The Carlyle Gardens Retirement Resort in Townsville was transformed late last year for an inaugural Seniors Travel Expo/Information Day.
It was organized by TravelManagers’ personal travel manager Corinne Heyman representative for Garbutt in Townsville. Whilst Ms Heyman has many individual clients who travel all over the world, she has developed a niche escorting tours for people 55 years and older. Such has been in the level of interest in her escorted tours, which have very detailed itineraries and really cater very well to the over 55’s market, she decided to set up the Expo.
“It was hugely successful with in excess of 200 visitors especially given it was the first time I have done anything like this. The comments were very encouraging from those that attended and they loved being able to talk face-to-face with so many suppliers in one place. Their presentations were well received. It was a busy day, the time just flew by.”
Ms Heyman says the product suppliers were hugely enthusiastic about getting involved.
“I was so encouraged by the response from suppliers to come along and they were just fantastic on the day, with many of them making a point of letting me know they were keen to be involved this year too.”
Suppliers attending included Sunlover Holidays, APT/Travel Marvel, Anzcro, Beyond Travel, CBT Holidays/China Bestours, Classic International Cruises, 50 Degrees North, Globus/Cosmos, Go and See Tours, Kirra Holidays, MSC Cruises, On the Go Tours, Voyages of Discovery, Calanna Pharmacy and Zellows Bags.
“I deliberately included suppliers of luggage and travel accessories as I know from experience working with over 50s that having a great suitcase that is easy to maneuver and accessories to make the journey easier, such as surgical stockings, provide reassurance to this group.”
Ms Heyman says the organizing and preparing was exhausting but from a business development perspective it was well worthwhile and has confirmed she is intending to hold a repeat Seniors Travel Expo this coming November .
“I had 24 formal enquires on the day that I followed up on with the majority of these resulting in bookings on my escorted tours featuring Vietnam/Cambodia, Canada/Alaska, Orient to OZ fly/cruise, Tasmania and a 2012 Europe River Cruise and even some individual holidays.
I even had a lovely couple drive up from Charters Towers, 137 kilometers away, for the day. This has resulted in an amazing booking so it’s very exciting right now.”
Ms Heyman believes being a personal travel manager has provided her with the freedom to really develop her business.
“Despite being in travel for 24 years it wasn’t until I joined TravelManagers that I realized the potential I had to drive my own business and develop a niche for myself like this. I’ve never been happier.”