What I’ve learned from fifteen years as a personal travel manager

What I’ve learned from fifteen years as a personal travel manager

As one of TravelManagers’ longest serving personal travel managers (PTMs), Sue Kuti has spent more than fifteen years building a highly successful travel business. We asked her to share some insights into how being part of the TravelManagers family has enabled her to follow her passion for creating and escorting small group tours to an amazing variety of destinations.

It’s never too late to make a change

Having worked as a teacher for 23 years, it would have been easy to tell myself that it was too late to try something new – especially as I had no other qualifications or experience. But I was ready to try something new, so I set about gaining my travel qualifications which led to a role that allowed me to work from home. By 2007 I had built a travel business and discovered my passion for small group tours.

Strong businesses need strong foundations

As my small group tours began to take off, I realised that I needed support with certain aspects of the business. After considering all the main home-based and mobile travel companies, I felt that TravelManagers was the best fit. One of the most important factors was that I could retain my independence – and my SmallGroup Travel name – whilst becoming part of a network, with all the benefits and support which that provided.


Shared values are essential

When I joined in 2007, I become one of only 60 personal travel managers, with a National Partnership Office (NPO) team that was considerably smaller than it is now. There was already a strong, supportive culture of community – of family – that has remained intact as the company has grown. Personally and professionally, we support each other, we share ideas, we celebrate each other’s accomplishments.

Choose your own path

I love the independence that comes with being a personal travel manager, and although I don’t work in an office with other people, I never feel isolated because I know there is always someone on hand – a fellow PTM, a Business Partnership Manager (BPM) or someone from NPO – who can offer support, advice or a sounding board.


Pursue your passions

I am addicted to travel: I love organising trips for my clients, and I especially love it when I get to go with them! Over the years I’ve been fortunate to form friendships with many of my clients – we have travelled together in amazing places, and it’s exciting to see a reemerging desire to get out and explore the world as confidence in travel returns. From the beginning, I have been encouraged and supported in pursuing my passions and provided with the necessary tools to create my dream business.

Use the resources available to you

The NPO team provides every possible support across every aspect of my business – all I need to do is ask. Whether it’s assistance from the marketing team in creating a professional-looking newsletter for my clients, an update from the fares and ticketing team or a business mentoring session with my BPM, there is always someone on hand to help.

True partnership takes work

Covid was a nightmare of refunds, cancellations, credits and stressed clients, but being part of TravelManagers ensured that I had access to the necessary advice and support to successfully navigate the challenges it presented. The travel industry has faced many such trials during my career including supplier collapses, terrorist attacks and natural disasters: on every occasion, there has been support for me and my clients with whatever was needed, be it legal advice, financial advice or emotional support. My clients also love that our ‘Peace of Mind’ promise offers arguably the best consumer protection framework of any Australian travel brand.

Keep one eye on the future

I have worked as a mobile agent for 23 years, and my fifteen years with TravelManagers have been the best in my career – I have never once looked back. The travel industry will always have challenges to face, but I have complete confidence that we are ahead of the game, and that I have an amazing team behind me, constantly looking for ways to support me and my fellow PTMs – personally and professionally.


If you would like to learn more about how to build a thriving home-based travel business, as part of Australia’s award winning mobile travel advisor network, chat with one of our state-based business partnership managers or request an information pack.