Global Travel Media » Blog Archive » Perfect suspense! And the next conference will be in…

Home » Headline News » Currently Reading:

Perfect suspense! And the next conference will be in…

September 11, 2017 Headline News No Comments Email Email

The final day of the TravelManagers annual national conference in Darwin on Saturday was a big one, with a glittering gala dinner, awards – and the revelation of  next year’s conference location in a specially thrilling way.

At conference close, TravelManagers’ executive general manager Michael Gazal announced that next year’s destination had been chosen from a shortlist. Destinations in the running were shown on a screen: Vanuatu, New Zealand, Vietnam, India, Malaysia, Fiji, Philippines, Mongolia. Which would it be?

Vocalist and personal travel manager Merran Wiggins takes to the stage


And the winner is…. HAWAII! Total delight all-round from audience. The trick was not to list Hawaii with the other contenders – for maximum surprise effect. It worked! Next year’s conference will be held in Honolulu, Waikiki, 17-19 August 2018.

Gala dinner after ONE big conference. Thankyou TravelManagers #TM2017DRW

A post shared by Merran Anderson (@merrananderson) on

This year’s conference, just concluded, was the 10th for TravelManagers and a record-breaker in all respects, with more delegates (the final count was about 390) and more suppliers than ever before. There were also more first-time personal travel managers (PTMs) attending  than ever before (a healthy sign for a growing group) as well as attendees who had attended all 10 conferences.

TravelManagers is Australia’s largest home-based agent group, by far, and its annual conference is often the only opportunity its PTMs have to meet face-to-face.

A show of hands at the opening of the conference indicated that only about half of those present had visited Darwin before. The city was a popular choice, with tropical temperatures in the early 30s providing an early touch of summer for those from Australia’s chillier southern regions.

The gala awards dinner at Darwin’s Sky City on Saturday sparkled, complete with a a song and the National Anthem from TravelManagers’ very own vocalist, Merran Wiggins, a Personal Travel Manager based in Marmong Point, NSW.

Fireworks exploded in the sky and people danced in the tropical night. 

A host of prizes were announced:

The Dedication Award, “celebrating 10 years working in partnership”, went to Kim Mason, Samantha Cox, Julie Smith, Di Yates, Penny Meallin, Tracy Cosgriff, Lauren Compton, Michelle Michael-Pecora,  Debra Bean, Jane Fowler and Lyn Tyson.

Most Proactive Marketer Award 2017: Gayle Dawson

New Personal Travel Manager WA/SA 2017: Monika Southern 

New Personal Travel Manager VIC/TAS 2017: Giulia Gentiluomo 

New Personal Travel Manager QLD 2017: Anthony Lee 

New Personal Travel Manager NSW/ACT 2017: Emma Rowan Kelly 

New Personal Travel Manager 2017: Anthony Lee 

Partner Supplier 2017: Hoot Holidays 

Most Improved PTM WA/SA 2017: Barbara Turner 

Most Improved PTM VIC/TAS 2017: Luke Vaughan 

Most Improved PTM QLD 2017: Simon Tinkler 

Most Improved PTM NSW/ACT 2017: Julianne Gazal-Rizk 

Most Improved PTM National: Simon Tinkler 

Local Area Marketing Award 2017: Erin Beckford 

TravelManagers Support Award 2017: Gary Jensen, Tania Myles 

Top Personal Travel Manager WA/SA 2017: Barbara Turner 

Top Personal Travel Manager VIC/TAS 2017: Luke Vaughan 

Top Personal Travel Manager QLD 2017: Simon Tinkler 

Top Personal Travel Manager NSW/ACT 2017: Ric Pattaro 

Advocate Award 2017: Denise Dean 

 Recognition Award 2017: Tanya Tyler 

 Online Marketing Award 2017: Sue Kuti

 Choice Award 2017: Tania Patterson 

 Spirit Award 2017: Erryn Morris 

 Personal Travel Manager Top 10 2017: Simon Tinkler, Barbara Turner, Luke Vaughan, David Hull, Ric Pattaro, John Lengacher, James Hermiston, Julianne Gazal-Rizk, Kylie Luttrell, Jean-Pierre Boutefeu. 

Personal Travel Manager of the Year 2017: Simon Tinkler

Written by Peter Needham

Comment on this Article:

Time limit is exhausted. Please reload CAPTCHA.

Platinium Partnership


Elite Partnership Sponsors


Premier Partnership Sponsors


Official Media Event Partner


Global travel media endorses the following travel Publication