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The Australia/New Zealand director on Virtuoso's Member Advisory Board was in the middle of a fam trip to Spain when interviewed for this feature. She took a brief break from museum-going and wine-tasting to share her thoughts on a few topics, including the impact of office design on client service and what being Virtuoso's first member Down Under has meant for her agency.

 

 

 

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You were the first Australian agency to join Virtuoso. What made you decide to take a chance on Virtuoso, and how has it made life different for Mary Rossi Travel?

 

 

 

 

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From the beginning in 1970, Mary Rossi Travel built its reputation on the fact that we had friends in high places that opened doors and offered unique experiences. As our clients became more avid travelers, I realized that we needed more of those friends. Virtuoso opened that door. Now our consultants can confidently plan a trip to every corner of the world through our Virtuoso contacts.

 

 

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Your office has an open design to encourage collaboration among consultants. How has that design and philosophy resulted in better travel experiences for clients?

 

 

 

 

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Despite the fact that our friends all think we are travelling all the time, our clients actually spend more time travelling than any one of us do! But they can't compete with a whole office full of experienced consultants who are gathering feedback on a daily basis to share with each other. We had clients in the office last week who wanted to do a cruise along Australia's remote Kimberley coast. Their consultant had recently done one of these cruises but the client had heard good things about a competing company. I overheard the discussion and stepped in to help, as I had been on both cruises. The clients was delighted with that insight and booked the best cruise for them.

 

 

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You're a former financial planner and have an MBA. What skills did you acquire through your business background that help you run a successful travel agency?

 

 

 

 

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I still joke that I'm having more fun now helping people spend their money than I did when I was helping them to save it. I love crunching the numbers and running a successful marketing campaign. But there's only one skill that really matters — recruiting and keeping people that can look after the clients.

 

 


Click here to e-mail Claudia

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