As the countdown begins for the TravelManager’s annual national conference in Oahu, Personal Travel Managers (PTMs) are no doubt getting their Hawaiian shirts and leis ready in advance.
The destination has always been a big drawcard for the conference, previously being held in Fiji, Singapore, Bangkok and even aboard a cruise ship out of Sydney.
So since this year’s location was announced at the conclusion of last year’s conference in Darwin, the reaction has been enthusiastic, to say the least.
“It’s been a very popular choice,” TravelManagers’ Executive General Manager, Michael Gazal said.
“And not surprisingly. Hawaii is a dream destination, whether you’re visiting for business or pleasure, and we have some outstanding locations and activities lined up,” he adds.
Gazal said registration numbers are “very much in line with last year” with around 200 PTMs and 90 suppliers representing 53 partner supplier brands expected to attend.
Gazal says conference sessions will explore the many definitions of success, what it means for PTMs, clients, supplier partners and for TravelManagers’ National Partnership Office (NPO).
“Whilst a common measure of success is turnover, we know that it’s much more subjective than that, which is why TravelManagers works hard to enable our people to achieve success in many other facets as well,” Gazal said.
“Whether it’s achieving a change in work-life balance, being able to specialise in a particular field of interest, working with chosen travel partners, or continual development of both functional and personal skills, we’ll be discussing the tools and skills currently available, plus future innovations that will help our PTMs and travel partners achieve even greater success going forward.”
The two keynote speakers who have been invited to address the conference this year will elaborate on the theme of success through their own stories of personal and professional achievement.
The first speaker is Turia Pitt, who is one of Australia’s most admired and widely recognised motivationalist and author.
At 24, Turia was an ex-model, fitness junkie and successful mining engineer whose life was turned upside down when she became trapped in a grass fire while competing in a 100km ultra marathon. She was choppered out of the remote desert barely alive, with full thickness burns to 65 per cent of her body.
Renowned for her pure grit, indomitable spirit and passion for humanitarian work, Turia has gone on to thrive in the ultimate story of triumph over adversity.
The second speaker is Chris Paulsen, founder of New Zealand-based House of Travel, the company which acquired TravelManagers Australia in November 2007.
Chris was awarded New Zealand’s Ernst & Young’s Entrepreneur of the Year Award in 2006, The Prime Minister’s Social Hero Award in 2007, and the Chairman’s Circle Honour from the US Travel Association in 2013. As well as his role as director of TravelManagers, he also serves as a director of Christchurch International Airport Limited.
Gazal says other conference highlights include the team building activity, which will take place at Kualoa Ranch on Oahu’s Windward Coast: a location which is perhaps best known as a filming location for Jurassic Park.
“We also have a number of pre- and post-conference activities planned,” adds Gazal.
“They include a golf tournament at Hawaii Prince Golf Course, a selection of famils to all four main islands and a selection of almost 50 self-famil deals.”
TravelManagers’ annual National Conference will take place between 17 and 19 August, with the principle venue being the Prince Waikiki Luxury Hotel.