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.

Aviation

Qantas crew who tested positive for COVID-19 were not required to quarantine

Despite later testing positive for COVID-19, four members of Qantas’ cabin crew were not required to quarantine after operating a repatriation flight from Chile.

Share

CommentComments

Destinations

Austrian authorities face possible class action over COVID-19 outbreak at ski resort

Authorities in the Austrian state of Tyrol are facing a potential class-action lawsuit over their handling of a COVID-19 outbreak at a popular ski resort.

Share

CommentComments

Technology

Virtual travel: The ultimate list of tours and live streams to cure cabin fever

If, like Travel Weekly, you’re suffering from a case of itchy feet, we have just the thing for you.

Share

CommentComments

Travel Agents

More than 40 per cent of Flight Centre’s Australian stores to go

by Huntley Mitchell

The move is part of a detailed package of initiatives designed to strengthen the company’s balance sheet and liquidity position amid the COVID-19 crisis.

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

Aviation Wrap: Cathay delivers medical supplies, Emirates’ emotional send off, LATAM’s repatriation efforts + MORE!

This week’s Aviation Wrap has got us flying high with a spate of good news stories detailing what the industry is doing to help out during the global pandemic.

Share

CommentComments

Travel Agents

Ensemble CEO “disappointed” to be leaving local market

by Huntley Mitchell

David Harris said the decision to close the company’s trans-Tasman operations was actually being considered prior to the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

WATCH: Flight attendant hilariously tries to work from home

To pass her time in social isolation, one crafty flight attendant has tried to fulfil her regular duties in her apartment, drawing the ire of her husband in the process.

Share

CommentComments

Hotels

How Ovolo is adapting in tough times to continue its unique hotel experience

The hotel group is flipping the bird at COVID-19 and making the most of these challenging times with a variety of new initiatives.

Share

CommentComments

Tourism

#Together4Tourism: Rezdy launches new industry support platform

An online booking platform has launched a new initiative to help tourism professionals navigate the new normal.

Share

CommentComments

Travel Agents

“We will all get through this”: Guy Sebastian’s heartwarming message to MTA agents

The ARIA award-winning singer-songwriter sent a video to MTA agents and its head office team extending his support amid the coronavirus crisis.

Share

CommentComments

Destinations

Destination Wrap: Tourism Australia’s message of hope, Vanuatu keeps it beautiful + MORE!

Despite hardship, tourism boards and destinations near and far are staying hopeful, with their eyes set firmly on recovery.

Share

CommentComments

Hotels

Accor pledges $125 million towards COVID-19 employee fund

The hotel giant will allocate 25 per cent of a withdrawn dividend to a special-purpose fund for its employees.

Share

CommentComments