GTN’s 2023 conference officially kicked off with a party at Novotel Sunshine Coast’s Lorikeet Beach, sponsored by Fiji Airways and wrapped up with an awards dinner sponsored by Air New Zealand. In between evening event, agents and suppliers connected during a day of meetings.
Aspire Travel Group (ATG) is expecting a degree of ‘normality’ to return to the market over the next year. However the company’s principals, Man Nghi Luong and Ian Peddie say that currently the business continues to go ‘gang-busters’.
Volume is coming back and things are looking up, but the continued closure of borders to some key inbound markets and a resulting lack of competition among carriers and other suppliers means 2022 will continue to be challenging, says Rob Beecher, director of Global Travel Network (GTN).
The New Zealand Government has reneged on a promise that it would reopen borders and reconnect to the world in the first quarter of 2022 on the condition that the country’s population was 90% fully vaccinated, says the chair of the Tourism Export Council of New Zealand (TECNZ).
Scott Mehrtens who is also managing director of Leisure Time Travel, says this week’s announcement around borders was really just a tinkering of the MIQ situation for returning New Zealanders.
Global Travel Network (GTN) is marking six years of operation today and reports that despite the tough conditions now the company is looking towards strong and bouyant business in the near future.
Rob Beecher and Allen Bell decided to start a travel group in 2015 that would be dedicated to looking after independent travel agents in New Zealand. With that objective in mind, GTN was set up in partnership with House of Travel.
True to the theme of Christmas get togethers in 2020, the Global Travel Network (GTN) rooftop catch up in Shortland Street was more about marking resilience and survival than celebrating the last 12 months. But it also had a note of optimism for a better year ahead. As director Rob Beecher said, ‘Let’s face it, it’s been a sh.. of a year.’ He thanked agents and suppliers for sticking 2020 out and noted that more than ever it showed the importance of strong relationships. The casual event included a few drinks and nibbles, plus pizza. ‘Next year we might be able to afford garlic bread and chips to go with the pizza,’ added director Allen Bell.
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As travel business owners look to the future, a network set up to meet the needs of independent agents feels it has the right model for a post Covid comeback.
Rob Beecher, of Global Travel Network (GTN), says although the company is obviously hurting like everyone in the industry, the signs are that the ‘small, lean and nimble’ model has held up comparatively well in tough times.
Shannell Christmas has joined Global Travel Network (GTN) with her new retail shop in Whangarei – Travel and Cruise HQ. It's a return to GTN for Christmas who previously operated Small World Travel and Cruise.
‘I knew I wanted to have a large cruise specialist presence here, because I love cruise and feel it is something consumers look for,’ explains Christmas. ‘I created a brand, found a fantastic location and got myself set-up
Huge (and growing) interest in Sri Lanka was one of the motivations behind a famil for GTN agents to the destination arranged by Exotic Holidays and with the support of Thai Airways.
With a growing team in place and a full calendar year of operation behind it, Global Travel Network (GTN) is looking towards further growth, more famil tours and its first national conference in 2017.
Director Rob Beecher says the conference will be held at Rydges Rotorua on 28 to 30 July and some 100 agent delegates, plus suppliers (25 already confirmed) will attend.
‘The time is right to be looking head to our first conference,’ says Beecher. ‘In the last 12 months we delivered on our promise of four famils (a Fiji Cruise, Thailand, Sydney and Whitsundays) and we will be doing another four in the year ahead. So the