In July 2021, travel industry veteran Joanne Miller was contemplating her next career move. She knew that once international borders reopened, it would only a be matter of time before the industry kick-started itself, and she wanted to ensure that she was in the best possible position to take advantage of the reboot.
Despite her confidence that the industry would eventually recover, there was still plenty of uncertainty that surrounded the circumstances and timing under which it would take place. Miller says she felt reluctant to continue with the traditional retail model she knew so well, believing that the cost and risk associated with being locked into a retail leasing contract was too risky, and so she decided to investigate home-based models instead.
“I could see that the cost benefit of the home-based model was exactly what I needed to reinvent my business,” she explains, “and after weighing the pros and cons of a number of companies that offered variations on the home-based model, TravelManagers quickly became the obvious choice.”
Miller says she was particularly impressed by the effectiveness and transparency of TravelManagers’ system of financial protections, which she believes is unparalleled in the Australian travel industry.
This comes as no surprise to Grant Campbell, Chief Operating Officer, who explains that TravelManagers ‘Peace of Mind’ promise to consumers is backed by a dedicated Client Trust Account that’s externally audited every three months, with the audits published on TravelManagers’ website.
“TravelManagers also holds Travel Agent Client Trust Account Insurance (TACTAFI) underwritten by a division of Liberty Mutual Insurance Corporation, which protects the client trust account in the unlikely event of fraudulent or dishonest activity,” he adds. Miller states she was highly impressed by TravelManagers’ response to her interest in joining the company: she was provided with a clear pathway on how she could proceed, should she decide to do so. Once on board, she quickly came to enjoy the empowerment of being able to choose her own hours, which she fits around her family commitments.
With over 27 years’ experience in the travel industry, Miller, who is based at Greystanes, NSW, says she places great importance on being able to provide her clients with confidence in her business.
“For me and my clients, financial security is paramount: knowing that my clients’ funds are safe, and being able to share with clients the trust account auditing and the existence of TACAFI is priceless,” Miller said.
“Many clients have become even more cautious as a result of the pandemic, so it is hugely advantageous for me to be able to talk my customers through the multiple levels of protection that are in place thanks to my association with TravelManagers.”
According to Campbell, TravelManagers’ Client Trust Account was maintained throughout COVID’s disruption to the travel industry, with independent auditing continuing to take place every quarter and results, also published on the TravelManagers website. The company has also held TACTAFI since August 2014 and continued to pay its premiums throughout the disruption of COVID, which he says has ensured the client trust account’s integrity.
“Joanne has a background in both corporate sales and retail travel, having worked in and managed a number of award-winning agencies,” Campbell adds. “We’re delighted that she recognised the unique benefits offered by our ‘Peace of Mind’ customer protections and that she chose to join the TravelManagers family as a result.”