Travel Agents

“I’m going to empower”: Kaylene Shuttlewood on her plan for the Travel Counsellors

Ali Coulton

Over the weekend, we had the pleasure of attending the Travel Counsellors conference in sunny Cairns!

And let us tell you, we are just giddy with energy and inspiration, which is saying something because usually come Monday morning, the only thing we’re giddy with is a caffeine high and a mild hangover.

For those of you who don’t know, the Travel Counsellors Conference is held annually to give Travel Counsellors (TCs) the opportunity to celebrate their success and build upon their knowledge.

This year they were inspired by the wise words of seven-time world champion surfer, Layne Beachley, and author of Secrets for Business Success Cian McLoughlin.

They heard all about the tools and resources available to them through their online learning portal, COACH, as well as latest technology the company offers them including upgrades to their in-house booking system, Phenix, a rundown of how the TC app works and how to successfully market their business.

Not to mention all the amazing holidays that were up for grabs, the fantastic pow-wow session that allowed them to catch up with their suppliers and the social events that gave them the opportunity to kick up their heels with fellow TCs.

We witnessed many a tearful reunion in the hotel lobby and plenty of great dance move on display at the Gala Awards night, where the head office staff were able to recognise and reward all the fabulous achievements of the TCs.

This year the conference was also a chance for TCs to say goodbye to their previous regional general manager, Fred Van Eijk, and become acquainted with incoming GM, the wonderful Kaylene Shuttlewood!

Shuttlewood outlined her goals and plans for the company and made a firm commitment to her TCs.

“I’m going to empower our team to do their job, to make decisions, to get things done and to be proactive.”

“I’m going to lead by example, I’ll roll up my sleeves, I’ll work hard, I’ll be tenacious, offer commitment and loyalty.”

“I want to work hard with our TCs, it’s the foundation of our business, I want to ensure you have the right tools, the right support services that you can make your business a success.”

Shuttlewood is already an industry veteran, having held senior positions in the UK, Australia and USA, with previous roles including Head of Affiliate at Helloworld and Director of Air Product for Stella Travel Group, and General Manager Air Tickets.

We managed to catch up with her in between the fantastic conference session and scrumptious meal breaks.

Shuttlewood told us the reason she decided to take her new position in the Travel Counsellors was two-fold:

“There was the culture of the organisation, which is it’s truly unique. My challenge now is to make sure I can replicate that in head office,” she told us.

“And the second one was the tech. I’ve got a really strong technology background and a really strong understanding of how it can be used to improve a business and to add value to that personal touch, not replace it.”

As for the conference, Shuttlewood said that it is a crucial aspect of the home based travel agent business model.

“[Many TCs] are working remotely or working on their own and because of the remoteness they can’t go to an event or a suppliers conference so this is a fantastic opportunity for them to meet all the suppliers which is why we did the pow-wow yesterday,” she said.

“It’s also a great opportunity to build friendships, the TCs, they really want to help each other.”

“Something that I’ve been really noticing is that there is absolutely no competitiveness between the TCs.”

“It’s about their own referrals and their own database so that’s been really nice to see.”

“They are just so open to helping someone else because it’s their own business. I think that’s the key for the conference.”

“For us, it’s a lot more personal, it’s a lot more bespoke, and it’s about having that relationship with our customer throughout the journey, throughout their whole life.”



SEE WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING

Leave a Reply

Cruise

Tourists stranded as Europe’s rivers continue to drop

Water levels across Europe’s rivers continue to plague cruise operators with reports of marooned boats on the Doubs River.

Share

CommentComments

Hotels

Midweek Interview

Midweek catch-up with Italian hotelier Gai Quartucci

This week, we sat down with Gai Quartucci, global sales and marketing director for part of the Small Luxury Hotels of the world group.

Share

CommentComments

Travel Agents

Malaysia Airlines launches free trip incentive for agents

This incentive is like a buy one, get one free, except instead of buying something, you’ve got to sell airfares… which is likely your job anyway so win-win.

Share

CommentComments

Hotels

Ennismore to bring four new lifestyle hotels to NZ

Accor’s quirky stepchild is spreading its wings across the Pacific with four new signings in New Zealand.

Share

CommentComments

Events

Missed the Visit USA Expos? Fear not, we’ve got your biggest questions covered.

by sponsored by Visit USA Australia

No more FOMO! These hot tips will get you in top-tip shape to visit the USA.

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

Jetstar launches Sunny Coast sale with fares cheaper than a tank of petrol

With prices this low, Jetstar will have to steal Bunnings’ famous tagline. Hopefully they’ll start hosting sausage sizzles as well.

Share

CommentComments

Hotels

Hotel Review: La Sultana is an oasis among the chaos of Marrakech

by Nancy Hromin

A peaceful hideaway right in the centre of the Medina’s hustle and bustle, La Sultana is an oasis among the chaos of Marrakech – a chaos we absolutely loved.

Share

CommentComments

News

Aussie travel start-up Ok Away partners with Air Doctor

While it is a cool name, Ok Away also sounds like a good way to end a sentence with someone you wish would leave you alone.

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

“It’s a shocking insult”: Qantas slammed for asking execs to work as baggage handlers

The bags on your next flight may be handled by Alan Joyce, which may or may not be a good thing depending on your confidence in his ability to fling around 30 kg bags.

Share

CommentComments

Destinations

Travellers warned over bomb threats against Moldova’s international airport

The government’s travel alert website is advising Aussies to reconsider their need to travel to Moldova, which, given the bomb threats, is probably sound advice.

Share

CommentComments

Cruise

Intrepid launches citizen science programs in Antarctica

Believe it or not, there is more than one program about understanding phytoplankton (which are a lot more important than you would think)!

Share

CommentComments

Hotels

IHG celebrates 60 years with big surprises + Tim Tam cake

The brand is celebrating its Diamond anniversary with a series of events and surprises for guests, but honestly, they had us at “Tim Tam”.

Share

CommentComments