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The road to recovery: Globus MD INTERVIEW

In this exclusive interview with Traveltalk, GAI TYRRELL, Managing Director Australasia of Globus family of brands, reveals the impact corona virus has had on the company. Predicting that travel will bounce back from the crisis, Ms Tyrrell highlights the extensive measures Globus have taken to protect consumers and how travel agents were “our first priority”.


How has corona virus impacted your business life?

Changed it completely right now! Overnight we had to find new ways of working remotely to support our industry partners and customers through this crisis. 

To say we've been nimble is an understatement! But even though we're all apart, everyone is working solidly and impressively as a team.


What reaction have you been getting from Globus customers?

It's been heart-warming and outstanding. Our 'Peace of Mind' plan has been so well received and appreciated at a depth I've never seen before in my career.

We took a major, voluntarily decision to pause travel to all destinations until June 30, 2020, across all of our brands - Globus, Cosmos, Monograms and Avalon Waterways. At the same time we announced a ‘Peace of Mind’ plan for all of our impacted guests.

It allows them to reschedule their planned trip to any destination offered by any of the Globus family of brands through 2022 without any cancellation fees. We also provide a bonus credit of up to $300 per person when they rebook their trip.


Are you concerned that the brand will be irretrievably damaged by this crisis?

On the contrary - Globus is a legacy brand, we are currently safe, we are secure and we are solvent. There is deep trust in our company and our 92-year history. It's in times of adversity that strong companies like ours stand out.


Amsterdam (Image Avalon Waterways / supplied)


How are you passing the time in self-isolation?

“Passing time” doesn't quite describe it! With numerous industry partners and more than 100 team members across Australia and New Zealand and all of us working remotely, each day is pretty much a constant schedule of phone calls, Zoom meetings and conference calls with our teams both here and in other time zones.

I'm working from my lounge room in Sydney. In the background my 15-year-old son Charlie, who is normally at high school, is keeping it real with the Xbox and screaming excitement at the NBL. 

In the few moments that I have had to ponder, I'm waiting for the true colour of my hair to present itself!


How will the travel industry recover from this crisis?

That's a big question and while there will be structural change for some firms and some sections of the industry may take longer to recover, as a whole our industry sells dreams and people will never stop dreaming about travel.

Borders will reopen, hopefully sooner rather than later, confidence will return, airlines will fly again and people will travel. It will all come back. 

Government economic initiatives for business and the stimulus payment to individuals will also help support recovery in travel.


Are there any positives that can be taken from this situation?

Absolutely. In business and in communities, this is a leveller like nothing before. We have all learned so much more about each other, I'm seeing a lot of kindness, great compassion, tolerance and compromise. I think that will continue long after the global pandemic. 

In so many ways, we have all been brought to our knees by COVID-19. No one is immune: it's like a massive reset button on what really matters in our global community and how we must all work together. I've met neighbours in our local park that I had never met before!


Has Globus done anything specific to remain in touch with travel agents?

Travel agents were our first priority. They are part of our family and the connection to our guests before we welcome them on board.

Australia still has more travel agents per capita than anywhere else in the world and it is absolutely vital that we help our agents to in turn look after their customers.

Hopefully we have demonstrated that through speed to market with our ‘Peace of Mind’ program and through our communication.

Regardless of regular job roles our team members have all been on the phones working as quickly as possible to reach out to agents asking how we can support them.


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Written by: Gai Tyrrell as told to Jon Underwood
Published: 5 May 2020

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