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.

Cruise

P&O waves goodbye to “the backbone of the Australian cruise industry”

P&O Cruises Australia has bid a tearful farewell to one of Australia’s most iconic cruise ships earlier than expected.

Share

CommentComments

Wholesalers

Wholesaler Wrap: TravelMarvel’s new rail partnership, World Expeditions launches new brand + MORE

Wholesalers have been more active than usual this past week, but that’s not to say they’ve been wearing spandex and powerwalking around the block.

Share

CommentComments

Road & Rail

PICTURES: View the most picturesque Road trips through Pantone colours

We’ve gifted you a nice easy picture story to ease your Monday-itis. It’s got pretty colours, spectacular landscapes and should kill at least half an hour if you read slowly.

Share

CommentComments

Cruise

Aussie food suppliers jump onboard calls for resumption of cruise

Aussies farmers, beverage companies, transport providers and all the others who fill cruise ships and land excursions with all those delicious goodies have banded together to support the cruise industry.

Share

CommentComments

Destinations

Malaysian Sarawak is home to nature adventures unlike anywhere else

Sarawak is overflowing with cultural, adventure, nature, and food-based experiences that your clients won’t find anywhere else in the world.

Share

CommentComments

Travel Agents

Flight Centre GM talks pivoting, compassion and $1 billion in refunds

We had a chat with Kelly Spencer about how the travel giant is fairing during the COVID-19 crisis, how it’s coping and what it has learned.

Share

CommentComments

Tourism

Federal govt announces “most significant” insolvency reforms in 30 years to help save struggling small businesses

Is your business on its last legs? Find some relief in this major announcement by the federal government.

Share

CommentComments

Hotels

Crystalbrook to take over boutique Brisbane hotel

The independent hospitality company has gone all arty-farty in expanding its east coast footprint.

Share

CommentComments

Cruise

WATCH: Dream Cruises produces delightfully cringeworthy safety video

Dream Cruises has taken a leaf out of the airline playbook by turning its safety instructions into a fun video. It’s overly cheesy, but kinda cute.

Share

CommentComments

Travel Agents

MTA agent wins coveted spot on Dutch famil

With the famil stopping in Amsterdam along the way, you’d hope this agent will remember to pack some extra-clear eye drops and plenty of snacks.

Share

CommentComments

Wholesalers

Collette releases 2021/22 travel guide with seven new tours

Tell your clients to get ready to gorge themselves on arancini and caponata because three of the seven new trips involve the jewel of the Italian south: Sicily!

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

Qantas scraps Wallabies sponsorship, makes nearly $1m selling fully-stocked bar carts

We’ve mixed the good news with the bad here in this Qantas story, so get ready to smile and frown.

Share

CommentComments