In a survey of the national retail group's members, 97% of respondents said they were happy with the support they were receiving throughout the coronavirus crises. And almost half of all respondents rated the group's efforts as "outstanding".
During the current crisis Travellers Choice has maintained staffing levels at pre-COVID levels in its Perth-based corporate office and retained its full network of state-based Business Development Managers (BDMs).
Weston Cruise & Travel owner Deb Long says Travellers Choice's much-celebrated culture has shone through the COVID-19 gloom.
"Travellers Choice is a family, and when things get difficult families pull together, they stay strong for each other and they reach out," says Long.
"Managing Director Christian Hunter has ensured lines of communication have remained open throughout the crisis and he personally got on the phone and called every member to make sure we were ok. That has had a cascading effect, with everyone from the BDMs to the heads of each department reaching out. And when I'm away, they even check on my team.”
Saibra Twigg, owner of Australind Travel & Cruise Centre, says that thanks to the constant contact, she has never felt alone.
“Whether it’s Christian’s webinars, the sharing of knowledge through TC Connect (Travellers Choice’s private Facebook group) or the personal attention of our local BDM, it’s felt like I’ve always had a team behind me and that has helped foster a sense of calm and reassurance,” she says.
“By maintaining the support structure as much as possible, Travellers Choice has also in some ways helped normalise a very difficult situation in which it would be easy for agency owners to find themselves overwhelmed.”
Twigg says she has also appreciated Travellers Choice’s efforts to provide members with constant news and insights into AFTA’s efforts on behalf of the industry.
“I think many agents have found this particularly valuable because it’s helped us understand the broader efforts to ensure our industry is not forgotten”
Long says that overall, the award-winning group’s support has been “a godsend”.
“The bottom line is that no-one in Travellers Choice has grabbed a lifebuoy, they have stood on ship's deck with every one of us."