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Cook Islands shout out to Aussie travel agents

March 26, 2020 Visit South Pacific & Oceania No Comments Email Email

As borders close around the world and governments impose restrictions on movement and isolation of travellers returning from an overseas trip, Australian travel agents who have helped so many destinations convert sales are working countless hours to encourage less cancelations and retain bookings.

Cook Islands Tourism has a small team in Australia, meaning relationships with the travel trade is essential to success, not only with wholesalers but also key frontline travel agents talking to potential customers.

“Our team wishes to put a shout out to all travel agents near and far across Australia and to do this we felt by taking just one example of what agents do behind the scenes, would be a great way to show appreciation and pay respect to all travel agents,” said Crystal Kranz, Marketing Manager at Cook Islands Tourism.

Luke Jones, from Flight Centre World Square in Sydney, has become a self-selected extension of the Cook Islands team, supporting travellers needs above and beyond with not only his customers, but also promotional bookings of prize winners, who cannot travel due to COVID-19.  This is not commissionable work for Luke, he just wants to help travellers who he knows will return to book again, whilst sending out a message on behalf of all travel agents to respect the dedication and commitment of travel agents to keep the industry alive.

Luke started working with Flight Centre in December 2015, utilising his strong sales skills from a previous career in the hotel industry, where he was positioned for ten years.  His desire for travel and sales led him to become a travel agent today, a job he takes on with great pride.

“Travel agents are not just audit takers, we’re here for our clients, partners, and associates on a personal level for the love of travel,” commented Luke.

“Flight Centre World Square has a strong association with the Cook Islands for booking holidays, and also famils, educationals and promotions.  I have developed a close working relationship with the tourism board here in Sydney, and graciously accepted the request to assist with rescheduling promotional bookings, because I wanted to ensure the travellers got to experience the holiday they have dreamt about.  That’s just what travel agents do.

“COVID-19 will pass, we have been through SARS, 9-11, the GFC and we have bounced back quicker than most international countries.  I’ve dealt with these challenges at Flight Centre World Square in the past so we’re well equipped on what’s ahead, and know we just have to ride out the storm, as Australians are resilient, and people will travel again once restrictions are lifted.”

Not only is Luke dealing with rescheduling promotional travellers to the Cook Islands, he has clients calling him from Vietnam, Turkey, Afghanistan and Santiago Chile all seeking to return home, with many other existing clients looking to reschedule and obtain credits on domestic and overseas holidays.  Luke works till late hours and even takes calls on his personal mobile, citing it’s just what all travel agents do!

Thank you, Luke Jones from Flight Centre World Square, your commitment is a demonstration of how hard all travel agents are working right now, no matter which brand they represent.  Cook Islands Tourism feel they can speak for all tourism boards worldwide, in thanking the amazing commitment of Australian travel agents.

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