Airline Training and Business Focus Days a Collaborative Effort
As part of TravelManagers’ ongoing commitment to supporting its personal travel managers (PTMs) in their businesses, the National Partnership Office (NPO) recently held a number of Best Practice/Business Focus Days in Victoria, South Australia and Western Australia.
Executive General Manager, Michael Gazal, says the events were held as part of a programme that has been operating for several years now.
“These days are set up by our state-based Business Partnership Managers (BPMs), in conjunction with industry experts in various fields,” explains Gazal, “and are held around the country throughout the year.”
Roleystone, WA-based PTM, Michelle Edmead, attended in the Perth event, and says there was a great sense of sharing knowledge and experiences among the group. She says that as well as taking away practical ideas to consider implementing in her own business, the day was a great chance to hear about some of the unusual destinations that fellow PTMs had visited in the past six months.
“From an expedition cruise down the Labrador Coast to suggestions for sightseeing in Port Louis in Mauritius and a very interesting account of the inaugural Hainan Airlines direct flight famil from Sydney to Hainan Island, there was some amazing local knowledge shared among the group,” she explains. “I came away with fresh ideas that have the potential to streamline my work processes and increase productivity, and picked up some great in-depth product knowledge that I’m looking forward to passing on to my clients.”
PTM Melanie Carter, who is representative for Scoresby, VIC, attended the Melbourne-based session, which ran over four hours at the Travelodge Southbank. Carter says that although it’s difficult to spend a day away from her business, the benefits easily outweigh the cost.
“Amongst the PTM’s, there is a genuine care for each other. An incredible openness and willingness to share knowledge and experience. I really enjoy the spirit of sharing and support amongst the PTMs. We all have our own way of doing things, so I always love to hear how other PTMs run their business processes and their reasons for doing so.”
Carter adds that she appreciates the differing perspectives her colleagues bring, and notes that some of the fresh ideas she has gleaned from the Best Practice Days have had a positive impact on her business.
For South Australian PTM, Mel Reed, who is representative for Oaklands Park and is a relatively new arrival to the TravelManagers family, the business focus session was a great opportunity to hear from other PTMs about what works well for them within their businesses, as well as what doesn’t.
“There was a great sense of sharing knowledge and experiences among the group,” she explains, adding that hearing about such varied experiences as a stopover in Houston, a Dreamliner long-haul flight and travelling with kids in Scotland was also of immense value.
In addition to the Best Practice/Business Focus Days, Gazal says an Airline Fares and Ticketing Day was also held for Queensland- and northern NSW-based PTMs. As well as 30 PTMs, two BPMs and TravelManagers’ Fares and Ticketing Manager, Jose Canas, the day was also attended by seven airline reps, all of whom were reportedly impressed by both the turnout and the calibre of the PTMs who attended.
“The training that takes place within TravelManagers is programmed to ensure that PTMs have convenient access, regardless of where in Australia they are based,” says Gazal. “These days are just a sample of the training that takes place on a regular basis to ensure that every PTM is equipped with the latest information and best business practices.”
Gazal adds that the strong attendance figures for the training days illustrate the camaraderie, sense of belonging and culture of mutual respect that permeates TravelManagers’ culture.
“When you run your own business, it’s a big effort to regularly take time away from the office to attend training days,” he says. “One of our PTMs drove for close to three hours to attend the Queensland event, which speaks to the commitment of our PTMs to constantly improve their product knowledge and bond with their fellow PTMs.”