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Magellan Conference 2015 comes to a close

first_imgAPT owner Geoff McGeary at Magellan Members DinnerThe Magellan Travel Group’s National Conference continued on Friday with a full day of workshop and showcase sessions before delegates kicked up their heels at the Magellan Gala and Awards Dinner at the Sofitel Melbourne on Collins.The day began with a presentation by the Australian Federation of Travel Agents (AFTA) chief executive officer Jayson Westbury who addressed key issues and topics including the AFTA Travel Accreditation Scheme (ATAS), which launched 1 July 2015.Mr Westbury said AFTA deliberately chose to communicate the brand in a more cost effective way through social media.AFTA CEO Jayson Westbury“I’ve been taken aback at just how powerful the process of marketing through social can be and how incredible you can take a brand like ATAS and have the impact on consumers the way in which we have so quickly, so readily and not for anywhere near the sort of money you might think we need to spend,” he said.Roy Morgan Research CEO Michele Levine spoke about current trends in travel and tourism, describing the 21st century as “new era for tourism powered by globalisation, disrupted by technology”.“Technology we’ve always seen as the enabler, we now recognise that it’s a major disrupter – it’s taken on a life of its own,” Ms Levine said.“We’re actually seeing fragmentation of the [tourism] industry. The organisations that used to have a big broad coverage are now breaking up into little pieces and recombining in different ways. And what that means is that the profit margins are going in all sorts of directions.”However, she warned the audience not to get trapped into thinking everything is digital.“The real dollars are now with the older age group, the baby boomers…and we all know they’re still well, and they are still where the dollars are.“We have to be absolutely focussed on who is our target audience…really understand them.“And if that means you talk to them through the Herald Sun travel pages, that’s where you should put your money.”“Now is the right time,” Ms Levine continued.“It’s time to put all of our efforts behind tourism from an Australian economy perspective and I very much see tourism and travel as about the economy and jobs for Australia.”After a workshop session, delegates attended Magellan’s first ever Preferred Suppliers Showcase where at least 60 suppliers had the opportunity to exhibit and meet with Magellan member agents.Magellan CEO Andrew Macfarlane said the showcase was created in response to Members’ feedback.“After our last conference there was overwhelming feedback that both our Member Agents and our Supplier Partners wanted more interaction at conference – the Preferred Suppliers Showcase was designed to facilitate that and our members relished the opportunity of one on one time with our key suppliers,” Mr Macfarlane said.The event culminated in the Gala and Awards Dinner held in the Sofitel’s Grand Ballroom, where a range of awards were presented.Brooke Crees of Champagne Travel in WA was named Rookie of the Year, Diane Rawlings of where2travel in VIC was named Leisure Travel Consultant of the Year and Belinda Ward of Spencer Travel Group in NSW was named Corporate Travel Consultant of the Year.It was also announced that the Magellan National Conference will be held in Auckland next year. Magellan Travel GroupSource = ETB Travel News: Brittney Levinsonlast_img read more