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China Famil Wows Personal Travel Managers

The Great Wall of China, the Terracotta Warriors at Xian, strolling the Bund in Shanghai: for eight of TravelManagers’ personal travel managers (PTMs), a nine-day itinerary delivered all these bucket list items, and more, on a recent famil to China hosted by On the Go Tours.The group flew to Beijing with China Eastern Airlines in June, and spent their first night in the capital city before embarking on a familiarization tour of the city that took them to from the grandeur of Tiananmen Square and the Forbidden City to the traditional hutongs (neighbourhoods) for a rickshaw tour.  The day concluded with a display of traditional but mind-boggling Chinese acrobatics and a dinner of Peking Duck.

  One of the best ways to see any city, but in this case it’s Xian in northwest China.  TravelManagers’ Julie Painter, Kelly Jenkins, Lillie Smith, Michelle Schulze, Elly Eves, Samantha Temple, Lisa Leary, Kerrie Baguley and Sharon Wright, along with Feng (local guide, 2nd from left), and On The Go Tours’ Lisa McCowan (4th from left).

From Beijing, the group departed on a tour that took in several sections of the Great Wall and the city of Xi’an, finishing in Shanghai where the most modern and ancient facets of China come together.

Personal travel managers Michelle Schulze & Kerrie Baguley, pictured with fellow tourists on their recent TravelManagers/On the Go Tours famil to China.

For most of the PTMs, this was their first opportunity to experience China for themselves.  Kelly Jenkins, representative for Winston Hills, NSW, says the visit has given her the confidence to offer advice and make recommendations to her clients.

“I went with few expectations as I didn’t know what to expect, and I was so pleasantly surprised by China as a country.  Everything was so much cleaner and less busy than I expected,” she says.  “Now I can definitely help my clients experience it all for themselves.”

Beijing’s Forbidden City provides the perfect background for TravelManagers’ Samantha Temple, Lisa Leary, Kerrie Baguley, Sharon Wright, Lisa McCowan, Lilli Smith (standing, left to right) and Michelle Schulze, Kelly Jenkins, Feng, Elly Eves and Julie Painter (kneeling, left to right).

TravelManagers’ Executive General Manager, Michael Gazal, says the company strives to ensure as many PTMs as possible are able to update and extend their product information by participating in famils.  In this case the famil, which was exclusive to TravelManagers, was a chance for PTMs who had not previously visited China to benefit from experiencing On the Go Tours’ product.

TravelManagers’ Elly Eves, Julie Painter, Michelle Schulze, Samantha Temple Lillie Smith, Sharon Wright, Kerrie Baguley (standing) and Kelly Jenkins, Lisa Leary, Lisa McCowan (sitting) have found a great vantage point to view the futuristic skyline of Shanghai

“We identified PTMs who have the clientele and/or specialist-type niche to be able to sell it in the future,” Gazal explains.

For Lillie Smith, representative for Toowong, QLD, it was easy to identify the biggest highlight of her trip.

Who’s photobombing who?  TravelManagers’ Elly Eves shares the view with another group visiting the Great Wall.

“The Terracotta Warriors have always been on my list of things to see, and definitely didn’t disappoint – I was in awe.”

Smith believes that she will be much better able to meet her clients’ needs, now that she has experience China for herself.

Because climbing a section of China’s Great Wall isn’t already enough of a workout, TravelManagers’ Lillie Smith, Lisa McCowan, Kerrie Baguley, Julie Painter, Samantha Temple, Kelly Jenkins (back row), along with Sharon Wright, Elly Eves (front row) try out their best tree and warrior poses, while Michelle Schulze, Lisa Leary opt for downward-facing dog.

I find it trickier to sell a destination that I haven’t visited personally; now that I’ve ‘been there, done that’, I will be able to tell my clients what to expect and what experiences and activities would suit their abilities, expectations and requirements,” she explains.

Taking a well-earned break atop the Great Wall are TravelManagers’ Elly Eves, Michelle Schulze, Lisa Leary and Kerrie Baguley (standing), plus (sitting) Lillie Smith, Sharon Wright, Julie Painter, Samantha Temple (sitting), and Kelly Jenkins (in front)

Sam Temple, representative for Sandy Bay, TAS, agrees with this point of view: “actually being there makes a world of difference to be able to sell it to my clients.  I’ve also learnt that it’s a good idea to experience China as part of an organized group… or even better, pay for a guide for the duration of your stay – it’s worth every cent.”

The group flew from Australia with China Southern Airlines, which was another new but welcome experience for the participants, giving them the opportunity to experience first-hand their check-in procedures, aircraft seating/comfort and in-flight meals and service.

 A visit to the Great Wall was one of the major highlights of the exclusive TravelManagers/On the Go Tours famil for personal travel managers Lillie Smith, Kerrie Baguley, Julie Painter, Lisa Leary, Kelly Jenkins, Sharon Wright (back row) and (kneeling) Feng, Lisa McCowan, Samantha Temple, Elly Eves and Michelle Schulze

Gazal says it’s this level of personal experience and expertise that gives TravelManagers’ PTMs the confidence and knowledge to provide superior service to their clients.

“Being able to recommend restaurants that offer fantastic food at great prices; the best place to find a coffee; whether they need to book a private transfer when they first arrive; what the public transport is like; it’s these little details that make the biggest difference to our clients’ travel experience.”

For more information or to speak to someone confidentially about TravelManagers please contact Suzanne Laister on 1800 019 599.

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