TravelManagers ‘outperforming’ Signature’s expectations, says CEO

Sharpe chuffed by the response of Australian home-based travel advisor network

Signature Travel Network‘s President and CEO says he’s been blown away by the performance of Australia’s TravelManagers since joining the consortia in early 2022. Speaking exclusively with LATTE, Alex Sharpe says the home-based network has exceeded expectations.

“I have been so incredibly impressed with TravelManagers,” Sharpe said aboard Oceania Cruises’ Vista while in France.

“Certainly, their comeback was a bit behind where the US was because of the regulations in Australia,” the Miami-based exec said of TravelManagers’ initial entry into the luxury travel network’s stable in February 2022 – a period when Aussies were still testing the waters of travelling internationally after the worst of the pandemic. “But oh my gosh, they’re really switched on.”

“The value proposition they’re providing their advisors, in my mind, is as good as I’ve seen,” Sharpe said.

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“Good technology, good marketing, great mentoring, and they really are holding the hands of their travel advisors, which makes sense that their sales are so strong.”

Sharpe noted that at the moment, the arrangement with TravelManagers Australia covers just one aspect of Signature Travel Network’s offering, being its portfolio of luxury hotels and resorts.

“In a year, and you think about the last year, the progress they’ve made…it really is pretty awesome. And a little bit unexpected, if I’m being honest,” he told LATTE in a wide-ranging discussion.

“They’ve outperformed what I thought they were capable of in year one.”

“So we’re excited, and we’re talking about what else we can do, but the other bit is, how do we perfect what we have for them already? How do we make sure we’re serving them in the right way?

Last November, TravelManagers Australia’s Chief Operating Officer, Grant Campbell flagged potential “further opportunities” with Signature Travel Network to build on its experiences of 2022.

Pictured at the French port of Ajaccio on the island of Corsica during Oceania Cruises' christening cruise of Vista last week are Joe Araullo, CEO, House of Travel/TravelManagers Australia and Alex Sharpe, President and CEO, Signature Travel Network.

Sharpe added, “We’re in discussion about how to get down to Australia and help them train. How do we get them the right content?”

In Australia, Signature has a long-standing partnership with Magellan Travel Group. Sharpe hinted at a possible collective and shared approach with existing members down under to lure more agencies to the consortia, admitting right now, “Signature might not be a known quantity.”

Joe Araullo, CEO of House of Travel/TravelManagers Australia said he was delighted with the success of the partnership with Signature Travel Network.

“It has been a natural fit for TravelManagers are we are quite keen to develop this relationship further,” Araullo told LATTE.

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