Events

Travel DAZE 2020 speaker spotlight: Graham “Skroo” Turner, Flight Centre Travel Group

As the excitement continues to build ahead of Travel DAZE 2020, it’s time to shine a light on another one of the fab speakers for this year’s event.

Known to many in the industry as “Skroo”, Graham Turner was raised on an apple orchard near the Queensland town of Stanthorpe and later trained as a veterinarian at the University of Queensland.

After graduating from university, Turner worked as a vet in western Victoria before moving to London.

There, he and friend Geoff “Spy” Lomas – both of whom were working as vets – took their first steps into the travel industry in 1973 when they invested the equivalent of $1,300 in an ageing bus and started operating budget double-decker bus trips around Europe, North Africa and Asia.

After an eventful start, that company, Top Deck Travel, grew quickly and its success cemented Skroo’s future in the travel industry. Top Deck had grown into a thriving business with some 80 buses by the early 1980s, when he returned to Australia.

Skroo’s initial involvement with Top Deck ended in the mid-1980s, when he and his colleagues sold the business to management and devoted their full attention to Flight Centre, a business that had less than 30 shops at that time.

As the long-serving CEO and managing director of the public company that grew from the small band of Flight Centre shops, Skroo has since presided over a golden era of growth and prosperity for the Flight Centre Travel Group, while also guiding the business through numerous challenging periods.

These periods have included the Gulf War, September 11, the SARS outbreak, the Global Financial Crisis and, of course, COVID-19.

Today, the company has leisure and/or corporate travel businesses in Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Canada, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Continental Europe, the United States, Mexico, Hong Kong, China, India, Singapore and the United Arab Emirates.

Its corporate travel management network, FCM Travel Solutions, extends to more than 80 other countries through licensing arrangements with independent local operators.

In addition to his involvement with Flight Centre, Skroo and his family own a string of prestigious resort properties in Queensland and New South Wales. The resorts operate under the Spicers brand.

His hobbies include mountain biking, swimming, playing touch football with work colleagues, and marathon running.

Skroo ran his first marathon in London in 1981 and has completed the race six times, in addition to taking part in other events in Australia and overseas.

He has been a keen supporter of the Australian Bush Heritage Fund and other environmental causes and initiatives.

Check out who else will be lining up alongside Skroo at Travel DAZE 2020 here.

The event (which will be the only industry event of its scale in Australia this year) will virtually bring together the best minds from within the travel sector, along with external experts, to foster its recovery from COVID-19.

Presented by the Italian National Tourist Board, Travel DAZE 2020 will explore what tangible steps business owners, travel agents, tour operators, marketers, and communication specialists can take toward rebuilding a sustainable and profitable future.

The conference will kick off on Monday 2 November and finish up on Friday 6 November, and the best part is that it’s absolutely FREE!

So, what are you waiting for? Click here to register, and be sure to visit the Travel DAZE website and keep an eye out for more stories regarding rego, speakers and session times.

Those keen on sponsoring Travel DAZE 2020 can get in touch with Harriet Morris (harriet@travelweekly.com.au).

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