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.

Paradise - - Contents - Phone +675 321 2888, email btc@airni­ug­ini.com.pg.

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.

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