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Home-based and mobile consultants make history

November 8, 2017 Headline News No Comments Email Email

For the first time, mobile and home-based travel consultants have secured all four finalist spots in the 2017 Avis Travel Agent Scholarship – the first time this has happened in the 21-year history of the retail travel industry’s most prestigious award.

The breakthrough highlights the rising power of this section of the industry.

In 2017, the Avis Scholarship adopted a fresh focus on innovation, with judges looking for travel agents who are finding new or novel ways to deliver exceptional customer service. At the same time the celebrated award program was expanded to include New Zealand.

Kaye Ceille, Managing Director Pacific Region, Avis Budget Group, says the response has been outstanding.

“We knew that travel agents on both sides of the Tasman were constantly looking for new ways to engage and serve their customers, but the creativity and level of innovation we encountered has exceeded our expectations,” Ceille said yesterday.

“Whether conceiving and implementing a new approach, or re-imagining an established practice, each of our finalists has shown how their efforts have strengthened their connection with customers and generated tangible financial rewards for their businesses.”

This year’s finalists are:

  • Amber Halleday, MTA Travel (Mt Gambier, South Australia)
  • Brigitte Kempf, New Zealand Travel Brokers (Timaru, New Zealand)
  • Kim Mason, TravelManagers Australia (Sydney, New South Wales)
  • Nakita Byrne, TravelManagers Australia (Mount Arthur, New South Wales)

The four consultants will now attend a final judging session in Sydney this Monday, 13 November, with the 2017 winner announced at a presentation dinner that evening at the Four Seasons Hotel Sydney.

This year’s recipient will in 2018 travel on Qantas to the United States, Europe or Asia to attend a Phocuswright conference, where they will hear from some of the travel industry’s most visionary leaders. The Scholarship’s winner’s prize package also includes:

  • 12 months’ individual membership of Cruise Lines International Association Australasia (with exclusive access to the CLIA Accreditation Program and unlimited access to the CLIA Learning Academy) and free registration to attend Cruise360, the industry’s largest professional development event of the year, in Sydney in 2018;
  • A Polonious Resources Personal Profile, Feedback Session and on-call personal/professional coaching for 12 months;
  • Full tuition for two units of a Graduate Certificate of Business degree from Australia’s Southern Cross University (completed entirely online and over a two-year period, providing maximum flexibility and convenience).
  • Two tickets to the 2018 AFTA National Travel Industry Awards (including return flights and overnight accommodation).

Edited by Peter Needham

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