Personal Travel Managers Join Tourism Australia’s Elite Tier of Specialists

Personal Travel Managers Join Tourism Australia’s Elite Tier of Specialists

Featured photo: Nine of TravelManagers’ PTMs have been recognised as 2022 Premier Aussie Specialists, the top tier in Tourism Australia’s Aussie Specialist Program, which equates to 25 percent of the total number of accredited Premier Aussie Specialists. Image credit – Tourism Australia

Tourism Australia recently recognised nine of TravelManagers’ personal travel managers (PTMs) as 2022 Premier Aussie Specialists – the top tier in its Aussie Specialist Program in Australia.

The Aussie Specialist Program recognises travel professionals with an established record of selling domestic travel who wish to be more actively involved in marketing and promoting Australia: Premier Aussie Specialist status effectively highlights the high level of service and in-depth knowledge of Australia offered by those who attain it.

Victorian PTM Bev Edwards

Among those who successfully attained Premier Aussie Specialist status this year is TravelManagers’ representative for Oakleigh South (VIC), Bev Edwards.

“I had already been accredited a ‘specialist’ with various Australian states, and at the onset of the pandemic when Tourism Australia extended their Aussie Specialist Program to include local agents, I jumped at the chance to participate,” she explains.

“There’s so many destinations and local tourism products that, despite having lived in Australia and having been in the industry for 30 years, were new to me. I love Australia, its diversity and beauty – planning clients’ holidays within Australia have become even more of a passion since joining the program.”

West Australian PTM Daiana Magalhaes

Fellow PTM Daiana Magalhaes, who is based in Dianella (WA), says she was eager to use her downtime during the pandemic to educate herself further about Australian tourism and to see how she could use her newfound expertise to create exciting travel experiences, especially in WA.

“The quality of the presentation of the various topics made it so much easier to learn and tailor my products towards my clients’ interests. Being recognised as a Premier Aussie Specialist will provide me with a point of difference that sets me apart from other agents and lets prospective clients know that they can expect a high level of service and in-depth knowledge of Australia as a destination.”

Queensland PTM Rose Febo

PTM Rose Febo says the process of attaining Premier Aussie Specialist status was robust and thorough, requiring applicants to demonstrate both an established record of selling Australia product and an intention to become more actively involved in marketing and selling Australia holiday experiences.

“Applicants were also required to complete at least 20 training modules, undertake additional training activities and have visited at least three Australian states in the last five years,” she adds.

“The program was designed to impart the expertise needed to sell every region of Australia. I’ve loved being able to pick from the extensive range of available modules – I’ve chosen to become a Luxe-Expert. Having learnt about Australia’s premium travel offerings, I now have the resources and insider knowledge to create tailor-made ‘wow’ itineraries for my clients.”

NSW PTM Sue Kuti

Tourism Australia recently hosted its Sydney-based Premier Aussie Specialists at a lunch, with further events planned around the country in coming weeks. Randwick (NSW) based PTM Sue Kuti was among those to attend:

“With the impact of COVID I realised I needed to focus on more than just international travel. I had always been hesitant to book domestic travel, but I enjoyed learning about Australia through the program and now I’m planning to organise an Australian small group tour every year if possible.

I feel that there is strong appeal for this type of holiday among clients who are hesitant to resume international travel or don’t have the time for a long overseas trip, and I feel believe my business will be more balanced as a result of my increased confidence in selling Australia.”

Tourism Australia’s Executive General Manager Commercial and Business Events Robin Mack says the high calibre of applicants for the Premier Aussie Specialists program reflects the incredible support the local tourism industry has received from Australia-based agents.

“Becoming Premier Aussie specialists offer not only the opportunity to develop better product and destination knowledge and a raised profile but also access other membership benefits such as exclusive industry workshops and training events to help further promote Australia as a destination,” Mr Mack said

According to TravelManagers’ Executive General Manager, Michael Gazal, “Travel Managers’ PTMs have provided great support to our local Australian tourism businesses both after the bushfires and during the difficult years of COVID-19. They have connected clients with experiences all around the country, helping them to discover that Australia has much to offer for every type of holidaymaker.”

“This is reflected in a significant increase in TravelManagers’ Australia domestic travel sales figures,” he adds. “Between January and April 2022, these accounted for sixteen percent of total sales, which is more than double the same period the previous year.”