Working from home may infuse Travel Agents with the creativity they need to make customers happy (and stand out from the competition) in new and unique ways.

That is, according to the results of this year’s Avis Scholarship finalists, which happened to be all mobile Travel Agents.

In order to make it through as a finalist in this year’s scholarship competition, consultants needed to prove that they were delivering fresh and innovative customer service. This could have been by either utilising social media and technology to keep guests happy or introducing a new twist on a traditional method.

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Those who came up with the most “clever and creative ways” to stand out from the competition this year, were all mobile consultants – Amber Halleday, MTA Travel (Mt Gambier, South Australia); Brigitte Kempf, New Zealand Travel Brokers (Timaru, New Zealand); Kim Mason, TravelManagers Australia (Sydney, New South Wales); and Nakita Byrne, TravelManagers Australia (Mount Arthur, New South Wales).

Avis Budget Group Managing Director Pacific Region, Kaye Ceille, said the response for this year’s scholarship was outstanding, but the four home-based Agents managed to surprise judges by how they strengthened their relationship with customers.

“Whether conceiving and implementing a new approach, or re-imagining an established practice, each of our finalists has shown how their efforts have strengthened their connection with customers and generated tangible financial rewards for their businesses.”

This is the first time in the 21-year history of the prestigious award that all four finalists were home-based Agents.

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2016 winner & three finalists.

The four consultants will now attend a final judging session in Sydney on 13 November, with the 2017 winner announced at a presentation dinner that evening at the Four Seasons Hotel Sydney.

This year’s recipient will in 2018 travel on Qantas to the United States, Europe or Asia to attend a Phocuswright conference, where they will hear from some of the travel industry’s most visionary leaders. The Scholarship’s winner’s prize package also includes a year’s membership to CLIA, Polonious Resources Personal Profile and coaching, tuition to complete a Graduate Certificate of Business degree from Australia’s Southern Cross University and two tickets to the 2018 AFTA Awards.

READ: What will it take to win the Avis Scholarship this year?

READ: And the winner of the 2016 Avis Scholarship is…

What are your thoughts on this year’s finalists?