FBI Travel hosts first post-pandemic agency retreat

Melbourne-based Virtuoso agency heads to the Sunshine Coast

FBI Travel revived its much-loved Company Retreat last weekend, with 42 of the luxury travel specialists staff taking off to the Sunshine Coast for three days on the Queensland coast. The Melbourne-based agency last held a retreat for its team pre-pandemic in 2019, but since then the business has diversified and grown significantly, with employee numbers nearly doubling.

Danny Englman, Joint Managing Director of FBI Travel told LATTE this morning the retreat was an initiative to bring the Virtuoso agency’s personnel across leisure (including independent contractors), corporate, groups and back-office together for the first time in five years, giving the team the chance to get to know and network with their colleagues from other divisions.

FBI Travel spent three days at the recently opened boutique, high-end hotel, Essense Peregian Beach, south of Noosa. The property features a range of one- and two-bedroom apartments, and large three, four and five-bedroom holiday homes, along with conference facilities.

Mark Chaskiel, Joint Managing Director and CEO, FBI Travel; Gideon Baker, Account Manager Agency Sales TravelPort (with sponsored laptop covers for all attendees!) and Danny Englman, Joint Managing Director, FBI Travel

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On Friday, FBI hosted a series of presentations and keynote speeches to engage and enlighten the team. That included an interview with Mark Fuller from Go Insurance, and the keynote was from motivational speaker Marty Wilson who focused on resilience through change and mentally preparing yourself to “fear less”, and having the mindset that change is inevitable, especially in the travel and tourism industry, but necessary.

Englman himself also presented FBI Travel’s vision for the future which recognised the challenges of the past few years and the subsequent travel rebound, from famine to feast. He discussed how FBI Travel’s business has become more streamlined with growth to become a big player, how staff should feel empowered to raise their voice, and encouraged each division to take more control of their destiny, “rather than change being a top-down initiative”.

“Each person within their division should be empowered to share their own ideas on how to do things better,” he told LATTE. Every incremental change amassed at the end of the year can make a 10-15% improvement in efficiency, “which is huge within a business of our size,” he said.

Attendees took part in a range of activities on the Sunshine Coast and enjoyed free time to explore the region, relax by the pool, and visit the widely popular Eumundi Markets on Saturday. The team enjoyed sunset cocktails and dinner at the Noosa Boathouse, a triple-level restored boathouse right on the water. On Sunday morning, the group headed to Brisbane where they experienced the Story Bridge Adventure Climb and the attraction’s stunning 360-degree views of Brisbane skyline.

Joanne Cullen, Viking with Danny Englman, FBI Travel
Ruth Leibson, Travel Advisor and Cathy Favaloro, Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts.
Danny Englman, FBI Travel and Nathan Hughes, Expedia TAAP

Retreat sponsors included Viking, Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts, Regent Seven Seas Cruises, Expedia TAAP, Avis, Virgin Airlines, TravelPort, Go Insurance and Singapore Airlines.

Englman concluded saying the retreat gave new staff an opportunity to “understand what makes FBI Travel so unique, who we are and how the business buzzes, on a much more personal level than professional”.

Scott Graham and Lisa Pile, Regent Seven Seas Cruises
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