin Cowley and Steve Mackenzie, chairman and CEO of TIME sponsor The Lido Group, who undertook a similar activity last year. The pair from Lido set a goal of raising $3000, but exceeded that mark by some measure, ultimately reaching $3700.

Dalton and Shepherd plan to see the Lido team’s $3,700 and raise it to a neat $5,000. Both passionate advocates for making pathways to the ranks of travel industry leadership more inclusive, funds raised by the ladies will open doors to the program for people who wouldn’t otherwise be able to participate.

Show your support here.

MTA meets Crooked Compass

Pictured (L-R)- Jackie Pennock, Michelle Trembath, Danielle Lawson, Sue Barton, Lisa Pagotto, and Martina Parker

Taking time to learn a little more about the amazing menu of travel experiences now on offer with boutique tour specialist Crooked Compass, MTA – Mobile Travel Agents NSW/ACT BDM Jackie Pennock and a group of MTA advisors recently met with company founder Lisa Pagotto in Sydney for a product update.

The venue for the event was the trendy INDU Sri Lankan restaurant.

TravelManagers extends Network Assistance Program

The conclusion of TravelManagers’ annual National Conference in Perth earlier this month marked 12 months since the introduction of the company’s Network Assistance Program (NAP), an initiative to support its business partners’ health and wellbeing.

TravelManagers CEO Joe Araullo said the program that provides support to personal travel managers throughout Australia has been such a success that its initial trial period has now been extended for a further 12 months.

“We’ve actually found that the uptake of NAP has been higher than expected, which indicates there may be greater benefit than we had originally foreseen and that an industry-wide need for this kind of support could be significant,” Araullo said.

“The program is available to all PTMs and while the service is offered on a confidential basis, the feedback from users who have voluntarily shared their experience has been very encouraging.”

New APX ambassadors return from Taipei

New APX ambassadors in Taipei

The annual APX staff ambassador program launched again last month, with staff nominating and voting for their colleagues who embody APX’s corporate values.

This year’s ambassadors are Aimee Donovan, Anthony Cornor, Debbie Fraser, Jamie Bishop, Jodi MacKinnon, Neihana Burke, Parvathy Menon, and Shannon Whitta.

The eight ambassadors, as well as APX’s Jenny Miller and Chris Hughes of Air New Zealand, returned from the annual ambassadors’ trip last Sunday. The destination – Taipai – remained a mystery until the ambassadors were announced.

The six-day trip saw the ambassadors enjoying Taipei’s famous food scene, markets and skyline.

Highlights from the trip also included flying Air New Zealand’s Business Premier, eating dumplings at Michelin star restaurant Din Tai Fung, and discovering Taipei’s temples and history.

Aussie and Kiwi agents get up to date on Las Vegas

Travel agents at LVCVA Sales Mission

The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA) has just rounded out its three-city tour, kicking things off in Auckland with agent and B2B events at the start of the week, followed by a mid-week rendezvous in Melbourne, and culminating in Sydney with the finale agent event last night and B2B meetings today.

LVCVA, alongside 12 key industry partners, welcomed over 200 agents to discover all that’s new in the Entertainment Capital of the World.

This year’s sales mission was crafted to allow agents to build one-on-one relationships with local industry representatives, enabling agents to discover new products, as well as improve their destination knowledge via a Q&A session hosted by travel writer and comedian David Smiedt.

The events also saw one lucky agent from each city walk away with a major prize giveaway, which included two international return flights to Las Vegas, deluxe accommodation packages, only-in-Vegas activities and gourmet dining experiences.

The LVCVA was joined by key industry representatives from Caesars Entertainment, MGM Resorts International, The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, TravelNevada, Elite Status Group, Wynn Las Vegas and Encore, Maverick Helicopters & Airlines, Machine Guns Vegas, Indigo, Bramer Tours USA, Bindlestiff Tours and Bliss Wedding Chapel/Bliss Beyond the Neon.

Bruno the monkey pops into travel agencies in South East Queensland

One month after Royal Brunei Airlines launched its new Brisbane flights, travel agents in Brisbane, the Gold and Sunshine Coasts are watching out for #BrunoinQueensland (aka Bruno the Proboscis monkey) as he pops into travel centres in his ‘We found Brunei’ shirt.

Pictured below with Bruno and proving they already know the exact location of Brunei, on the island of Borneo in Southeast Asia are Michael Gehrke, Kathryn McClean and Tamika Lanham from Flight Centre Tailor Made at Mt Ommaney.

Michael Gehrke, Kathryn McClean and Tamika Lanham (Flight Centre Tailor Made at Mt Ommaney) with Bruno the monkey

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