This month, representatives from eleven Californian destinations joined together to host a tasty yet informative training event at Phil Hoffmann Travel’s head office in Glenelg, South Australia. Adelaide locals and the Australia vs USA BBQ Champions, Grant Neal and Craig Philpott, fired up the BBQ for the event – with the world’s best tasting BBQ requiring a 5 am start! The end result was the most delicious pulled pork, ribs, mac n’ cheese and beans, highlighting the flavours of a true American style BBQ.
The event was attended by Phil Hoffmann, CEO Peter Williams and General Manager Michelle Ashcroft, along with 67 enthusiastic Phil Hoffmann Travel Agents who were eager to learn about a number of USA destinations and enjoy the best BBQ in town- American style. The theme for the training was USA road trips, which saw agents join the destination representatives in a classic game of punch buggy.
Participating tourism boards included San Francisco Travel Association; Yosemite Mariposa County Tourism Bureau; Santa Monica Travel & Tourism; San Diego Tourism Authority; Visit West Hollywood; Visit Huntington Beach; Greater Palm Springs Convention & Visitor Bureau; Lake Tahoe Visitors Authority; Visit Napa Valley; Sonoma County Tourism, and Visit Sacramento. Oliver Philpot, Director for Brand USA Australia and New Zealand, was also in attendance and provided details on current visitation trends. “Aussies are travelling to the US in record numbers with , 1.2 million visitors recorded last year. That number is on track to increase at least 10% this year. Now is the time to brush up on your USA destination knowledge in order to capitalise on this consumer interest in the US.”
The event was sponsored by American Airlines, who provided two tickets to the USA. Clare O’Neill, from Phil Hoffmann Travel Semaphore won the prize by guessing the number of flights American Airlines flights departing daily across the globe (an average of 6,700 flights daily, to 350 destinations in 50 countries!). Vic Naughton, National Sales Manager from American Airlines was in attendance to present Clare with her prize.
Melanie Wynne, Product Manager at Phil Hoffmann Travel, said: “These destinations really outdid themselves in organising one of the best training and product updates I’ve ever been to. They say you can’t teach an old dog new tricks, but there were many takeaways on California and the USA in general, and I came away with a dead arm from Punch Buggy! The pulled pork and Texan beans were at another level – it was absolutely delicious.”