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2013 – TravelManagers Focus on People, Technology and Growth

February 12, 2014 Mobile travel consulting No Comments Email Email

TravelManagers’, Chief Executive, Joe Araullo reflects on 2013 as a year “the business has come of age”.

“Our reinvestment of profit for the previous six years, our technology, and our focus on training for our personal travel managers via strong national and state-based support through the national partnership office and business partnership managers, is clearly a winning formula for the company,” he says.

JOE HOT

JOE HOT

TravelManagers, Australia’s leading home-based agency, achieved significant sales growth in 2013 with two key milestones resulting. Last year, the company recorded both its highest week of sales to date along with its best ever month of sales to date over eight months apart during a period of constant growth.

“TravelManagers 2013 sales were up 20% compared to 2012 resulting in a 27% increase in commissions, at a time when increased competition and excessive capacity across many product categories resulted in lower average sale prices. We couldn’t have achieved this without the strong and committed support of the network and each individual personal travel manager,” says Araullo.

Araullo says investment in people continued to be an important facet of 2013.

“Timely business planning and mutual goal setting early in the year, our highly successful state-based partnership manager model, our increased national partnership office presence and engagement throughout the year and growing buddy relationships between personal travel managers themselves, have been instrumental for achieving both TravelManagers and individual personal travel manager success,” says Araullo.

Another example of investing in our people says Araullo, is that more personal travel managers were offered famil places in 2013 than any previous year.

“TravelManagers dedicated famil programme has without doubt has been a success story. Many key airline, cruise and wholesale supplier relationships have been built over many years with support from our partner suppliers being absolutely key to our business model. The ability for our personal travel managers to experience a wide range of dedicated worldwide famils is a large part of this support,” he says.

Araullo says TravelManagers prides itself on providing superior client service, with technology advancement a key focus for 2013 that will continue as a priority into 2014.

“TravelManagers is a 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year business. The ability to access and process every aspect of a client’s booking at any time is critical to deliver on our promise of exceptional client service and total flexibility for our personal travel managers when and as they want. With our continued advanced technology focus, TravelManagers is in the enviable position of being the market leader and at the forefront, not only of home-based consulting but of providing essential support services to clients as well,” he says.

Araullo’ sentiments were further reflected in the ABC Channel 2 ‘The Business’ documentary with TravelManagers being stated as “an excellent example of a company utilizing technology to its full extent, ensuring its business is not only competitive but also assisting its personal travel managers in maximizing their service potential”.

TravelManagers’ philosophy of giving back to the community continued to be a highlight in 2013 with a significant part of their annual conference being dedicated to supporting a community project.

Araullo says, community support is not solely limited to a national level with many thousands of dollars being raised last year in support of local charities and communities through fund raising events organised by the individual personal travel managers themselves.

“Along with our conference community project there have been so many examples of the incredible community support initiated from our personal travel managers. Providing the opportunity for our personal travel managers to do something that benefits their community also mirrors our business philosophy of going the extra mile. Together it jointly builds a strong corporate citizenship and a vibrant culture that we are immensely proud of and will continue to do,” he says.

TravelManagers celebrated its 400th personal travel manager joining the company, with the growth of new recruits last year surpassing all preceding years.  Araullo proudly acknowledges the entrepreneurship of their personal travel managers.

“Last year saw five New South Wales personal travel managers organize a VIP Cruise Day hosting 60 clients for lunch aboard Captain Cook Cruises, Lucy Phillips challenged herself to raise $5,000 in five weeks for charity and Robyn Simmonds returned to work only 24 hours after the birth of her third child, now that’s commitment,” he says.

Araullo acknowledges from day one TravelManagers’ approach has always been to create a sense of family and an understanding that we are all working together towards one end. “It’s all about mutual success,” he says.

With a formula that is working so successfully for TravelManagers, the plan for 2014 is for more of the same. A continued focus on people, technology, training, destinational famils and community support are all on the agenda.

“From experience we know by supporting and investing in our people, increased sales and business success will naturally follow,” says Araullo.

A snapshot of TravelManagers’ 2013 highlights:

Business Growth:

  • 2013 was the best year ever for personal travel manager recruitment
  • The value of 2013 sales increased by 20% accompanied by a 27% growth in total commissions with a 32% increase in cruise sales. 

Support and Professional Development: 

  • All personal travel managers were offered complimentary Breakaway Travel membership for 2013
  • We enhanced all individual personal travel manager webpage profiles creating a new look and feel plus improved functionality (February)
  • Increased national partnership office support and attendance at all bi-annual state meetings
  • A dedicated Suppler Relations Executive along with Social Media & Digital Marketing Executive were appointed to increase personal travel manager marketing support (March)
  • Seven bi-annual State Meetings with strong national partnership office representation and 119 Cluster Groups with personal travel managers participating on 598 occasions were organized throughout Australia
  • Six business partnership managers visited 38 regional cities and towns to meet, council and mentor personal travel managers who are located outside the major metropolitan centres
  • More personal travel managers were offered famil places than any previous year. TravelManagers maintained the 2012 platform of 206 famil places available, and continuing to offer exclusive TravelManagers dedicated famils
  • Enhanced training programmes facilitated around the country – 21 in-person cluster training sessions and 6 social media/Facebook seminars (July and December); 1,038 personal travel managers participated in 99 webinars organised by the national partnership office
  • We activated our commercial alliance with Cruiseco through CruiseManagers following our exceptional growth in cruise sales (April)
  • TravelManagers signed a sole preferred travel insurance provider agreement with Alliance Global Assistance (November)
  • Personal travel managers celebrated Christmas with eight individual state-based parties around Australia including representation from the national partnership office 

Awards and Recognition:

  • For fifth successive year TravelManagers was a finalist in “Best Travel Agency Retail multi-location” category at National Travel Industry Awards
  • We congratulate personal travel manager Ric Pattaro being a finalist in the National Travel Industry Awards “Best Corporate Consultant” category
  • TravelManagers celebrate personal travel manager Maria Pilouras being the fourth finalist in five years for the Avis scholarship of Excellence
  • Our 400th personal travel manager was recruited in July, increasing our network-wide average industry experience being 16.6 years
  • We celebrated in November our sixth successive and most successful annual national conference aboard MS Voyager of The Seas, our first land and sea conference with largest attendance of personal travel managers and suppliers to date. New was the announcement of the following years conference destination (Singapore), the change of time (November to August) and in recognition of loyalty, personal travel managers who have achieved five years with TravelManagers will receive free airfares and conference registration
  • We celebrated 59 personal travel managers reaching their fifth year anniversary making the total 68 who have achieved this milestone
  • Personal travel manager John Gazal is featured on ‘The Business’ show on national ABC Television discussing how businesses are adapting and competing with the internet (August)

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