THE travel sector is mourning the passing of Travel Associates founder Greg Ashmore, who tragically passed away last month following a battle with Motor Neurone Disease.
Responding to the news with a heavy heart was Flight Centre’s Global CEO Graham Turner, who praised Ashmore as one of the company’s key figures over the last 30 years.
“Since 1990 when Greg started working with us in Melbourne he has epitomised and reflected the best of our culture, and has also had amazing personal success through his dedicated service to his many loyal clients,” Turner said.
“It’s a tragedy he leaves us at such a young age. Our thoughts go out to his husband Shannon, his family and the many friends and colleagues in the Flight Centre Travel Group.”
Among his many achievements at Flight Centre was being the driving force behind the formation of the independent Travel Associates concept in Australia in 1998, a brand that has gone to become one of the travel company’s major success stories.
One of Flight Centre’s founders Geoff Harris told travelBulletin that he had the pleasure of knowing Ashmore back when he was a “skinny 19-year-old”, first employing him in 1992 and remaining very close ever since.
“Greg’s vision became his life’s work, finishing last year because of his illness at Travel Associates Surrey Hills, an international brand that has grown to over 120 stores before COVID,” Harris said.
The future of the Travel Associates brand is now in the hands of General Manager FCTG Premium Brands Danielle Galloway, who recalled fondly meeting Ashmore for the first time when she assumed the role in 2018.
“When we first met, Greg started to share what he considered to be the secrets to success for Travel Associates and as the new GM of this great brand, I knew I needed to lean in and really learn from Greg’s experience and advice,” Galloways remembers.
“He was adamant that it was a strong team effort and a team ethic that strengthened his business. You needed to fly your own flag wherever you can, dress in your business for success, present the office with some flair and make yourself known at events that can work for new client networking, and trade-related.
“If you are out representing Ashmore & James anywhere, you are dressed in full business attire, you offer a firm professional handshake, you display impeccable manners, you listen and take an interest in others with sincerity, and you demonstrate professionalism all round – you walk the talk,” Galloway added.
In 2015, Ashmore was inducted into Flight Centre Travel Group’s Hall of Fame – a prestigious accolade that only 20 people have ever received.