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Avis names agent scholarship winner on 20th anniversary

November 10, 2016 Headline News No Comments Print Print Email Email

egtmedia59The retail travel industry’s longest established and most prestigious award for customer service, the Avis Travel Agent Scholarship, celebrated its 20th anniversary in Sydney on Tuesday with the announcement of the 2016 winner and finalists.

Barbara Baron from Sylvania Travel & Cruise in New South Wales joined an elite group of Australian travel consultants, being named as the 2016 recipient of the Scholarship, which is awarded annually to an Australian travel consultant who consistently delivers outstanding customer service.

Avis Travel Industry Manager Russell Butler said Baron impressed this year’s judges with her enthusiasm and passion.

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(L-R) Avis Australia Travel Industry Manager Russell Butler, 2016 Avis Scholarship winner Barbara Baron (Sylvania Travel & Cruise), The Hon. John Barilaro MP (NSW Minister for Regional Development, Minister for Skills and Minister for Small Business) and Avis Pacific Region Managing Director Kaye Ceille.

“Barbara’s determination to exceed her customers’ expectations was obvious through every step of the Scholarship process,” Butler said.

“She deserves her place among our extraordinary group of Scholarship recipients, and I am confident she will make an excellent ambassador for the program and the Australian travel industry during our 20th year.”

Butler observed that while there was always a lot of hyperbole associated with award programs, the Avis Travel Agents Scholarship stood out.

“For a start there is the program’s longevity. No other comparable award has lasted more than a few years, let alone 20. That is a reflection on Avis Australia’s commitment to the Scholarship, and I can assure you that the company’s support has never once wavered in the past 20 years, regardless of the prevailing economic environment.”

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(L-R) Avis Australia Travel Industry Manager Russell Butler, 2016 Avis Scholarship winner Barbara Baron (Sylvania Travel & Cruise), The Hon. John Barilaro MP (NSW Minister for Regional Development, Minister for Skills and Minister for Small Business) and Avis Pacific Region Managing Director Kaye Ceille.

Baron was announced as this year’s recipient at an award ceremony in Sydney attended by Australian travel industry leaders and by several previous winners of the Scholarship over the years. Guest of honour was John Barilaro, New South Wales’ Minister for Regional Development, Minister for Skills and Minister for Small Business.

As the 2016 winner, Baron receives a prize package valued at more than AUD 40,000 and including:

  • Two return Qantas Airways Business Class tickets to New York
  • Six nights’ accommodation in Manhattan, seven days car rental from Avis and appointments with senior executives at Avis World Headquarters in New Jersey, with site visits to US travel agencies
  • A scholarship to study at Southern Cross University with financial support of up to AUD 8000 (subject to the terms and conditions identified by Southern Cross University)
  • 12 months’ individual membership of Cruise Lines International Association (Australasia) and two tickets to attend Cruise3sixty Australasia in Sydney in September 2017
  • A Polonious Resources Personal Profile, feedback session and on-call personal/professional coaching for 12 months
  • Two tickets to the 2017 National Travel Industry Awards Gala Dinner in Sydney (including return flights and overnight accommodation).

In addition, she will enjoy a one year honorary position on the Avis Travel Agents Advisory Board.

2016 Avis Scholarship winner Barbara Baron, Sylvania Travel & Cruise (NSW).

2016 Avis Scholarship winner Barbara Baron, Sylvania Travel & Cruise (NSW).

This year’s Scholarship finalists also included:

  • Joanna Tatton, Cruiseabout Noosa (QLD)
  • Jeanette Lasek, Travel by Design (NSW)
  • Melissa Pointon, MTA Travel (NSW)
  • Janene Ferguson, Helloworld South Melbourne (VIC).

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2016 Avis Travel Agent Scholarship finalists: (L-R) Janene Ferguson (Helloworld South Melbourne), Joanna Tatton (Cruiseabout Noosa), Barbara Baron (Sylvania Travel & Cruise), Melissa Pointon (MTA Travel) and Jeanette Lasek, Travel by Design (NSW).

Each finalist will now receive a personal online behavioural profile and consultation session with a Polonious Resources business coach.

Butler thanked every travel agent who took part in this year’s Scholarship program, and acknowledged the award’s major sponsors for their ongoing generosity over the past 20 years.

“Twenty years is a remarkable milestone for any awards program, and this would not have been possible without the support and commitment of our sponsors. We thank them on behalf of Avis and the Australian travel industry.”

Written by Peter Needham

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