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Family first: Globus Australasia MD Gai Tyrrell INTERVIEW


She started working in travel at 19 and has gone on to hold some of the most senior positions in the industry. Here, Gai Tyrrell discusses her recent appointment as Managing Director of Globus family of brands Australasia, one of the world’s most enduring travel companies.

 

What first attracted you to the job at Globus?

I was approached to have a discussion and of course it is an amazing opportunity and an important responsibility to lead the Globus family of brands team though our next development phase in Australasia.

I spoke with Scott (Nisbet, CEO Globus family of brands) in Denver and after that conversation I was absolutely compelled to join. In a commercial sense Globus has an unwavering commitment to achieving success through partnerships. It’s an approach I have always believed in, particularly in our
industry.

Relationships stand the test of time when built on trust, mutual respect and mutual gain. I have also long admired Globus’ respected 90-year heritage and the company’s culture and values, which are very much based on family – that is a rarity and also extremely important to me.

 

Are you planning any sweeping changes?

Not at all. I do not believe in change for change sake. Globus already has a tremendous and knowledgeable team, a diverse and world-class product range and solid industry relationships.

Having said that, I can also see that there are many exciting and some untapped opportunities ahead in this region. My role is to steer the ship, to help the team do their best work in identifying those opportunities and executing commercial strategy with our partners.

 

What have you been doing since arriving at the company?

One of my first priorities has been to meet our people both in our local region and overseas.
It is vitally important in a team to understand individuals – to understand what they are passionate about, what aspects of their present work may be challenging for them, what opportunities they see and what I can do to support them.

I absolutely believe that a high functioning team is a happy team and it is my role to ensure people have the support, confidence and opportunity to deliver their best work.

 

Image Getty

 

Customers are obviously a major focus, too?

It is absolutely essential that we stay in tune with customers across our entire product range and that we do so both with our supplier partners and also independently with folk who have experienced our products first hand.

Globus’ heritage is built upon offering customers extraordinary travel experiences and delighting our customers which is why I personally make sales calls each week. I will never stop doing that, it is vital to have that interface and to see through our customers’ eyes how our Globus family of brands offerings are being experienced and received.

I take time to listen to what our customers believe Globus has done really well in the past, and especially what the customers would like to see from us in the future.

 

Where are your various brands doing really well?

Globus family of brands has a focus on quality and value and our product range is extremely broad including escorted tours, independent holiday packages, river cruise holidays, under the Globus, Cosmos, Monograms and Avalon Waterways brands.

I am pleased to say we are well positioned across our entire product range. More recently we are finding good demand for holidays combining two or more of our diverse offerings.

Customers opting to combine back to back tours: for example a European holiday tour with a Monograms City experience. It is particularly exciting to see our new river cruising product attracting a younger demographic than our competitors.

 

Speaking of which, you’ve just come back from Asia sampling your Mekong product.

Yes, prior to departure I quietly had very high expectations, as the team had explained to me how beautiful our river ships are and given insights into the travel experience.

However, I have to say everything far exceeded even my high expectations! The vessel design, the care and professionalism of the staff, the onboard dining and the travel experience of the Mekong and surrounds. It was just absolutely exceptional and I would highly recommend it.

 

Bath, UK

 

Which particular products are you most excited about at the moment?

European coach touring is going great guns! Australian consumers are still in love with coach touring as we have been for decades, however we have adapted to offer new recruits to coach touring and repeat customers something delightfully different. 

We launched ‘Undiscovered Britain’ late last year and that product is performing really well. We have a series of ‘Undiscovered’ coach tours which venture to places that other coach touring companies may not explore.

‘Escapes by Globus’ are proving popular – these are short, destination-specific coach tours in Europe during the northern winter season. Touring slightly off-peak means exploring with no queues, blue skies and of course always great food. Travelling in the European winter months also gives
customers another perspective of the continent.

Australians in particular are intrepid travellers who love the appeal of undiscovered places and different experiences – and these products are going down really well with customers from the Australian market.

 

Tell us about Cosmos Lite?

Cosmos Lite launched last September and it allows more freedom and flexibility for those guests wanting a more a-la-carte style of coach touring.

Guests on Cosmos Lite tours are transported in style and comfort between locations but still have plenty of personal flexibility to then explore.

Cosmos Lite provides coach transportation, hotel accommodation, the services of an expert tour director and daily breakfasts. Exploring and experiences at destinations is then by individual choice– you can choose and do as you please all day rather than be guided on a group tour.

Our suite of touring products is constantly expanding and that’s very exciting for the future.

 

Are you a goal-setter?

Yes, I am a great believer in goal setting and also in setting timeframes upon those goals. Once the vision is clear, it’s important to set steps towards to win!

I am extremely competitive by nature - there is no better position than number one. Having said that it’s important to be flexible, to monitor and judge what’s working well and perhaps what isn’t, and identify and change direction – even in a very short space of time.

Goal setting is key to success: it is amazing what people who share a common vision can achieve and our common vision is to enhance the lives of our customers through travel. What an amazing goal that is!

 

Would you have done anything other than travel?

I can’t imagine it, as travel was a passion in my teens, which became a lifestyle and then a career. Or perhaps cosmetics! That is the only other global industry which fascinates me – an interesting history, a handful of competitors, some exquisite products and still an industry which is developing.

 


Written by: GAI TYRRELL as told to JON UNDERWOOD
Published: 26 February 2019


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