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Travel agent hub gets to the centre of travel


A new travel and tourism-specific co-working space is about to open specifically designed for agents. BRIAR JENSEN talks to the guys behind this innovative project.

Making meaningful contacts is vital to success in the travel and tourism industry.

 

That’s the view of Richard Taylor, co-owner of The Travel Industry Hub (TTIH), Australia’s first co-working space specifically for the travel, tourism and hospitality industry.

 

His business partner Luke Crawford concurs, divulging that they both met their wives within the travel trade.

 

Luke Crawford, Brett Jardine (CATO), Lisa Pagotto (Crooked Compass) and Richard Taylor

 

While they can’t promise you’ll meet the love of your life at their new facility, Richard and Luke guarantee you’ll be introduced to industry colleagues and will become part of a broader travel and tourism community that promotes networking, mentoring and collaboration.

 

Having met in the travel industry 12 years ago they ended up working for the same company, becoming firm friends.

 

Luke then launched his own travel start-up, The Visa Machine, which is when he realised having relevant people around a fledgling business is vital for advice and support.

 

Once the business outgrew his home, Luke discovered that finding traditional city office space proved prohibitively expensive, with onerous long-term contracts ill-suited to the flexible needs of a start-up.

 

Embarrassed by his ‘windowless little box’ in the centre of a high-rise and worried he’d be stuck with the lease if his business folded, Luke conceived the idea of an affordable travel and tourism-specific co-working space.

 

According to the publication, Co-working Resources, Australia is ranked sixth in the world for co-working growth per capita, and The Australian Co-working Market Report 2017/2018 says there are now 26 per cent more co-working locations in Australia than in the previous year.

 

In this rapidly expanding market, The Travel Industry Hub plans to open by the end of the year on Level 3, 104 Mount Street, North Sydney. They also have desks and a meeting space within Spencer Travel at Mascot and plan to expand to Melbourne and Wellington.

 

This innovative facility differentiates itself by offering affordability, flexibility and an industry-specific community.

 

The North Sydney location is close to public transport and they’re keeping costs down by renovating within the building’s existing floor plan, recycling and repurposing materials where possible.

 

Within the light, Scandi-inspired space, they’re favouring flexible workspaces to cater for changing demands.

 

There will be ‘hot’ desks and dedicated desks of different sizes and styles along with private offices that cater for sole traders and freelancers to small businesses and larger companies wanting a base for a Sydney team.

 

Facilities will include a library, soundproof room for private calls, large boardroom for meetings and a dedicated event space with small stage, dressing room and kitchen facilities that can hold up to 100 people.

 

“If a cruise company or tourism business comes from interstate to meet with a group of travel agents, they can do that here far cheaper than hiring a bland hotel meeting room,” says Luke.

 

Community is at the heart of TTIH, linking people from within the travel and tourism sphere, facilitating and fostering collaboration and mentoring.

 

They will offer a friendly, nurturing environment for start-ups and assistance to people re-entering the industry after a layoff or raising a family, and there are plans for regular, informal industry drinks and educational workshops.

 

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Written by: Briar Jensen
Published: 7 November 2019

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