Travel Agents

Agent Wrap: Travellers Choice smashes Aussie Specialist Program, Savenio’s new COVID-19 advisory board + MORE

Put a big full stop on your week by having a sticky beak at what Aussie travel agents have been up to.

Travellers Choice agents embrace Aussie Specialist Program

More than 75 per cent of Travellers Choice members have now completed Tourism Australia’s Aussie Specialist Program, putting the group in a strong position to capitalise on an expected surge in domestic holiday bookings.

Earlier this year, Travellers Choice rolled out a new online booking tool to its members’ individual websites, which allows customers to access domestic accommodation at prices that match or beat major online travel agencies.

In addition, customers can at any stage hit ‘pause’ and ask their consultant to complete the booking, or simply provide advice, solve minor issues or add additional components.

Savenio establishes affiliate advisory board

Savenio has established its first advisory board of five network affiliates who will support the growth of the brand as it navigates the new post-COVID travel landscape.

The four board members of the Savenio advisory board are:

  • Libby Orrock – Sydney-based with 21 years’ industry experience, including four years with Savenio.
  • Louise Brock – Tamworth-based with 13 years’ industry experience, including two years with Savenio.
  • Tracy- Ann O’Sullivan – Brisbane-based with 26 years’ industry experience, including three years with Savenio.
  • Robert Elias – Sydney-based with 35 years’ industry experience, including three years with Savenio.
Clockwise from top left: Louise Brock, Robert Elias, Libby Orrock, Tracy-Ann O’Sullivan

TravelManagers unravelling complexities of international travel under COVID-19

The logistics involved in moving around the globe are now more dynamic and complex than ever before, especially when the destination is somewhere that is off the beaten track at the best of times.

This is certainly the case for clients of TravelManagers’ John Lengacher, who were bound to Addis Ababa in Ethiopia to take up roles as humanitarian aid workers last month.

John Lengacher

“They had intended to fly via Singapore, but with Singapore Airport closed even to transit passengers, and all flights between Asia and Ethiopia cancelled indefinitely, we needed to find another option,” Lengacher said.

On his advice, Lengacher’s clients applied for and received approval from the Australian government to leave the country while he worked to get his clients on a United Nations relief flight from Rome.

However, the Ethiopian government did not approve the relief flight from Rome to Addis Ababa, which left him once again casting around for alternatives. Lengacher found a flight from Melbourne to Stockholm via Doha on Qatar Airways, which would connect with a flight from Stockholm to Addis Ababa some hours later.

Just hours before the clients’ departure, Qatar Airways phoned to advise that their Stockholm office would not allow the clients to travel. Their concern was that if the connecting Ethiopian flight were cancelled, they would be responsible for the now-stranded travellers. Instead, they offered Lengacher’s clients an alternative: to reissue their tickets so that they could fly to London instead.

Lengacher’s clients were on their way at last, and after a long journey via Doha and London, they arrived in Addis Ababa and entered a 14-day period of mandatory quarantine in a government facility.

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