AFTA view: August 2018

Jayson Westbury, chief executive AFTA

Last month the travel industry celebrated in style at the NTIA 2018, and there is no question that the NTIA continues to deliver value, respect and unconditional loyalty as the pre-eminent Australian travel industry awards for achievement and recognition.

It is fitting to note that this year, AFTA introduced a proprietary analysis matrix system to the judges’ categories and this has been developed off the back of the 10 years of experience NTIA has enjoyed.

This new system has received excellent feedback from participants and the industry more broadly and included not only university level markers, but also a distinguished panel of some 12 judges. This next level of probity has brought a new level of significance to the NTIA process and format and AFTA will now look to develop this further and ingrain a higher level of integrity in all that the NTIA does and delivers. These key pillars are important when running an industry-based and backed awards program and we look forward to working across all the categories as we receive the feedback and develop this intellectual property for the benefit of all involved.

At this year’s NTIA, AFTA was also very pleased to award a Life Membership to Spiros Alysandratos, the CEO of Consolidated Travel. Spiros has a most incredible background and career in the Australian travel industry.

Spiros’ story is one that can only inspire all us. He is not originally from Australia but an immigrant who has made Australia is home and has over the past 50 years developed and nurtured a travel business that has become a platform which many utilise and many have tried to replicate. He comes from a large family with eight siblings and his proudest treasure is now his children, who have given him some 10 grandchildren. He is the quintessential family man.

He started his career in Australia in a photographic studio where he would meet his now wife Irene and together they have built a wonderful life and family in Australia. He then started his travel business in 1967, and from humble beginnings he has built it into the very well respected and known Consolidated Travel.

Spiros strongly believes in giving back to the community, the industry and through decades of involvement with AFTA, he has built an impressive life in Australia and done this all the while with the backing and support of the travel industry.

Even today, Spiros remains a director of AFTA and supports us in every endeavour and in every way possible because he believes that an industry must have an united voice for the future, for the benefit of all. It is difficult to imagine an Australian travel industry without Spiros Alysandratos.

On a final note, I would like to extend a very warm and large congratulations to all 38 winners from NTIA 2018, a magnificence effort by them all and I am already looking forward to what will happen for NTIA 2019.