Additional State-based Support for Personal Travel Managers
PUBLISHED: ETBNews; Eglobal Travel Media; Travel Weekly
TravelManagers recently appointed two additional state-based Business Partnership Managers (BPMs) to its support team: a move that the company describes as further cementing its position as Australia’s number one home-based travel business.
Executive General Manager, Michael Gazal, says the addition of two new BPMs brings the total number nationwide to nine, joining a team of seven whose role is to provide support to an Australia-wide network of more than 560 personal travel managers (PTMs). With an average of 20-plus years’ travel industry experience, Gazal describes them as the “most knowledgeable and qualified National Partnership Office [NPO] support team in Australia”.
“Even prior to the arrival of these two newest team members, we already had significantly more local state-based support than any of our competitors,” he points out. “They play a vital role in ensuring that we deliver all the support tools and systems that we consider essential for qualified and experienced home-based travel professionals to perform at their highest level.”
One of the new arrivals is Sally McCallum, who is assuming responsibility for PTMs based in ACT and Southern & Central West New South Wales. McCallum says she was attracted to the role because it offered an opportunity to work with people and help them succeed in their own businesses.
“Having worked in a similar situation as a home-based agent after having my first child, I understand what it’s like to build a client base and make the transition from a bricks and mortar office to a home-based, more solitary work environment,” she explains. “I was also excited to join a company that has the right values and ethics and cares about their people – TravelManagers definitely delivers on this.”
McCallum is joined by Leah McGrath, who will be working with PTMs in Northern Victoria. She says she’s looking forward to mentoring and coaching her PTMs in growing their businesses and achieving their goals, and lists being a good listener and genuinely caring about other people’s success as key skills that she brings to her new role.
“It’s important to me that my PTMs back themselves to try new ideas and reach their business goals – their success is my success.”
Both new BPMs say they are excited not just working with the PTMs to which they have been assigned, but also with the team of existing BPMs and within a great company.
“I’m joining a talented bunch of people with many years’ experience in the industry,” McGrath enthuses. “It’s a great place for me to learn and develop with the support of my team, and I love the company values and supportive culture that are prevalent at TravelManagers.”
This sentiment is echoed by McCallum, who says she has been impressed by the support, culture and values of the company.
“Ultimately, my decision to apply for the BPM role was based knowing how great the company was, how much they care and how much they want to grow. TravelManagers is respected within the industry for knowing how to achieve results and have fun along the way.”
Gazal says the new BPMs will be kept busy providing mentoring, business development and marketing support to the PTMs in their geographical areas, whenever and wherever it is required.
“To illustrate, last year our seven existing BPMs between them participated in 479 cluster meetings in metropolitan suburbs and regional centres, as well as 814 individual, one-on-one meetings. They also attended 26 PTM-hosted Travel Expos and presentations and assisted in organising many more events and activities around the country.”
This support is highly regarded by the PTMs themselves, who are happy to acknowledge the value of their contributions. Lula O’Keeffe, representative for Cottesloe, WA, is one of TravelManagers’ newest PTMs, having joined TravelManagers in August 2018.
“After 24 years with the same company, I was hesitant to make a change, but it’s been six months since I joined TravelManagers and all I can say is ‘I wish I had done it sooner!’ she explains. “My amazing BPM helped me set up my business and is always there for me to brainstorm business ideas and point me in the right direction.”
Of course, it’s not just the new PTMs that benefit from the support provided by BPMs – experienced hands also enjoy having someone to bounce ideas off, have a chat over a coffee or just know they’re there if you need them. Both BPMs describe themselves as passionate about travel and about helping their PTMs succeed – in their businesses and in creating a better work/life balance for themselves and their families.
“TravelManagers is proof you can have your dream career and live your life to the fullest,” says McCallum. “I’m looking forward to more people seeing how amazing and achievable it is to run their own travel business.”