When the residents of southeast Queensland entered lockdown on Saturday 31 July, they did so without knowing how long it would last, nor when social gatherings with friends and workmates would be able to resume. Among them were 39 Queensland-based travel industry representatives, who were delighted to have been able to enjoy a social lunch just three days prior to the lockdown taking effect.
The lunch was organised by TravelManagers’ Business Partnership Managers (BPMs) for Queensland, Noree Kahika and Karen Dowling, with personal travel managers (PTMs) and partner suppliers enjoying an afternoon in Brisbane’s long-standing Pineapple Hotel at Kangaroo Point.
“Throughout COVID all of our BPMs have worked hard to stay connected with their PTMS and suppliers,” said TravelManagers Executive General Manager, Michael Gazal. “It was a relaxing, social lunch that was designed to be a fun way for our PTMs and suppliers to stay connected after a very long and disruptive eighteen months.”
Among the attendees were two Gold Coast-based PTMs, both of whom Gazal says have recently relocated to Queensland from Sydney.
Diane Craig is TravelManagers’ representative in Broadbeach, Queensland, and says making the trip up to Brisbane was a great way to catch up with fellow PTMs and local industry representatives.
“In these trying times, it’s all about maintaining connections and staying positive,” Craig noted. “It was a lovely afternoon in a great venue: I’m looking forward to many more such events in the (hopefully) not-too-distant future!”
The lunch was also attended by Dylan Hearne of Back-Roads Touring, who describes the afternoon as “casual, cheap and cheerful.”
“Big thanks to the TravelManagers BPM team of Karen and Noree for getting their PTMs and the QLD travel sales community together for a good, old-fashioned catch-up, with no agenda apart from the important task of keeping our travel community alive and connected.”
Karen Newbury, State Manager for APT agrees. “Thank you so much for organising. It was so good to catch up with everyone – I haven’t felt that good in a long time.”
According to Gazal, the lunch was the latest in a series of get-togethers and state meetings held across the first half of 2022, which have brought together senior executives from the National Partnership Office (NPO) team, PTMs and BPMs in Adelaide, Melbourne, Perth and Sydney as well as Brisbane
“We believe connections are key to ensuring the ongoing wellbeing of everyone’s mental health – our PTMS and suppliers have definitely missed the face-to-face connections we had pre-COVID,” he said.
Lead image: PTMs Emma Ross, Rose Febo, James Hermiston, Adela Backhouse, Angie Kemp Globus and Kerry Cleasby were among the 39 Queensland-based travel industry reps to attend a casual catch-up lunch organised by TravelManagers.