Travvy Awards Winners Spotlight: Jeff Adam, Down Under Answers
Jeff Adam has set himself apart so much that he has been named the most innovative wholesale executive in our inaugural Travvy Awards. This is irrespective of region or size. Travel agents voted him the most innovative across the entire industry, and looking closely it’s not hard to understand why.
Adam has redefined the role normally associated with his title. He’s not just out there selling his wares, he is promoting the education of the network of travel agents who work closely with Down Under Answers.
“We are a true destination specialist wholesaler,” said Adam. “We’ve honed in our focus on those regions and sought to not just provide quality programs, but we also have a very strong focus on training. Personally I’ve been involved in training travel agents for the 18 years I’ve been here.”
Adam has built an outside sales team empowered by education. And education in the Adam sense of the word is not something you did at one point in your life, or something you have, it’s a vital, ongoing pursuit in your life day to day. Certainly people who work as travel agents are compelled to maintain education as a constantly ongoing practice.
“Travel Agents have so much they need to try to remember,” said Adam. “It’s one of most demanding jobs in the world. We’ve recognized that so what we’ve tried to do is create platforms that will provide them with the right source at their fingertips.”
Adam helped the Institute of Certified Travel Agents (ICTA) write their destination specialist program for Australia, New Zealand and the South Pacific.
For DUA he established a monthly webinar program. But extensive as his own knowledge may be, Adam has created a tool which can provide much more educational support than any one person could produce.
He’s created a social networking platform for travel agents who are serious about being specialists for Australia or New Zealand. Two websites www.aussiespecialists.ning.com and www.kiwispecialists.ning.com serve as portals and gathering points for all people and things related to Australian and New Zealand tourism.
Adam sees the two sites functioning for travel agents much the way TripAdvisor works for consumers. The online community is made up of tourism boards, airlines, hotels, tour operators and tourism product from that region. It brings together the best and most informed minds involved in the specialty of selling tourism to Australia and New Zealand. It is a collector of human resources on the subject where all vital news will surface quickly and the views and insights of the most informed people will be brought to bear in analyzing it and making sense of it.
By becoming active members of the networks, travel agents can stay on top of the latest news, not just from one expert, but from a community of specialists who focus intently on travel to that region.
“The thing about the marketplace we live in,” said Adam, “it is very competitive and the Internet of course is providing a great resource for consumers. But this resource [DUA’s online network] actually keeps my travel agents ahead of the curve. So before anything gets out to market it’s going to be found there. That’s the idea. To keep travel agents on top of the market so that when they do engage a client who is interested in going to Australia, they’re going to get that client to commit to them. And that’s what we try to do.”
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