Agents trained on Aussie products

10 August 2000


Singapore travel agents will be busy over the next few months planning and updating their Australian tours after a day-and-a-half Australian Tourism Commission (ATC) 'Boomerang' training session on Sentosa recently.

They said the session was the next best thing to a fam trip and that they wished other NTOs were as aggressive in training as the ATC.

They added that some NTO training sessions could be tedious because they were too repetitive, but that the Boomerang session introduced a lot of new information.

"Others don't promote as much as Australia," said Michelle Tay, marketing executive with Cultural & Entertainment Holidays. "ATC is more active. HKTA does some as well, but ATC is the most active, they inform us about twice a year."

Many agents said the Boomerang session would help them plan new products.

"It gives you a new look into the destination, it helps you to plan new routes," said Kendric Tham, product executive for KEN-AIR Tours. "For example, not many people had heard of Broken Hill and other regions, there's more to discover."

The group of 24 agents were divided into four teams - Kangaroo, Wallaby, Koala and Emu - and moved from hour long training sessions with the ATC, Ansett Australia, Tourism New South Wales, Western Australian Tourism Commission, South Australian Tourism Commission, Tourism Queensland, Tourism Victoria and Tourism Tasmania.

Kim Ng, assistant manager marketing and product development for Diners World Travel said she would change some of the agency's tours due to the training.

"It will result in some changes in our itineraries," Ng said. "In Sydney we've been introduced to a lot of new destinations, like the Bridge Climb. A lot of the information is very useful - it's new. This is really for new destinations for product planners to plan their tours."

Many of the agents had never heard of the Bridge Climb, a hike to the top of the world famous Sydney Harbour Bridge, and said they thought it would be popular with leisure travellers and incentive groups.

"We're learning a lot of new products, like the Bridge Climb," said Antonio Teh, assistant general manager of marketing and promotion for CTC Holidays. "We're learning about safety measures. We need to know if it's suitable for elderly people. "And we're learning a lot about Western Australia beyond Perth. There's a lot between Perth and Broome. There hasn't been much promotion, but it could be a scenic place for Singaporeans."

The agents said the small groups and rotating sessions made the Boomerang session unique and that the Q&A afterwards helped them retain the new information.

"A fam trip is more useful of course, but you're short of time so this sort of presentation is good," Teh said.

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