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AUSTRALIA’S INBOUND tourism businesses are being urged to upgrade their skills in preparation for what’s being called a “new era” of travel.

The Australian Tourism Export Council (ATEC) has partnered with Destination NSW to offer tourism businesses across the state the opportunity to receive free inbound specific training in key growth markets.

Businesses can apply to access three training programs which offer the opportunity to learn about select inbound markets and sectors identified as high yielding travellers in Australia.

The three programs include:

CHINA HOST – modules will include market and culture ready, product and service ready and marketing and trade ready. Perfect for whether you are needing a refresher, or new to attracting and servicing the China market.

INDIA HOST – modules will include market and culture ready, product and service ready and marketing and trade ready. Perfect for whether you are needing a refresher, or new to attracting and servicing the India market.

ACCESSIBLE & INCLUSIVE HOST – online training modules are available as a self-directed course and includes culture ready, product ready and service ready.

“As we move forward into a new era of travel, Australia’s inbound tourism businesses will need to upgrade their skills and learn about new markets in order to ensure they are making the most of the opportunities ahead,” said Peter Shelley, ATEC Managing Director.

“While our traditional markets will always be valuable to our sector, there are some strongly emerging new markets which require special attention and focus, and these training programs offer exceptional insight into how to best meet their needs.”

These free online, self-directed tourism training programs are available to qualified NSW tourism businesses to help train staff in how to effectively attract and service some of the most important market opportunities and how to work with key players in the travel trade.

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FLIGHT CENTRE have launched a new customer initiative which also aims to help reforestation projects across the globe.

The “Captain’s Pack” contains selected travel services when consumers book flights, accommodation or holiday packages both online and with travel agents in-store.

These include lost baggage tracking and cover, discounted travel insurance, a cancellation fee waiver and bonus spending money.

For every Captain’s Pack purchased Flight Centre has partnered with Brisbane-based climate-tech startup Reforest Australia to assist with high-quality reforestation projects in Australia, Morocco, Canada and New Zealand.

Each time a customer buys a Captain’s Pack, Flight Centre will plant several trees on their behalf.

“Our first goal is to plant one million trees in the first year,” said Andrew Stark, Flight Centre Global Managing Director.

“The items bundled together in the Captain’s Pack offer our customers great value because each item would be more expensive if they purchased them separately.

“No other travel agency offers anything quite like it. We see it as a duty of care to our customers that reflects the changing needs of travellers.”

The Captain’s Pack starts at $25 for the Essentials Pack, $59 for the Value Pack and $119 for Plus Pack, which includes all available value adds.

“We’re particularly excited to provide additional support to families booking their holidays with a Family Bonus that allows kids accompanying an adult with a Captain’s Pack to share its benefits at no extra cost,” added Mr Stark.


THE BIGGEST reform ever for Australia’s $69 billion travel industry has just been unveiled.

The Australian Travel Industry Association (ATIA) launched with great fanfare, replacing the Australian Federation of Travel Agents (AFTA).

Launch initiatives include individual membership and dedicated caucuses for independent travel agents, independent contractors (home based) and tour operators/wholesalers.

ATIA has been developed after two years of extensive review of members of AFTA and a significant review and public consultation of the peak body’s constitution and operations.

“In reviewing where we were, it became fundamentally apparent that our name no longer was fit for purpose,” said Tom Manwaring, ATIA Chair.

“Of our 1,200 members which include travel agents, corporate agents and OTAs, we also have 200 tour operators, wholesalers and ITOs. Of our 1,000 travel agency members, only 14 were currently marketing or promoting their businesses as travel agents or agencies.

“The world of travel has transformed since AFTA was created in 1957 and to better reflect who we are and what we do, we have created ATIA. One voice, one future.”

Dean Long, ATIA CEO, told Traveltalk the rebrand doesn’t change anything relating to ATAS accreditation, with this system continuing to run in parallel as a consumer facing brand that symbolises excellence and professional accountability.

“In changing the name, what we’re trying to do is change the key to access the doors that we need to open and to make sure that we’re representing all of those travel businesses that can be ATAS accredited, that are paying their membership fees and to make sure they have a natural home within this ecosystem,” he said.


TRAVEL AGENTS now have a second chance to gain an important industry qualification.

Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) has announced the return of its elite Masters Program for a second intake in 2023. Beginning on September 18, the six-week course will help CLIA travel agents develop new skills.

Participants will move beyond day-to-day selling, learning how to pursue new revenue streams, create brand differentiation and forge a unique position in a competitive retail landscape.

Peter Kollar, CLIA Head of Training & Development, said fewer than two per cent of travel agents were certified CLIA Masters, giving them a significant advantage as cruise specialists.

“The Masters Program is available exclusively to CLIA members in Australasia and Asia who have achieved Ambassador status, which means they are already among the most highly trained cruise agents in the industry,” he added.

“By joining the Masters program, agents can take their skills to an even higher level, focussing on business development and creating new strategies to build their client base and sales.”

Other aspects of the course include capitalising on data and technology and understanding the evolving online retail environment.

Candidates will be shown how to maximise their personal strengths, how to analyse and reach their target audience, how to develop brand strategies and business planning skills, and how to become integral to their clients’ online environment.

After completing the course and assignment, successful participants will receive 100 accreditation points and enter the prestigious CLIA Cruise Masters ranks, with a higher search ranking on the CLIA Australasia website.