Travel agents end 2021 choosing to celebrate resilience

Travel agents end 2021 choosing to celebrate resilience

The challenges of 2021 were enough to have anyone feeling a bit Grinch-like over the festive period.

But that didn’t stop TravelManagers’ personal travel managers (PTMs) and national partnership office (NPO) team from looking on the bright side by choosing to celebrate resilience instead, with a series of gatherings in Perth, Sydney, Adelaide, Melbourne and Brisbane.

More than 120 attendees took part in the Christmas gatherings, which kicked off in Parth at the Rendezvous Hotel.

When the original event, which had been planned for 21 December, was cancelled due to ongoing border restrictions, local PTM Kelly Savka stepped in to arrange an alternative Christmas party, which she described as “a laidback afternoon enjoying drinks, charcuterie platter and chats.”

“Six of us even decided to spend the night so we could make the most of our time together, and although no-one from NPO was able to join us in person, it was great to be able to have a chat with members of the NPO team via Zoom,” Savka said.

(L-R) PTMs Tanya Tyler, Nat Miller, Debbie Chounding, Cathy Moir, Maria Miller, Robbie Barrett, Louise Gillogly, Julianne Gazal-Rizk and Anita Medcalf were among the 48 PTMs and NPO team members to gather for a pre-Christmas celebration at Sydney’s Vapiano King Street

In Sydney, twelve members of the NPO team were joined by 36 PTMs from around NSW for an afternoon at Vapiano King Street.

“It was lovely to be joined by two of our newest PTMs – Joanne Miller and Mary Maljevac, both of whom joined within the last five months,” Sydney based business partnership manager, Julie McLean said.

This was followed by events for South Australia (at the Lion Hotel in North Adelaide), Victoria (at the Common Man in South Melbourne) and Queensland (at Brisbane’s Prince Consort in Fortitude Valley).

Queensland PTMs were the last state to enjoy Christmas festivities, and although increasing COVID concerns meant that their event was attended by fewer than originally expected, those who did attend were delighted to be joined by a number of NPO representatives, including TravelManagers’ CEO Joe Araullo and COO Grant Campbell.

The travel industry may have spent the last two years in what felt like the naughty corner, but at TravelManagers’ state Christmas functions, everyone was ensured a spot on the “nice” list – including TravelManagers’ COO Grant Campbell (left), CEO Joe Araullo (right) and Queensland BPM Karen Dowling (centre).

For many, the gatherings were an opportunity to reconnect with colleagues and friends, many of which they have only seen via Zoom this year.

“It was such a fabulous night, and so good to finally get together and enjoy lots of laughs and a few stories over a drink or two,” Julie Lunn, representative for Ferntree Gully, VIC said.

“We have the most amazing supportive caring team of people at TravelManagers, and without them I just don’t know how I would have survived the last two years.”

Featured image: PTM Julie Lunn is grateful to her colleagues and the NPO team for their support in getting through 2021: (L-R) TravelManagers CEO Joe Araullo, Julie Lunn, Sharon Wright, Alyssa Pretorius, Trish Clowes, Debbie Tripp and Kerrin Poupos

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