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Agents the gateway to the consumer: Visit Britain

In an interview with Traveltalk, Visit Britain director Asia Pacific, Middle East and Africa, TRICIA WARWICK explains just why the Australian travel agent remains a “vital” component of tourism to the UK and the reason behind VB’s massive presence down under.

Britain is a tried and true destination for Australian travellers, a place to which Aussies can easily relate, thanks to a shared culture and common language. 


Despite this familiarity however, Australian travel agents remain crucial in educating and bringing tourists to GB, according to Visit Britain (VB) director Asia Pacific, Middle East and Africa (APMEA), Tricia Warwick.


Buckingham Palace, London


A major reason for this reliance on travel agents relates to the sheer distance between the countries, which obviously isn’t the same as travelling from Paris to London.


‘... if you’re going to do a trip from Australia to the UK, then you might stop over, you might go and see another European country for a couple of nights ... you need some guidance on the logistics, if nothing else. And you don’t want to get it wrong do you?” Ms Warwick told Traveltalk


“You need the advice on what not to miss and where is better to stay ... whether you’re travelling as a couple, or a family, whatever it might be.”


With the Australian trade “vital” to British tourism, Warwick said VB prides itself on working “hard and close with our travel trade partners”.


“And here, we’ve got some great partnerships with people like Flight Centre, Helloworld, Excite Travel [Holidays] ... because they really are the gateway to the consumer for us.”


With the consumer and trade in mind, VB has more than doubled its presence in Sydney since Ms Warwick started in her role just 18 months ago. 


“It’s hard to help when you don’t really know the Aussie market from the Gulf ... or London,” the Dubai-based Briton remarked, saying that VB had been grossly underrepresented in Britain’s “number five” market.


“So we’ve now got seven people in the Sydney office, which for us, as an overseas office, makes us the fourth largest office for VB overseas.”


With this growth, trade engagement has become an even bigger focus for the organisation.


“How do you keep the trade informed of the latest and greatest that’s taking place in Britain?” Warwick said.


“What we’re able to do with our partners is put training modules together that can either be via videos, through webinars, or digital modules that you can train yourselves on.”


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Written by: Mark Harada
Published: 8 October 2019

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