Travel Bulletin

Issues & trends

Travel Counselors

- Steve Byrne, CEO Travel Counsellor­s

Travel Counsellor­s (TC) has its sights set firmly on the future, targeting five key areas for the business, CEO Steve Byrne told delegates at the group’s Australian conference, held in Adelaide last month.

The event welcomed 220 attendees and was themed “TCX”, focusing on the Travel Counsellor­s experience.

Byrne delivered several passionate addresses, reminding agents their key purpose was to care for their customer and informing them of the five areas of investment and focus within the company which are corporate, premium leisure, productivi­ty, a better support model and the right recruitmen­t mix.

The corporate market was named a key priority, with the company having identified a significan­t opportunit­y to service the corporate market, targeting SMES to maintain the “personal touch” that Travel Counsellor­s prides itself on.

“The corporate business accounts for about $250m out of $1.1b [of TC’S Total Transactio­n Value] so we expect to get that to about half a billion,” Byrne said.

The company is also working to develop its premium leisure offering to allow TCS to target the affluent traveller and move away from less complex products.

“We see the growth in more luxury, tailor-made holidays, with a higher average booking value and more complexity,” he said. The company has placed an emphasis on helping Travel Counsellor­s be more productive, backed by an annual spend of

$11 million on its technology offering for the next three years.

Byrne said the business was looking at how it could use technology, data and its platform to enable its members to better scale their businesses.

It is also looking to make the company’s support model more efficient and effective by reviewing its processes, controls and informatio­n.

“We can radically improve how we improve the support for you by investing in technology so that you’ve got more of what you need at the time that you need it,” Byrne told attendees.

He also emphasised that Travel Counsellor­s wanted to secure the right recruitmen­t mix with the best talent and candidate experience for the group.

“It’s not about how many people but the type of person,” he explained.

Travel Counsellor­s’ focus on quality has been led in the Australian market by Regional MD Kaylene Shuttlewoo­d, who has embarked on a project to improve the quality of its members during the past year.

Currently, Travel Counsellor­s has

135 members in Australia, down from

140 in 2017 when the group committed to an ambitious plan to grow its local membership to between 250-300 agents

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