While Australian international departures were at an all-time high up 10 per cent for the 2011 calendar year, TravelManagers figures indicate their departures for overseas destinations, over the same period, were up an astounding 35 per cent.
February 2012 was an outstanding month for TravelManagers with several records being exceeded including their best ever trading month since they began in 2005. National Business Partnership Manager for TravelManagers, Michael Gazal says their above average increase in 2011 overseas departures combined with their strong February shows the company is again settling into another year of sustained growth.
“The company is experiencing incredible growth which is a direct reflection that the personal travel model works. More and more we are experiencing that clients want the ease offered by a web-based travel agent but they also require the personalized service a personal travel manager provides and particularly the flexibility and more differentiated services that we consistently deliver.”
New Zealand attracted the highest visitor numbers for TravelManagers following the national trend during 2011 with an increase of 25 per cent. Gazal says its close proximity and the Rugby World Cup made New Zealand a popular choice for Australians last year.
“New Zealand hosting the Rugby World Cup has definitely had an impact on this strong growth particularly given the Christchurch earthquake and its adverse impact on tourism in the South Island. What is pleasing is that we are up 86 per cent on departures to the USA and Canada which shows Australians are keen to explore these countries more and take advantage of the strength of the Australian dollar against the US dollar.”
Mr. Gazal says Asia continued to be strong increasing 20 per cent and while Europe was up 39 per cent ‘round the world’ travel was up 20 per cent for TravelManagers for 2011.
‘Across the board we have seen growth to our international destinations which further demonstrates our business model is sustaining strong growth which is far above the industry average.”
Mr. Gazal says their figures sitting well above the industry average means their personal travel managers are benefitting financially.
“Whilst these figures show people are travelling more than ever internationally, the market is still tough so being a personal travel manager means you don’t have the additional expenses that a travel agency has of rent, salaries and administration. Your risk as a personal travel manager is so much lower and it just allows you to get on and sell travel.”
This would certainly appear to be the case with TravelManagers also exceeding the Australian Bureau of Statistics and BITRE’s 2011 domestic passenger growth announced 7 February of three per cent, with an increase of nine per cent.