Ross Manson Ross Manson

Mondo, Motueka and more: Ross Manson moving on

Former TAANZ board member and SKAL Auckland president Ross Manson is leaving the travel industry (at least for now) and moving from Auckland to Nelson, where his career began.


Most recently with Mondo Travel, Manson says he is likely to try his hand at something other than travel – although he concedes he is open to offers from within the sector. Manson started with Air New Zealand / NAC in Nelson in the mid-1970s, before working with Motueka Travel for five years. He then moved to Auckland and his roles spanned general manager retail and corporate for GO Holidays, Nathans Jetset and Budget Travel. He then started ITN and some five years ago became involved with Mondo Travel. ‘The travel industry has become harder but the more professional people are still making things work,’ reflects Manson. ‘It’s a matter of working with the systems and giving people the assurance that their needs can be resolved with one call – the agent can handle it. If the client finds something on the internet the agent should be saying ‘I can book that for you.’


Manson recalls the manual booking system combining telephone and teleprinter when he started in the business but says the basic recipe for success is still the same. ‘Successful people build a rapport with clients. Too often, even now, when a customer walks in the agent doesn’t introduce himself or herself – and just says how can I help you? ‘It is too late to ask the customer what his or her name is when they are leaving. You have got to make people feel comfortable right from the start and part of that is knowing each other’s name. ‘Personal service is still the key – even more so in the business side of travel. Corporates don’t mind paying a bit extra for good service.’ Manson says that as a result of his move south he will be selling a quarter share in a holiday property he has in Tairua, Coromandel. ‘I am keen to discuss this with anyone in the travel industry who is interested and happy to offer below the valuation price.’ News F