Ferocious competitors join forces for QLD

first_imgAAT Kings Tammy Marshall & JTG Warwick Blacker In what has been described as an ‘epic’ forum, the afta-led post-flood relief effort to assist Queensland’s tourism industry brought together competitive heavyweights from every retail travel group and key wholesalers from across the nation yesterday to discuss how to ensure local industry prospers in coming months.“These are ferocious competitors, and the fact that they are sitting here showing their support, shows it is about an industry that drives the economy in this State and largely in the country,” Queensland Tourism Industry Council, Chief Executive, Daniel Gschwind said.The impressive lineup of speakers included Flight Centre CEO, Graham Turner, Chairman of afta, and Travelscene American Express CEO, Mike Thompson, Harvey World Travel CEO, David Rivers and Deputy afta Chairman and General Manager retail network Jetset Travelworld, Warwick Blacker.“More than 200,000 people that depend on these people driving this business. That they are working together is a strong message.  Put down your competitive batons and we are all on the same team, and it’s very important,” Mr Gschwind said.  Each member of the panel discussed the importance of showing support for Queensland, and in particular ensuring correct information was provided to the public in areas that were largely unaffected yet are suffering cancellations due to misconceptions.“We’ve got so many very senior people here and getting behind the key message.  The message to the travel consultants in Australia – how can I help?” afta CEO, Jayson Westbury said.Mr Westbury said the biggest support from the travel agency community would be to influence or suggest travellers book domestic holidays to Queensland, and for corporate clients, that Brisbane is open for business.  “It is important to tell the (Queensland) travel industry they are not alone.  Some of the operators see the end of the road and nobody is coming and it’s a very depressing state of affairs.  Getting sadder as you go on it can undermine the recovery,” Mr Gschwind said. “We want to maintain the response momentum on all fronts, including from Government and marketing bodies to get the appropriate funds.” TSAX CEO & afta Chairman, Mike Thompson Graham Turner – Flight Centre, Simon Bernardi –Jetset Ltd, Hugh Houston – AOT Holidays, Mike Thompson –Travelscene American Express, Chairman AFTA, Warwick Blacker – Jetset Travelworld, David Rivers – Harvey World Travel, Tammy Marshall – AAT Kings,  Juliana Payne –National Tourism Alliance, John Lee –Tourism Transport Forum, Steve Limbrick – Qantas, Liz Savage –  Virgin Blue, Felicia Mariani – ATEC, Jayson Westbury – afta Source = e-Travel Blackboard: D.Mlast_img

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