We all know that one of the biggest perks of working in travel is being able to get out there and experience new destinations around the world.
But then 2020 happened and COVID-19 has delivered a savage blow to how travel professionals conduct their business.
However, a wily few have shown that necessity breeds invention. Particularly, TravelManagers’ personal travel managers (PTMs) around the country have been seeking out new destinations and experiences in their own region to satisfy their wanderlust and scope out new product.
A group of PTMs from Sydney, the Central Coast and the Central West region of NSW recently spent three days soaking up the rural delights of their state with a visit to Mudgee.
“It all started when Cathy Moir mentioned that she was keen to take a self famil/exploratory trip to country NSW with some fellow PTMs,” Robbie Barrett said.
“I was familiar with a lovely five-bedroom house in Mudgee called Haylock House and suggested this as a suitable spot for us to gather for a few days.”
Their getaway kicked off with a degustation lunch arranged by Barrett in the private dining room of local dining icon, The Zin House Mudgee.
“Robbie also arranged for everyone to be surprised with personalised ‘travel survival packs’,” Julianne Gazal-Rizk said.
“I was off to Paris for the day, while others in the group were destined for London and Hawaii, and all of us were equipped with COVID-era travel essentials such as hand sanitiser and a face mask.”
On day two of their getaway, it was PTM Anita Medcalf’s turn to arrange the group’s activity.
“Anita arranged a wonderful private tour of five different wineries with Mudgee Tourist Bus,” Gazal-Rizk said.
“I’m sure we significantly increased the cellar doors’ daily takings with our wine, oil and vinegar purchases!”
The group spent their evenings in Mudgee sitting by the fire in their rented house, swapping stories and enjoying shared dinners.
Gazal-Rizk said the short break was useful not just to learn about the destination, but also as a much-needed time to catch up with fellow PTMs.
“It was great to have a reminder that we’re all going through the same difficulties,” she said.
“Having time away from our everyday lives to workshop our thoughts and ideas and support one another was just what we all needed.”