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NTIA 2015 winners: Insider Journeys' success story

2015 is shaping to be one hell of a year for Insider Journeys with a successful rebrand, positive passenger growth and now being named Australia's 'Best Specialty Wholesaler'.

2015 is shaping to be one hell of a year for Insider Journeys with a successful rebrand, positive passenger growth and now being named Australia’s ‘Best Specialty Wholesaler’.

The group received the accolade at this year’s NTIA Awards for its 22-year history as a leading Asia specialist.

In a recent chat to KarryOn, Insider Journeys’ Customer Experience and Marketing GM, Joe Ponte, said the company is ‘extremely’ proud of the award, particularly because it was won in the category’s inaugural year.

Insider Journeys

The Insider Journeys team celebrate ‘Best Specialty Wholesaler’ nod.

“[We] feel it is a result of our long held commitment to deliver unique experiences for our customers as well as a strong business wide focus on supporting the travel trade.”

Joe Ponte, Insider Journeys Customer Experience and Marketing GM 

“Whether it is a traveller or a travel agent our customers are at the heart of every decision we make.”


What does winning the award mean for Insider Journeys?

It means a lot.  Over the last twelve months we have rebranded the business in all markets and, in many ways,  this is further endorsement of our move to develop a positioning that is a better reflection of the product we deliver on the ground.

It also shows to us that we are delivering unique experiences to the customers of our travel agent partners and that they are returning home having had amazing experiences.


What are some key trends in the industry right now

First and foremost we see an increasing desire from travellers to delve deeper that the typical tourist sites and really get to know the people, places and culture of the countries they visit.

Our own and third party research shows that travel is really about storytelling and it is the travel businesses that give their customers great stories to tell when they get home that will make the difference in their lives.


What’s coming up innovation wise?

Our Small Group Touring range is in a constant state of evolution with our product team constantly looking to unearth new insider experiences across the countries we operate.

One great example of this is our new Winter Japan tour that takes in several unique experiences including an trip on an ice breaker in the Sea of Okhotsk coast of Hokkaido is the northern hemisphere’s southernmost region to see drifting sea ice and a visit to Kushiro, home to Japan’s largest marshland, which supports the only known population of endangered Japanese Cranes in Japan.

The cranes are most spectacular to watch in winter as they dance, often in pairs, with seemingly choreographed dips and jumps.

We also have a number of other exciting projects underway including an evolution of our FIT offering, new tours launching and, later in the year, the launch if a new website.

It is exciting times.


What is the biggest opportunity right now for travel?

As always, the biggest opportunity in travel is to strive to understand your customers better than anyone else.

Travel is emotive experience and travel styles and desires evolve constantly.

A clear understanding of your core customer is the benchmark or foundation of success in our industry.

Do you think Insider Journeys’ win was well deserved? Share your comments below.