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REPORT: Express Travel Group Connect Consultant Conference


Express Travel Group's annual Connect Consultant Conference was held last weekend at the Amora Jamison Hotel, Sydney. The weekend provided Independent Travel Group, italktravel & cruise and Select Travel Group consultants with an opportunity to network, learn and engage which followed a theme geared towards the environment and sustainability


The conference kicked off with a cruise across Sydney Harbour to Clifton Gardens Reserve in Mosman for a beach clean-up conservation activity with the Surfrider Foundation, who are dedicated to the protection of Australia’s waves and beaches through Conservation, Activism, Research and Education or C.A.R.E. Susie Crick, National Chairperson, Rise Above Plastics Campaign Director and South Coast Branch President showed that on the surface of what appeared to be a pristine beach was in fact deeply littered and polluted with plastics. The Rise Above Plastics Mission is devoted to reducing the impacts of plastics in the marine environment through awareness and education on the dangers of plastic pollution. 



Express Travel Groups Executive General Manager Ari Magoutis provided a company update and talked about the rise of the second city traveller who are seeking less crowded and less visited destinations and the slowmo traveller.  


“Slomo is the new fomo” he said.


“Travellers are opting to spend more time immersing themselves in one destination or including the journey, not just the destination, as part of the holiday experience, which in turn helps lessen the environmental impact of travel.” 



Major partners Expedia TAAP showcased their technology developments and the ease of itinerary creation, with Globus Family of Brands following the 'slomo' trend introducing consultants to their new style of 2020 touring that focuses on spending more time in one place. While Cover-More Travel Insurance spoke about the importance of policy wording and how this can make a big difference to the level of care provided which resonated loudly to all. 


Guest speaker Marisa Galante – Learning and Development Manager at The Travel Corporation – presented a consultative sales process toolkit for consultants to implement a customer-centric service and sales philosophy, leaving consultants with a key message to embrace change and reconsider unconscious bias. 



Creative Cruising rounded out the presentations with an update on current cruise industry trends, before consultants enjoyed a celebration dinner with a night of prizes, delicious food, drinks and dancing.


Ari Magoutis said, “Our Connect Conference provides such a valuable opportunity for our consultants to connect with each other and our preferred partners, to not only keep up to date with the latest product knowledge and industry trends, but to take away palpable learnings that they can implement into their daily business routines.”




(Top) Globus Welcome Function L-R, B-F: Luke Roberts Travel on King, Sara Batchelor italktravel & Cruise (ITT&C) Bribie Island, Joanne Sachse ITT&C Warrnambool , Nathan Burke Cover-MoreTravel Insurance, Amber Pagett Travel on KingDenae Grant ITT&C Bribie IslandStephanie Zeigelaar ITT&C WarrnamboolAndrew Spotwood Cover-More Travel InsuranceJosselyn LaytonITT&C Bribie Island.

(Second) Surfrider Beach Cleanup 

(Third) Creative Cruising Product Market: Sarah Guy ITT&C Townsville City, Karen Searle API Travel,Carolyn Price API TravelViktoryia Shliazhko Creative CruisingTaylah Roncato ITT&C Townsville City

(Bottom) Celebration Dinner Consultants: Kahoru Mizuta Japan Holidays, Emily Cai BE Travel ServicesYanyan Boyce Thomas Travel, Ruby Chen Mekong Travel & Tours Australia


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