Travel Agents

“We don’t have one-night stands”: Travel Counsellors CEO on the importance of referrals

Christian Fleetwood

Christian Fleetwood

Travel Counsellors CEO Steve Byrne says the company does not believe in creating one-off holidays for its clients, instead focusing on business referrals and customer satisfaction for business success.

The comments came at this year’s Travel Counsellors conference, themed ‘TCX’ (the ‘Travel Counsellors Experience’), which took place at the Pullman Adelaide last week, coinciding with the company’s 25th year in operation.

The event saw high-achieving travel counsellors (TCs) awarded extraordinary prizes, a day of meet-and-greets between agents and suppliers, and two days of insightful addresses by Byrne.

One of the key takeaways from Byrne’s second address to TCs, suppliers and the media was the importance of referral for the business, in order to avoid what the CEO referred to as “one-night stands” with clients, which he conveyed, tongue-in-cheek, by using a Kim Kardashian quote to highlight his point.

“We put the customer first because it’s the right thing to do and because our business model demands it … this is a business based on recommendation and referral,” Byrne told conference attendees.

Byrne also spoke about Travel Counsellors recording year-on-year growth of 16 per cent globally, highlighted by an international workforce represented by 1,900 TCs in seven countries – together worth a total transaction/sales value of $1.1 billion.

The company’s CEO expects this figure to increase to $2 billion within the next five years, and also revealed some of the key movements for the year to come at Travel Counsellors, including a continued push to improve the company’s online booking platform, Phenix – an asset that allows agents to access up to 70 per cent more commission.

Sitting down on Thursday before the conference, Byrne told attending media about the company’s direction for 2019, namely that Travel Counsellors is investing in a few key departments: corporate travel, premium product and technology, among others.

Travel Counsellors’ has already committed to doubling its investment in technology spending to $11 million each year, announced in 2018, namely in its online Phenix platform, and a further $2 million investment in its myTC application since 2016.

As it stands, the company’s spread of 145 Australian agents is made up of 25 per cent specialising in corporate travel and 25 per cent specialising in leisure.

“We believe we’ve got a big opportunity in corporate travel – globally and in Australia,” Byrne said.

“At the moment, the corporate business is growing by about 20 per cent and the leisure business has grown by about 12 per cent.”

Byrne said he expects corporate opportunities for the company to continue growing at a faster rate than the company’s leisure business.



SEE WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING

Comments are closed.

Hotels

Review: Le Farnatchi is a truly boutique beauty in the heart of Marrakech

by Nancy Hromin

Hidden in plain sight in the middle of the Medina, Le Farnatchi is a truly boutique beauty with only 10 suites offering a quiet and peaceful reprieve.

Share

CommentComments

Destinations

Sydney’s Great West Walk extended by 80km

Hikers, rejoice! This iconic trail has been extended to cover a whopping 140km, making it possible to walk from Parramatta to Katoomba.

Share

CommentComments

News

Hilton and Carnival named among Australia’s best workplaces

Travel Weekly unfortunately missed out on the list, though we do often hold up balloons that spell out our company name like in the featured image. It really boosts team morale!

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

ACCC raises concerns over Qantas’ acquisition of Alliance Airlines

The ACCC is also concerned about whether Alan Joyce’s volunteering on the tarmac has affected productivity, with workers beginning to raise eyebrows after his eighth morning tea break.

Share

CommentComments

Tourism

Virtuoso reveals hottest bounce back trends at Travel Week

Are you living it up at the fashion week of travel in Vegas this year? Or are you sitting at home suffering from FOMO? Either way, we’re sure these insights will tickle your fancy.

Share

CommentComments

Tourism

Tourism New Zealand seeks to attract “high-quality visitors” in new campaign

Nothing says ‘adventure’ like ziplining through a forest in New Zealand. Zipliners are up there with Marco Polo in our opinion.

Share

CommentComments

Cruise

Azamara rolls out luxe bar championing destination immersion

The line will launch its new bar concept across the entire Azamara fleet, with delicious destination-themed cocktails to get passengers in the zone.

Share

CommentComments

Tourism

Aurora Expeditions announces new Patagonia treks

Travellers are set to weave their way through the remotest parts of South America with these new itineraries, in their Patagonia gear of course.

Share

CommentComments

Cruise

New expert sessions announced for Cruise360

These new sessions have us so excited we went out and booked a cruise, only for us to realise the date overlapped with Cruise360 so we had to cancel.

Share

CommentComments

Hotels

Club Med’s flash sale has 30% off Asian resorts

Just to clarify, it’s 30% off resort deals, not the actual resorts themselves. Although that would be quite the sale.

Share

CommentComments

Midweek Interview

Midweek catch-up with Visit West Hollywood’s Tom Kiely

This week we caught up with the CEO of Visit West Hollywood Tom Kiely who kept praising Australia and our travel industry. We just couldn’t stop blushing!

Share

CommentComments

Destinations

Corona announces its own tropical island destination in South America

If drinking beer on the beach is one of your favourite holiday activities then there’s no better destination for you!

Share

CommentComments