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Inspired venue choice gets top keynote speakers

June 7, 2018 Headline News No Comments Email Email

The venue choice for this year’s TravelManagers’ annual National Conference – Hawaii – proved wildly popular when announced at last year’s conference in Darwin, and the choice of keynote speakers, just revealed, make it even more appealing.

One of the main drawcards of TravelManagers’ annual National Conference has always been the choice of venue, with previous conferences having taken place in Fiji, Singapore, Bangkok and even aboard a cruise ship out of Sydney.

When the announcement was made at the conclusion of the 2017 conference in Darwin that this year’s venue was to be Oahu in Hawaii, the reaction was understandably enthusiastic.

“It’s been a very popular choice,” TravelManagers’ executive general manager, Michael Gazal, confirms.

“And not surprisingly,” he adds. “Hawaii is a dream destination, whether you’re visiting for business or pleasure, and we have some outstanding locations and activities lined up.”

Gazal describes conference registration numbers as being “very much in line with last year”, with around 200 personal travel managers (PTMs) and 90 suppliers representing 53 partner supplier brands expected to attend.

He says PTMs’ partners, family and friends are also invited to attend the evening and social events, hear the keynote speakers’ addresses and participate in the community project/team building event which is widely considered to be one of conference highlights each year.

“We’ve always welcomed friends and family to attend our national conferences, which stems from our drive to build a culture of family,” Gazal explains.  “but this year’s conference location is certain to make it more popular than ever before!”

View from the Prince Waikiki, Oahu, Hawaii

Gazal says conference sessions will explore the many definitions of success, what it means for personal travel managers (PTMs), clients, supplier partners and for TravelManagers’ National Partnership Office (NPO).

“Whilst a common measure of success is turnover, we know that it’s much more subjective than that, which is why TravelManagers works hard to enable our people to achieve success in many other facets as well,” Gazal explains.

“Whether it’s achieving a change in work-life balance, being able to specialise in a particular field of interest, working with chosen travel partners, or continual development of both functional and personal skills, we’ll be discussing the tools and skills currently available, plus future innovations that will help our PTMs and travel partners achieve even greater success going forward.”

The two keynote speakers who have been invited to address the conference this year will elaborate on the theme of success through their own stories of personal and professional achievement.

TravelManagers’ 2018 National Conference logo

The first speaker is Turia Pitt, one of Australia’s most admired and widely recognised motivators and authors.

At 24, Turia was an ex-model, fitness junkie and successful mining engineer whose life was turned upside down when she became trapped in a grass fire while competing in a 100km ultramarathon.  She was choppered out of the remote desert barely alive, with full thickness burns to 65 per cent of her body.

Turia Pitt

Renowned for her pure grit, indomitable spirit and passion for humanitarian work, Turia has gone on to thrive in the ultimate story of triumph over adversity.

“Having Turia address our conference is an immense privilege,” says Gazal.  “She is living proof that, with the right mindset, we truly can achieve anything, and we know that her story will astonish, inspire and motivate everyone who hears her speak.”

The second speaker is Chris Paulsen, founder of New Zealand-based House of Travel, the company which acquired TravelManagers Australia in November 2007.

Chris Paulsen

Chris was awarded New Zealand’s Ernst & Young’s Entrepreneur of the Year Award in 2006, The Prime Minister’s Social Hero Award in 2007, and the Chairman’s Circle Honour from the US Travel Association in 2013.  As well as his role as director of TravelManagers, he also serves as a director of Christchurch International Airport Limited.

“The House of Travel business model which Chris set up in 1987 was ground-breaking within the industry,” Gazal says.

“The travel industry has faced all manner of changes and challenges over the past thirty years, and but under Chris’ leadership, House of Travel has been an impressive success story.”

As well as the much-anticipated keynote speakers, Gazal says other conference highlights include the team building activity, which will take place at Kualoa Ranch on Oahu’s Windward Coast: a location which is perhaps best known as a filming location for Jurassic Park.

“We also have a number of pre- and post-conference activities planned,” Gazal adds.

“They include a golf tournament at Hawaii Prince Golf Course, a selection of famils to all four main islands and a selection of almost 50 self-famil deals.”

TravelManagers’ annual National Conference will take place between 17 and 19 August, with the principal venue being the Prince Waikiki Luxury Hotel.

“The desired conference outcome is for all attendees – PTMs and their families, NPO support team and partner suppliers alike – to leave the conference with one goal: success at individual and collective levels.”

Edited by Peter Needham

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