Personal Travel Managers Meeting Up and Brushing Up

Personal Travel Managers Meeting Up and Brushing Up

For home-based travel professionals, one of the most significant benefits of working away from a traditional office environment is having the flexibility and freedom to choose the work hours and location that suit. The accompanying challenge for TravelManagers’ National Partnership Office (NPO) is to ensure that their personal travel managers (PTMs) also benefit from a high standard of ongoing mentoring, support and training, regardless of the remoteness their location.

To that end, the company arranges regular training sessions which are held at various locations around Australia on a regular basis, including a freshly completed round of fares and ticketing training in Sydney, Adelaide, Brisbane, Melbourne and Shepparton (Victoria), with a further session scheduled for Perth later this year.

Alma Araullo, who is TravelManagers’ representative for Illawong, NSW, was one of eighteen PTMs to attend the Sydney training day at Castlereagh Boutique Hotel, and despite having worked in the travel industry for many years, she says she still finds plenty of value in attending the training days.

“I benefited immensely from the training, most particularly the ticketing component. It was great to go over certain areas so that I could finally understand a particular aspect that has long been a puzzle to me!” she explains.

Helen Rolton, representative for Richmond, VIC, agrees, noting that PTMs often “don’t know what we don’t know. The face-to-face environment of the workshops makes it so much easier to ask questions as we go, and I always learn something.”

According to TravelManagers’ Executive General Manager, Michael Gazal, the training days are supplemented by regular, fortnightly webinars which are run by the Fares and Ticketing Team and feature tips and tricks in a brief, easy-to-digest format.

“With such a widely-distributed network of PTMs, it’s really important for us to strike a balance,” he adds. “That’s why, as well as running state-based training days which provide opportunities for regional-based PTMs to get together and network with their colleagues, our Business Partnership Managers (BPMs) spend a significant amount of time travelling around the country, implementing localised training in regional Australia and one-on-one meetings throughout the country.”

The fares and ticketing training sessions covered everything from ticketing time limits and where to find them to round-the-world and negotiated fares. PTMs also had the opportunity to learn new commands and procedures which make quoting and ticketing easier, and benefited from informative, interactive airline updates.

PTM Lauren Oliver, as representative for Kialla, VIC, is one of TravelManagers’ newer recruits. Having only worked with the system for a few months, she says she loved the Amadeus hints session.

“Switching to a new GDS has been one of the biggest challenges for me because it takes time to learn the new formats and shortcuts. It’s early days and I am still getting my head around it all, so the training day couldn’t have come at a better time.”

In addition to the fares and ticketing and mid-front office and business planning and marketing sessions already held, Gazal says further NPO-run training days are slated to take place throughout the year, including cruise and destination sessions.

“Across the five locations, the feedback from attending PTMs has been overwhelmingly enthusiastic,” Gazal concludes. “From the newest PTMs to some of our most experienced hands, there’s always something new to learn.”