Travellers Choice’s national network of independent agents is continuing to expand, with the addition of three new member shareholders in Western Australia, Victoria and South Australia.
The group’s newest member, Albany Travel and Cruise, is located in the historic port city of Albany, which sits around 420km southeast of Perth in WA's Great Southern region. It was from Albany that the first convoy of ANZACs departed for the battlefields of the First World War, and the prosperous city is now home to the National ANZAC Centre.
Albany Travel and Cruise – the city’s longest trading independent travel agency – is owned by Lynne Meads, who worked as a consultant in the business for six years before fully acquiring it in 2006. She says it was a desire for greater differentiation in Albany’s highly-competitive retail travel scene that enticed her to join the Travellers Choice fold.
“In particular, Travellers Choice’s preferred retail relationship with online travel agency TripADeal was a big drawcard for me,” says Meads. “I could see how it would provide my business with a major point-of-difference and help generate new customers.”
South Australia’s newest member, Middletons Travel, is located in Port Pirie, approximately three hours from Adelaide.
Owner Alison Nichols acquired the agency in 2017 after working for more than 20 years as a consultant in the business, which was established back in the early 1970s.
Nichols says the agency has always enjoyed strong repeat and referral business, but the support provided by Travellers Choice at a state and head office level has allowed her to generate new traffic by expanding her digital and local marketing activities.
“We’ve been able to develop our website and set up regular email marketing campaigns,” she says. “Because both of these activities are managed by the Travellers Choice marketing team, we now have more time to concentrate on providing the highest level of service to our customers.”
Damien Rullo, who founded Worldwide Traveller in the Melbourne suburb of Mt Waverley in 2016, was also attracted to the marketing support offered by Travellers Choice.
“As a new business we are looking to expand as quickly as possible and Travellers Choice has helped create growth opportunities through its support in areas such as digital marketing, website development and social media management,” says Rullo. “They also helped me secure a sponsorship deal with a local community organisation, which is helping raise awareness of our brand.
“What particularly impresses me is the way the group continuously looks to improve upon and refresh its member support services. At no time is anyone in the organisation standing still.”