Busselton Ironman

Ironman

Matt and Tommy finishing the event.

In December the Busselton Ironman was held in Perth. Jude and I knew a few people participating in the event, including our son Matt, Tommy Stephens and Shannon Stacey from Active Travel.

The Ironman event was pretty good fun (for us). Matt and Tommy ended up crossing the line together in 10 hours 12 minutes which was a great time!

While we were in WA, we also visited the Margaret River and stayed at Cape Lodge at one of the Luxury Lodges of Australia.

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It’s nearly Xmas!

Dec13 Santa and SkrooHopefully many of you realise it is nearly Christmas. After Christmas (which this year is on the 25th December) is New Year which falls on the first January in 2014.

So what’s happening in 2014 at FCTG?

I reckon one of the biggest things for us at FCTG in 2014 will be the move from being a Travel Agent to what we call a “world class retailer of travel” (Leisure and business).

Amanda’s Machu Picchu challenge for Young Care

machuAmanda Mackay from our Property Finance team recently took on the challenge of trekking to Machu Picchu with our charity partner Youngcare.

Here Amanda shares her experience with us….

“The Machu Picchu trip with Youngcare could be described as a once in a lifetime event, that words cannot describe. 13 Young Adventures embarked on a 4 day trek from Cusco to Machu Picchu.

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Bus names

The 40th Top Deck Reunion in London

Top DeckIt was 40 years ago that Top Deck departed from London to Morocco on it’s first trip with Spy, Bill and I on board. To celebrate the milestone, 13 of the original 15 Top Deck people went for lunch at Bistro Benitos our original lunchtime spot across from the Top Deck headquarters in Earls Court Rd. Benito is close to 80 years old and his son is running the show – the food has improved I reckon! The anniversary celebrations continued on Saturday with a Gala Ball and on Sunday with a recovery lunch.

By Sunday night I was over the 40 year celebrations and looking forward to the 50th

Interview with Switzer

Flight Centre shares were up around 116% during 2012-2013, so what’s the secret behind its success? For his views on the travel industry, Qantas and more, Graham Turner joins Switzer TV.

The Flight Centre Spicers Hiddenvale Epic Mountain Bike event

EpicSome 2,300 men women and children took part in this 2 day festival. More than 800 stayed and camped at the Spicers Hiddenvale retreat. Hiddenvale Station MTB Adventure park hosted the event across their 12,000 acres of hilly terrain.  It was fantastic to see how the kids really got into the bike riding on the farm tracks as well as some exciting single track rides. The idea is to develop Hiddenvale into one of Australia’s premier adventure parks. The Adventure Pack currently has over 60kms of single tracks for riders and aims to grow this to 100kms in the next 2 years.

I did the 87 kms which took me 8 hours 20 mins and was exhausted by the end. Not so Brucie Wood who did it in about 5 and a half hours but he is younger than me and a semi professional mountain biker. I’m looking forward to the event next year at Hiddenvale in August/September.

Five minutes with Skroo…. Carole Cooper

carole_cooperMy series of Q&As with Flight Centre’s Senior Leaders continues…

Carole Cooper, Global Peopleworks Leader

How long have you been with Flight Centre?
15 years

What was your professional background prior to starting with Flight Centre?
I worked in client facing roles for a bank and also a foreign exchange company back in South Africa. When my husband and I decided to emigrate to Canada I took six months off to do something completely different, which was writing and publishing my own vegetarian cookbook.

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Five minutes with Skroo…. Rob Flint

rob corp image june 2012Read on to get the low-down from my Executive Taskforce about what makes Flight Centre tick.

Rob Flint, Executive General Manager – Global Corporate Operations

How long have you been with Flight Centre?

23 years

Could you tell me about your Flight Centre journey? How did you come to work for the company and how did you progress through the ranks?

Early in my career I lived in Europe, working for an Australian-owned, coach-based travel business. We were in direct competition with Top Deck, targeting the young and adventure travel market. Of course, Skroo owned Top Deck, so even though I never met him at that time, that was when I first learned about the business that went on to become Flight Centre.
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The Travel Shop of the Future

Over recent months, the Flight Centre brand and stores have been tweaked, and in some instances overhauled, to bring them in-line with our customer expectations and to ensure we’re talking to our market.

Queen St Brisbane

We’re currently re-designing our look and feel of the Flight Centre Airfare Expert stores in Australia to make them more modern, welcoming and visually appealing. We’ve also opened two Hyperstores in Australia in Perth and Queen St Mall in Brisbane. These stores house all the Flight Centre brands including Round the World Experts, Business Travel, Groups Travel, Airfare Experts and more, so our customers can come in-store and get the best possible service and value for all their travel needs.

We’ve also recently made some tweaks to the brand, including bringing on board a new Captain. We’ve had some varied feedback about the Captain so far… An example of our new Captain is below and I welcome feedback.

Sep13 TVC FCB

The Hyperstore Concept for Flight Centre UK

HyperstoreThe Hyperstore is the model of the future and is designed to overcome the inherent weaknesses in a single shop model. The Hyperstore will deliver consistent customer experience through strong high traffic locations, extended opening hours, higher staff numbers which means greater expertise, increased leadership and more prominent branding and merchandising due to the size of the single location.

Across the UK we have 10 Flight Centre Brand Hyperstores, employing 168 consultants and by 2017 we’ll have replaced more boutique retail shops and over 665 consultants will work within the Hyperstores.

Flagships will be used to drive the FCB product growth strategy. So for example FCB will use Flagships to spearhead the sales of Cruise, Adventure & Long Haul Holidays. There will be dedicated branding and marketing in the windows and in-store which may use other niche brands to promote our expertise in these products/services/destinations.

The Hyperstores will hold regular coordinated events that enable and encourage customers to visit our stores. These will be nationally and locally marketed and will be aligned with national marketing campaigns.