Q&A: Business travel specialist, Floyd Smith
We talk to the general manager of the Business Travel Centre (BTC), Air Niugini’s first travel centre.
Q: When did the Business Travel Centre open and where is it?
A: It opened last December at the Waterfront Foodworld Complex, next to the naval base on the Poreporena Freeway in Port Moresby.
Q: What travel services are offered?
A: We are a one-stop travel shop that can sell all things travel, including tickets for all airlines. BTC organises air travel, accommodation, transfers, tours, cruises and car rentals. It offers very competitive rates using all international airlines, including Air Niugini. The 16 staff are all ex-Air Niugini trained travel consultants with a combined travel experience of 159 years.
Q: We understand that BTC is particularly well equipped to deal with corporate business travel. Can you explain why?
A: We have a dedicated team of five full-time consultants that look after our corporate businesses exclusively, with further assistance from our retail team as required. All have full access to the corporate accounts, and service these accounts anytime between 8am and 8pm daily. Handling our corporate business has been streamlined to provide efficient and realtime accessibility with the latest Universal Air Travel Plan (UATP) accounting facility. This has been well received by our business customers. We consult, for instance, with many fly-in, fly-out workers on remote mining projects. Some of the most travelled routes are between Port Moresby and Lae, Mount Hagen, Rabaul, Madang, Manus, Lihir, Tabubil and Kiunga, and Hoskins.
Q: Do you find that clients who come to Papua New Guinea on business stay on to explore other parts of the country?
A: Yes, an increasing number of business travellers are extending their travel itineraries with add-on leisure travel to take advantage of PNG’s unique fishing, diving and surfing adventures and also the rich and diverse cultural activities. Walking the Kokoda Trail also continues to be a huge attraction, growing annually.
Q: BTC has very long operating hours. Can you give us the details?
A: We’re open seven days a week from 8am to 8pm, including public holidays. BTC also offers after-hours support to the network of Air Niugini offices. In addition to its extended 84-hour work week, BTC has introduced systems to ensure its customers are serviced promptly and efficiently. Customers can contact BTC in person, by telephone or via email.
— SUSAN GOUGH HENLY
The 16 staff are all ex-Air Niugini trained travel consultants with a combined travel experience of 159 years.