Of those agents who apply to join the TravelManagers’ group, what proportion is accepted for membership? The answer, over the past year, is just 28%.
The benchmark for the company’s personal travel managers (PTMs) is deliberately kept high. TravelManagers is growing but it wants to take on only the best.
Many of TravelManagers’ PTMs gathered in Adelaide at the weekend for the company’s Annual National Conference, with 258 delegates enjoying a line-up of outstanding guest speakers, practical training sessions and fun social events.
The company’s executive general manager, Michael Gazal, said this year saw 45 new PTMs join, of which 50% were referred by other PTMs. There were 338 inquiries to the network and 162 partnership meetings were held – but only 28% of those interviewed were accepted. The standard is high and the average experience of the TravelManagers network now 18.2 years.
The focus, Gazal stressed, is on quality.
Gazal outlined some of the major changes TravelManagers has undergone over the past 12 months.
“Since our humble beginnings, we have never had so much change,” he said. Changes have included the group’s new brand with its cloverleaf logo, introduced at the last conference, a new mid-office system (Tramada Next Gen) and a new GDS platform (Amadeus Connect).
“They say in business, if you stand still, you are actually going backwards,” Gazal noted. TravelManagers is not at risk of that.
All 470 of the company’s PTMs have now been transitioned to Tramada Next Gen, Gazal said. A comparison by TravelManagers of Dolphin and Next Gen took 12 months of rigorous testing, after which a PTM pilot group unanimously voted for Net Gen.
Marketing meanwhile has involved over 200 individual PTM advertising campaigns, launch of a new website and new e-newsletter system.
A car signage project is in progress (a vehicle showing the signage was on display at the Adelaide Convention Centre) and a dedicated TravelManagers merchandise portal has been launched.
TravelManagers is launching a fares and ticketing Saturday service from this Saturday, 5 September 2015. Operating hours with be from 11am to 3pm (AEDT). PNRs must be queued by 2pm. This will operate on a three-month trial basis and be reassessed on 5 December 2015.
Written by Peter Needham