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Q&A: Debra Fox on APT Travel Group’s ‘secret sauce’

We talk to DEBRA FOX, chief commercial officer of APT Travel Group, who won NTIA awards for Best River Cruise Operator and Best Tour Operator/Domestic

Debra Fox accepting the NTIA award


So what is the APT difference?

We call it our ‘Secret Sauce’ and nobody really knows what it is, but it’s a combination of many factors.

It involves our people and our commitment to ‘customer first’ and making a difference when things go well, but more importantly when they don’t – that’s when we stand out. 


How do you react to your double win at NTIA?

We get up every day to make a difference and I think this acknowledges that we are on track, but we’re never going to stop evolving, changing and improving every single day.

This is for everyone that might be in the back blocks of Germany or Myanmar, wherever they are in the world, knowing that what they do every day means our customers are happy and our agency partners are proud to support us as well.



You’ve won repeatedly over the years. Do you ever take it for granted?

It actually spurs us on more and in fact I get a little paranoid because once you’ve won you feel as though you have to be twice as good next year. You can’t just do what you’ve been doing – nobody can – because the world doesn’t work that way. 

We’re thrilled to know that the way we continue to evolve and stay on point and never rest on our laurels is working. We’re not so worried about the award itself – we really want to make a difference every day to our customers and that’s where we really win.


Tonight is a great way to show how well our travel industry is going.

If we think more broadly, the night is very, very important. It’s important that we have a professional industry with a set of standards that we all abide to and that we can live to, showcase them and maybe educate and share some of what we do with our colleagues and others in our industry.

Together we can all rise and I think the Australian travel industry as a whole has to be one of the most professional and outstanding travel industries globally.

It is about sharing, it is not about keeping it to yourself and together we can all be great and who wins? The travel agent and the customer.


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Written by: Debra Fox as told to Traveltalk
Published: 6 August 2019

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