Independent agencies in NSW, Western Australia and Queensland are the latest businesses to join the growing Travellers Choice network.
Travellers Choice says the agencies, which include Sydney-based Hopperound Cruise & Travel, Brisbane’s Discover Travel and Cruise, and Perth agency Peregrine Travel Centre WA, were drawn to the group’s “unrivalled marketing and technological support”.
But Sydney-based Hopperound Cruise & Travel’s Allan Hopper said the network’s “Choose Day” marketing campaign initially drew his attention.
“I pretty much decided to join as soon as I spoke to a Travellers Choice national business development manager,” Hopper said.
“It was immediately clear that Travellers Choice’s focus is solely on supporting independent business owners, rather than juggling a variety of different business models, such as franchisees and company-owned stores. That singular focus is important to me.”
Formed in 2018, Hopperound Cruise & Travel is based in the Sydney suburb of Chippendale. However, the company utilises the expertise of two consultants based in the Philippines and a fourth, home-based team member who specialises in cruises.
Inevitably, Hopper was also drawn to the group’s marketing support, “particularly Travellers Choice’s website solution, Site Builder, which provides my agency with a customised website supported by centrally loaded products”.
“I really don’t have the time and resources to focus on sophisticated digital marketing, so it’s nice to know that a talented team is doing that for me,” he remarked. “With that taken care of, I can fully focus on the rest of my business.”
That “extra level of support” also appealed to Mike Wood, owner of Perth agency Peregrine Travel Centre WA, which operates from a retail space with long-time Travellers Choice members Carine Travel Bug and Tour de Force Travel.
“The override payments and shareholder dividends that Travellers Choice members receive provide a great financial incentive,” said Wood, who escorts international groups several times a year as part of his company’s focus on adventure travel.
“The group’s preferred supplier arrangements also complement my own and will now generate increased commissions.
“But the main thing for me was the breadth of accessible support. Having been out on my own for so long, I really appreciate the fact that I can now call on other members, a local business development manager, the marketing team and the entire Travellers Choice corporate office if I need a helping hand.
”It means I can now focus on securing a deposit from every customer sitting across from me. And that’s what it’s all about.”
The network, winner of three straight gongs for Most Outstanding Non-Branded Group at the National Travel Industry Awards (NTIA), Travellers Choice reported a pre-tax operating profit of more than $2 million for the 2022-23 financial year.
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