Last updated: 03:25 PM ET, Tue March 24 2015

Travvy Awards Winners Spotlight: Down Under Answers

Tour Operator | David Cogswell | March 10, 2015

Travvy Awards Winners Spotlight: Down Under Answers

Down Under Answers won the majority of travel agent votes as the best wholesale packager to the Pacific Asia region, which is a singular accomplishment.

Because the Travvy Awards are based on votes from travel agents, they are not just an award bestowed upon the recipients. They are an objective measure of the response from travel agents in the field. Down Under Answers was chosen as the Best Vacation Packager of the Pacific Asia area. DUA earned that award. How did they do it?

Down Under Answers earned the enthusiasm and loyalty from their customers because the company has taken their partnership with travel agents to a higher level, rarely matched by any tour operator.

Down Under Answers knows exactly what it is doing, where it has carved its niche. According to Jeff Adam, director of sales, “As an organization we are very travel agent-centric. We focus on our partnerships with our travel agents, we specialize in the Pacific Asia region and we focus in on Australia and New Zealand, the islands of the South Pacific, but also Africa.”

It is in the way the company works its partnerships with agents that set it apart.

DUA has not only set up a competent, reliable tour operating service offering a wide range of all the best possible options up to the moment, it has taken it to the next level and created a community that nurtures and supports travel agents who want to become qualified specialists for selling travel to the region.

DUA has provided a hub and a network through which serious travel agents who want to become qualified specialists and to really sell the range of what is available Down Under, not just the standard high points of introductory tours.

As far as nuts and bolts of the product go, Down Under Answers has it all covered. It provides a broad range of travel services to visitors to Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, Tahiti, the Cook Islands, Dubai and Africa. The company offers traditional tour itineraries as well as more participatory, immersive styles of packages, all custom created for the customer.

DUA can pull from a nearly endless list of travel components, including custom independent packages, private charters, personalized tours, rail vacations, cruising, dive packages, self-drive vacations, escorted tours, island escapes, luxury vacation packages, adventure travel, pre- and post-cruising programs, private charter shore excursions, group travel packages, special interest tours, family travel, gardening packages, hiking packages, educational travel, nature programs, golf packages, events programs, destination weddings, incentive programs and culinary programs.

To make sure air is covered, DUA has relationships with Qantas Airways, Virgin Australia, Air New Zealand, Air Tahiti Nui, Air Pacific, Delta Air Lines and Emirates Airways.

Down Under Answers has been offering its services for more than 20 years and has a team of international travel reservations specialists who are trained to assemble custom vacation packages for independent travelers in a wide range of styles and types to fit the preferences of individual travelers.

But the most above-and-beyond component of Down Under Answers' business is the way it has created educational tools about the Pacific Asia region.

The company offers a monthly webinar that has been extremely well attended and has been extremely useful to many travel agents. But DUA has gone far beyond that and created its own social network for specialists in its network of travel agents.

The company mounted websites, and are social networking platforms for travel agents who are serious about being Down Under experts.

According to Jeff Adam, “I promote it as Tripadvistor for travel agents. The people you will find at the site are tourism boards, airlines, hotels, tour operators and tourism product from that region, and all the specialist agents. Any agent who is a specialist in those regions, they’re there as well. There is a forum, reviews, video, music and an events calendar.”

It’s everything you need to know about Australia and New Zealand, up to the minute.

“The whole idea is I like to keep my agents ahead of the race,” said Adam.

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