TRAVEL TAKES OFF
Consultants in demand –
THE travel industry has taken off in the aftermath of the global financial crisis, blazing a trail of local job opportunities as it goes.
Travel agencies in South Australia, including Flight Centre and Phil Hoffmann Travel, are expanding as business conditions improve and holidays come back into vogue.
Flight Centre SA/NT state manager Dan Gallagher says the company will open seven new stores in South Australia next year.
‘‘Our goal is to employ 50 new travel consultants in the next year in South Australia and Northern Territory,’’ he says.
‘‘The majority of new jobs will be in South Australia.’’
Mr Gallagher says new Flight Centre stores are already confirmed to open in Nuriootpa, Mawson Lakes and Aberfoyle Park while the company is also pursuing opportunities in the Mitcham and Brighton area.
He says the company would like to open two new stores for its Cruiseabout chain and another Travel Associates store.
‘‘Flight Centre has always been aggressive and strong at opening new businesses and owning more market share,’’ he says.
‘‘We didn’t do our normal business expansion last year because of the global financial crisis.
‘‘We normally open about seven new stores a year and we are back to doing that.’’
Mr Gallagher says the opening of new stores equates to more job opportunities for aspiring travel consultants.
‘‘It’s great for people looking for an exciting opportunity to get on board,’’ he says.
‘‘The other great opportunity is that we actually provide the training.
‘‘If someone meets the criteria they can come from a career change and if they have got some travel background and they are pretty smart, they can come in and be trained on site, learning on the job.’’
‘‘If they have got great people skills and if they are able to sit and talk to people and care about someone’s dream holiday, they can make a great consultant.’’
Phil Hoffmann Travel chief executive officer Peter Williams agrees that the travel industry has rebounded strongly.
‘‘Phil Hoffmann Travel has seen a resurgence in the past nine months,’’ he says.
‘‘The stronger economy, amazing tactical offers by travel suppliers and the exceptional strength in the Australian dollar has created an increased demand for international travel.’’
Mr Williams says Phil Hoffmann Travel has expanded from three to seven branches over the past year and increased its staff from 120 to 150 people.
He says the company is still seeking more employees.
Flight Centre team leader Adam Riessen is one example of the potential for career advancement in the industry.
Mr Riessen, 32, started as a travel consultant for the company five years ago and now leads a team of six at Flight Centre’s O’Connell St, North Adelaide, office.
He encourages anyone thinking about getting into the industry to not hesitate.
‘‘If they are thinking about it, get in for an interview,’’ he says. ‘‘There are lots of opportunities.’’ After jumping between jobs in the defence force, retail sector and in computer networking before landing in the travel industry, Mr Riessen says he now feels at home at Flight Centre.
‘‘It’s a fantastic career choice,’’ Mr Riessen says.
‘‘I enjoy sending people on their dream holidays and being able to get them the best deal.’’
Flight Centre team leader Adam Riessen . . . ‘‘There are a lot of opportunities’’.