Mr. Burnes attended State Meetings of the Branded and Associate networks across Australia last week and the feedback from the 500+ attendees has been overwhelmingly positive.
“Andrew was informative and straight to the point with his vision for the future,” said Kylie Denham, helloworld Settlement City.
“I’m feeling incredibly inspired and confident about the future,” Rosemary Thomas, said helloworld Niddrie.
“It’s clear that although only 6 weeks into the job, Andrew is on top of a lot of the challenges the company faces,” said Sue Todorovski, Imperial Travel Services
“Andrew is very inspirational and has great vision for the future. He offers strong leadership and understanding of the agency network. Looking forward to what he is bringing to Helloworld and especially the things to come,” said Leonie Spencer from Company Lifestyle Travel in Ballarat
Mr Burnes had a clear message for Helloworld agents – “our focus is working in partnership with you”.
Addressing the Melbourne forum Mr Burnes said “As I’ve said from the outset, our obligation to you, our franchisee members, is to deliver business through the door, on the phone and on-line and for you to participate in the commercial outcomes of these channels in exactly the same way”.
Mr Burnes outlined a number of changes to drive more business to agents including a re-alignment of the Helloworld.com.au on-line portal, the development of more exclusive Helloworld product, the evolution of in-store technologies to drive productivity and margin, greater support for the retail distribution model and a change in the marketing mix to focus on increasing enquiry and conversion rates for agencies and supplier partners.
He flagged the importance of retail distribution and of making sure consumers understand it and suppliers continue to support it.
“We are going to fight for the travel agent model and everything you bring to the table,” Mr Burnes said. ”I think enough ground has been given up to these on-line travel algorithms, as I like to call them, and we need to highlight the professionalism, advice, outcomes and service agents deliver to their customers. “
Detailing the progress in growing the business, Mr. Burnes pointed to the recent QBT-NT Government win and the expansion of the helloworld for business network to 73 agencies with the addition of Show Group Enterprises.
Head of the Branded Retail Network, Julie Primmer, and Head of Corporate, Associate and Affiliate Networks, David Padman provided updates to agencies as well as key suppliers including Etihad, Qantas Holidays/viva! Holidays and Cover-More.