Experiencing the Canadian Rockies just like a client would, was the highlight for TravelManagers’ New South Wales based personal travel managers Melinda Rowe, representative for East Jindabyne and Trina Rynehart representative for Wagga Wagga. The personal travel managers participated on a Rocky Mountaineer educational, experiencing the First Passage to the West! one of the company’s best-selling rail journeys with the Coastal Passage add-on.
The ability to share her extensive personal travel experience and product knowledge with her clients is an absolute priority for Rowe.
“With most educationals, everything is pre-arranged from transport, hotels and sightseeing allowing little time to really experience the destinations as you would if you were travelling independently. For this reason I was thrilled that we got to enjoy the rail experience exactly as our clients would enjoying overnight stays in Calgary, Banff and Vancouver.”
Rynehart also enjoyed the opportunity to try local restaurants outside of the hosted famil.
“We discovered a great little café in Calgary called 1886 Buffalo Café which served the most delicious home-style breakfast. The Waldhaus Pub & Patio at Fairmont Banff Springs is a great place to enjoy a local or Bavarian beer, the prices are reasonable and the atmosphere is great. It’s located down the hill looking over the Stanley Thomson Golf Course and if you aren’t up for the walk back up the hill, the hotel offers a shuttle service via the scenic route.”
Rynehart celebrated her birthday during the famil, where she celebrated with her colleague Rowe at the Waldhaus Restaurant at Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise.
“Melinda and I had the most amazing fondue as we marveled at the stunning lake views, it was a lovely way to celebrate. For a really special occasion I recommend clients make a dinner reservation at sunset, it has to be one of the most incredible dining locations in the world!”
For Rowe who has a family member and clients who need wheelchair access, the ability to see firsthand how Rocky Mountaineer caters for those needing extra support was advantageous.
“I was impressed with the disabled access onto the train, including getting up to the upper deck of the carriages in Gold Leaf Service. There is a lift to get them onto the carriage and also there is a small lift onboard. The attendants graciously assisted people who needed help whether it was to go to the dining cart or restroom. It was never any trouble for them to do so. This experience has given me confidence that I know my clients who need that extra bit of help and support will be extremely well looked after. The service onboard the Rocky Mountaineer train was excellent!”
Having done the Coastal Passage journey from Vancouver to Seattle by road previously, Rowe was impressed with the ease of the rail experience and enjoyed the change of scenery from the Rocky Mountains.
“I have crossed the border from Canada into the USA both by car and coach previously and now by rail. Once we arrived in Seattle, customs and immigration officers set up their equipment onboard and one by one we each met with them to receive our stamp of entry. I can highly recommend the ease and comfort of travelling by rail, it really is the easiest way to cross the border without the hassles of queuing like you do by road or at airports. The scenery was also a change to the Rocky Mountains that we had seen on the First Passage to the West route.”
For many seeing a couple of bears would be a highlight, but for Rynehart the Canadian West Coast with its dramatic landscapes and spectacular scenery provided so many memorable moments, it was hard to choose just one.
“A highlight was definitely Lake Louise and the beautiful Fairmont Resort with its spectacular scenery, great restaurants, cozy accommodation and wide range of adventure activities. Paddling a canoe across Lake Louise is great fun and a good way to get some snaps looking back to the hotel with the Lake Louise ski resort in the background. Banff is a great town, I loved seeing Cascade Mountain in the background of the main street. Local streets are named after local wildlife and it was incredible to see animals roaming the streets and nibbling on the gardens in the front yards of houses.”
The TravelManagers’ personal travel manager educational programme is backed up by strong state and national support, which includes a national partnership office and local business partnership managers.
“TravelManagers’ national partnership office provides access to virtual office technology, training, marketing, fares and ticketing as well as 24/7 access to all mid and back-office processes. Combined with seven state based business partnership managers and valuing key partner supplier relationships, personal travel managers have access to the broadest and most in-depth support nationwide. This type of behind the scenes central and local state-based support is crucial,” says Michael Gazal, TravelManagers’ Executive General Manager.
For more information or to speak to someone confidentially about TravelManagers please contact Suzanne Laister on 1800 019 599.