TAANZ chief executive Andrew Olsen says the association’s staff and board members spent a couple of hours with local agents and brokers. ‘We talked about access to qualifications and our accreditation scheme – generally viewed as achievable. The consensus was that trained people add value to a business.’ Olsen says in terms of recruitment, attendees at the meeting felt that the local talent pool wasn’t deep. ‘So agents need agile solutions to find people who are qualified to sell travel – even if that means they love travel and can sell it but had not (previously) been in the industry.
‘Whilst we can’t quickly solve the talent pool we can and have addressed access to qualifications through the Service IQ AMS (the earn as you learn model).’ Olsen says ‘pop up’ agents were also discussed. ‘The general consensus was they were an irritant more than a significant business threat and the customers were not mutual. The industry is not licensed so ‘popping up’ isn’t against the law. ‘Overwhelmingly, agents wanted to focus on positive messaging and the good relationships they have with customers – and not spend energy worrying about this fringe activity.’ TAANZ is next in Nelson on 22 May.