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Amanda Stevens - Keynote SpeakerTravelManagers’ 13th National Conference concluded in Sydney on Friday night in grand style, with a fabulous, disco-themed gala Awards Dinner at the Sydney Masonic Centre.

The Awards Dinner at the conference venue was a vibrant celebration in 1970s and 80s style.  Plenty of glitter, lurex and dancing and a few startling wigs! The dinner followed a cruise evening on Sydney Harbour on Thursday, another great evening. After a three-year pandemic hiatus, there was plenty of pent-up joy in TravelManagers’ first conference since 2019.Awards Dinner

Though it took him by surprise, TravelManager’s chairman Barry Mayo received heartfelt tributes at the Awards Dinner from the group’s National Partnership Office (NPO) team, from individual Personal Travel Managers (PTMs) and from Chris Paulsen, founder, chief executive and chairman of New Zealand’s privately-owned House of Travel.

TravelManagers is a wholly owned subsidiary of House of Travel, Australasia’s largest independent travel company. This is Mayo’s retirement year after he has overseen the steady growth of TravelManagers since 2007 and steered its development into Australia’s premium home-based travel network.

This year’s award winners, announced on Friday night, were:

Award Name Winner
TravelManagers Support Award 2022 David McCarthy – NPO
Recognition Award 2022 Di Yates – PTM Victoria
PTMs Choice Award 2022 Michelle Kingston  PTM QLD
Denise Dean Advocate Award 2022 Dan Brown – PTM NSW
Denise Dean Advocate Award 2022 Laurin Taggart – PTM NSW
Spirit Award 2022 Rebecca Owen – NPO
Excellence in Marketing 2022 Ed Bradford – PTM Victoria
Supplier Choice Award 2022 Carli Hester – PTM Victoria
Supplier Partner of the Year 2022 HAL/Seabourn
Supplier Partner of the Year 2022 RoomRes

The Spirit Award is being renamed The Barry Mayo Spirit Award to celebrate Mayo’s contribution.

He received a standing ovation on the Awards Night.

TravelManagers’ Executive General Manager, Michael Gazal, explained that there were no sales-based awards for financial year 2022 due to the impact of Covid on the industry over 2020, 2021 and the beginning of 2022.

The criteria for each of the Awards is as follows:

  • PTMs vote the Choice Award to recognise a fellow PTM specifically. The recipient’s qualities may include willingness to help, professionalism, upholding the TravelManagers brand and developing the unique culture within the TravelManagers business. Overall, a nice person!
  • The NPO Support Award is PTMs’ opportunity to recognise someone in TravelManagers’ National Partnership Office who has gone ‘above and beyond’ in the past two years.
  • Supplier Choice, TravelManagers asked its supplier partners to nominate a PTM who they felt:
    • Has supported their brand
    • Has upheld the TravelManagers brand
    • Is in sync with their and TravelManagers brand values
  • The Supplier Partner Award is voted by PTMs, nominating their favourite supplier who has supported their business in the past two years.TravelManagers conference
  • Denise Dean Advocate award, judged by the Partnership team, for recognition at a local level of advocates of the brand within the travel industry. Always professional and often out there promoting TravelManagers and referring new PTMs into the business.
  • Recognition Award is voted by TravelManagers’ National Partnership Office staff for a PTM who always adheres to policy and procedure, engages with the business and other PTMs and is an all-round “good guy”.
  • Excellence in Marketing award. TravelManagers’ 2022 marketing award recognises personal travel managers who, while facing changing consumer sentiment and the unpredictability of travel, have:
  • Learnt new marketing skills
  • Adapted to a changing market
  • Identified new marketing opportunities in their local community and online
  • Maintained connections with their existing audiences
  • Prepared their business and marketing plans for the recovery phase and
  • Promoted their value as a personal travel manager

In previous years, TravelManagers’ marketing award required submissions from personal travel managers. This year the award was selected by the group’s marketing department based on PTMs who had engaged with the team on their marketing activities over this time.

  • Spirit Award is to recognise someone whose everyday attitude and actions inspire and strongly influence the thoughts, feelings and behaviour of all at TravelManagers. This award is for the person who “lives, breathes and reflects the heart and soul of TravelManagers”. It is open to anyone who has been key to developing, maintaining and enhancing TravelManagers’ unique culture.

 Written by Peter Needham