Frontliners goes off

Helloworld Travel held its annual Frontliners Forum conference and gala awards dinner in Hobart last month with 600 delegates in tow. The large delegation was made up of top-selling associate and branded Helloworld travel agents, as well as key industry partners such as Qantas, Intrepid Travel and The Travel Corporation.

Held at Wrest Point, the conference was held under the theme of “You are the difference”, highlighting what agents do for Helloworld Travel and the tourism sector. Tasmanian Arts Minister Elise Archer thanked the agents gathered in Hobart for their role in attracting a record number of visitors to the Apple Isle last year.

“You are very important to us, you will attract visitors to this state,” Archer said.

Helloworld Travel executive director and head of wholesale and inbound Cinzia Burnes said the inhouse wholesale team really made the difference.

“Without you we wouldn’t exist. We just wouldn’t have a business if it wasn’t for you. You are making big difference in what we do,” she said.

Burnes confirmed that the inhouse wholesale call centre had added 15 new staff members to its books.

“All the new staff will be on the phones in the next couple of weeks,” she said, adding it was hoped the new additions would reduce the wait time on the 96,630 calls they receive every 100 days. She added that currently 88% of all calls were answered in 15 minutes, but hoped to see that percentage rise with the new additions.

Burnes added that the new Ready Rooms was under construction and would be launched soon.

“It’s going to have all the bells and whistles that you the agents have been asking for.” She added that Ready Rooms had slowly been adding new features over the last few months to improve the user experience.

The travel company unveiled plans for “strategic marketing messages” for consumers in 2018.

Helloworld Travel chief executive officer and managing director Andrew Burnes also announced to agents that they would return to more traditional forms of advertising.

“We will allocate some of our marketing budget to tell people why book with a Helloworld Travel agent,” he said.

Next year’s Helloworld Frontliners will be held 08-11 November in Fiji.