This year’s CT Partners’ annual conference took place in Bangkok over three days with 33 representatives of corporate and specialist member agencies joining 39 senior representatives of preferred supplier partners and all 21 members in attendance.
With a theme of Setting Goals to Change, the conference included presentations from suppliers, keynote addresses from two accomplished and inspiring Australians, and a community-based team event.
The event began with a welcome from CT Partners’ chairman Grant Wilson, officially welcoming two new members BCD Travel and JC Travel Professionals, who were represented by their respective managing directors’ Tass Messinis and Freddy Mikhael.
Wilson proudly acknowledged the importance of its members and the significance in achieving a 22 per cent sales growth for 2016/17 as compared to 2015/16, as part of his opening address.
“With CT Partners being the third largest travel agency group in the country and achieving sales of $1.5 billion, we know we are doing something right.
“We can attribute success to our superior negotiation power and relationships we have with our preferred suppliers, the value we have in our members and having complete transparency with all our members.
“Our member agents are the company’s only shareholders and they have unrivalled transparency of financial activities, meaning there is no skimming of supplier payments with all payments being passed through to the membership.”
Wilson further reminded the 21 members that “CT Partners has a small and experienced management team which is fully accountable to the CT Partners’ board made up by representatives of the members and that there is room to expand its membership base.”
Reinforcing the Setting Goals to Change theme, were keynote speakers Kerri Pottharst, a professional beach volleyball player and Olympic gold medal winner and Andrew Fell, founder of GiFT631 and who is passionate about helping people strive to reach their true potential.
According to Wilson, both presentations were extremely well-received by conference attendees.
“Kerri and Andrew through their personal stories and experiences really celebrated our ‘Setting Goals to Change’ theme.
“They engaged our members through inspiring and powerful messages using anecdotes from their contrasting sporting and business experiences.”
The conference also included a series of workshops, presentations and supplier discussions which reinforced the conference theme at every opportunity.
Wilson believes a major highlight for this year’s event was the team building event organized by Excel Solutions.
The conference participants, preferred suppliers, keynote speakers Pottharst and Fell all built bikes for children at the Baan Tantawan Orphanage before stepping away from the luxury of their conference hotel venue to compete in an amazing race team activity.
“Seeing the happy faces of the children as they received a bicycle really touched us all, it was a truly wonderful way to give back to the local community.
“The amazing race was a real test of skill, patience and teamwork as each team had to use their negotiation, budgetary, time management and problem-solving skills as they navigated themselves around Bangkok using local transport and interacting with the locals.
“It was a great way to conclude the conference, which I can only describe as an outstanding success,” says Wilson.
The CT Partners 2017 national conference was held 31 October – 02 November and for the eleventh consecutive year it was held at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in Bangkok, which has just been voted the Number One Hotel in the World by the prestigious Conde Nast Traveler magazine’s 2017 Readers’ Choice Awards.