Updated: May 6
In this series, I am asking some key suppliers from all aspects of the industry, to share useful tips and how to better work with these suppliers in your business.
Tracey Williams is the groups specialist at Bayview Travel, and we have worked together since 2007, so I asked her the following questions;
Overview of Bayview Travel and your background
Bayview Travel was established 30 years ago in Brighton, Victoria, and has become a highly regarded leisure and corporate travel agency. Twice recognised as a finalist for the NTIA Best Travel Agency (single location) in Australia. Through our numerous affiliations and memberships of programs such as Virtuoso, Four Seasons Preferred Partner, Hyatt Prive and Marriott Stars, we can offer our clients exclusive rates and inclusions.
Our corporate clients range from sole-traders to global corporations, and we pride ourselves on delivering personalised and superior service to suit our client’s requirements. All of our consultants have a minimum of 15 years’ experience in the industry, and are highly skilled and knowledgeable.
I joined Bayview Travel 12 years ago, and moved into corporate and event travel shortly after. During this time, I have built up an extensive knowledge of the unique requirements of corporate and event travel. I have established solid relationships with my clients and as a result can quite often pre-empt their requirements. I always strive to deliver the best for my clients, and will always go the extra mile to ensure they are always looked after.
Why work with a Travel Agency for my group, vs working with just the Event/Incentive Agency?
We are experts in our field, like you are in yours. We can always find the best deals and flight connections to best suit your corporate and event needs. By leaving us to focus on the travel logistics, we can free up your valuable time to focus on your specialities, and delivering the optimal result for the client.
We are best equipped to deal with situations when problems arise – whether it be a flight delay or an erupting volcano. We have the knowledge and industry contacts that will allow us to navigate through these situations as quickly as possible, in order to achieve the best result for the client and traveller. We are available 24/7 for emergencies, and instead of sitting on hold to airlines for hours, we can get you sorted relatively quickly and stress-free.
Differences between Groups vs Corporate vs Leisure bookings? Is an Incentive a Leisure or Group Booking?
We treat event groups like corporate clients in most instances. Corporate and Event clients generally have very different needs to Leisure clients.
With corporate clients we are normally focused on getting the travellers to the destination in the quickest way, whilst also taking into account airline and class preferences. We also will consider arrival and departure preferences, in order to fit in with the transfer logistics, etc. for the event organiser.
For Leisure clients, the focus is normally on matching the travel to their dream. Whether it is whipping around Europe in 14 days or relaxing on the beach in Bali, we have the knowledge and industry contacts to achieve the best holiday to suit your needs.
Travel Insurance – why I need to book it for my group?
As the saying goes – “If you can’t afford travel insurance, you can’t afford to travel”. Travel Insurance will protect you against most unforeseeable circumstances. If travelling overseas, insurance is crucial to provide cover for medical costs for your attendees. A brief visit to the doctor in the USA can cost hundreds of dollars, and something more serious can quickly extend into the tens of thousands. You don’t want to leave your client exposed to these costs by not having adequate cover.
When do you hand me over to the Event/Incentive Agency? In the case of an emergency/crisis, what will you do for me?
This is always determined by the Event/Incentive Agency – I can either work directly with the attendees or through the agency. This is normally determined by the type of event or the corporate client’s needs. For example, if a conference, then normally we deal with the agency, as we are trying to manage the logistics of the meeting. But if an incentive group, then more flexibility is quite often allowed by the corporate client and therefore we can deal directly with the traveller to co-ordinate any additional travel needs they may have (i.e. trip extensions).
In both cases, the final travel arrangements will be shared with the Event/Incentive Agency so they are fully across the movements of all attendees.
In cases of emergencies the Agency can choose to either liaise with ourselves or provide our emergency contact details directly to the traveller. In either case we will do our best to manage the preferences of both the traveller and the corporate client to achieve the best outcome for both parties. No matter what time or day, we work through the situation to ensure, if possible, the traveller will reach their destination in a timely fashion and with minimal stress and cost.
I opened up the question to Tracey to ask and answer anything she felt you needed to know, that would help clients work with her directly and better.
In order to service our client’s needs, it is crucial that we know as much as possible about what they want. Whether it is simply for a flop-and-drop leisure holiday to a quick in-and-out conference, the more information you can share about your plans and intentions will allow us to fulfil your requirements. We will always do our best to prompt you for the information we require, but the more you can share, the increased likelihood of a successful trip for everyone involved – and that is the most important thing!
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