ATAC conference celebrates success

THE 2018 Australian Travel Agents Cooperative (ATAC) conference took place in Singapore last month over three days featuring a program packed with skills development, product updates, city tours and networking.

Dubbed Future Focus, the conference was the first one overseas for the group and coincided with significant announcements made by the chairman, Ken Morgan, who was re-elected at the AGM to serve another term.

Speaking with travelBulletin, Morgan confirmed that records had tumbled with the group achieving 10% growth in TTV in the 2017/18 financial year, surpassing $225m with final figures anticipated to reach $230m.

Underlying these results was a 40% growth in air ticket sales as well as achieving stretch targets of many of the preferred suppliers to the group.

Morgan said there were now 69 preferred suppliers and indicated that given the group’s year-on-year growth, other suppliers were now knocking at the door. “From a business development point of view, this is the position you want to be in when the phone is ringing,” he said.

According to Morgan, membership to the co-op has also grown and now totals 115 agencies with several more about to join from Western Australia, South Australia, Queensland and Victoria.

To Morgan, the value proposition is clear “we put more money back into members’ pockets, not take it from them,” with the average override payment now surpassing $25,000 per year.

The conference saw an address from AFTA CEO Jayson Westbury, reinforcing the impact, reach and benefits of a new consumer ATAS campaign with members of ATAC urged to undertake ATAS accreditation.

There were several workshops based around human resource management and social media marketing with all attendees enjoying food and entertainment courtesy of Singapore Tourism at the famed Gardens by the Bay attraction.

The conference wrapped up with a gala dinner and awards night with several lucky members scoring trips to Borneo and South Africa.

The ATAC team comprising Georgina Randall, business manager; Ken Morgan, chairman and Michelle Emerton, general manager.