TC Life

Riding the Wave: Meet the corporate travel agent who runs a successful business from a coastal holiday town

Meagan Patterson is kicking serious business goals but she’s not based in a fast-paced, densely populated city. Instead, her business is thriving from a surf town popular with holidaymakers and retirees.

Awarded the Top Corporate Travel Counsellor award at the company’s annual conference, Meagan has the type of business many travel agents dream of creating. Focusing mainly on corporate travel (with some self-funded retirees also making up her client mix), Meagan has managed to build a burgeoning travel empire since joining Travel Counsellors eight years ago.

An experienced travel professional with many years under her belt working in bricks and mortar travel agencies, Meagan is a travel guru through and through. Like many other Travel Counsellors, she has travelled the globe extensively, including stints living in Japan and Sweden.

After a while, working in a restrictive travel agency setting wasn’t providing Meagan with the environment she needed to flourish in her career. Giving her the ability to meet with clients anywhere, anytime, Travel Counsellors was the perfect fit for the experienced travel agent who craved freedom.

“I wanted the flexibility of working my own hours,” says Meagan, who was also attracted to the impressive range of suppliers that Travel Counsellors can book. Meagan reports that her clients love the variety of travel products offered by Travel Counsellors, with thousands of hotel, cruise and tour providers to choose from.

“There’s so many different options that we’ve got compared to some of the agencies I used to work for where you’re restricted to certain wholesalers or companies you could use,” explains Meagan.

Having lived on Victoria’s Surf Coast for more than 30 years, Meagan is firmly embedded in the local community, with one iconic, home-grown company providing Meagan with plenty of business.

Based in Torquay, the Rip Curl head office has significant travel needs. With staff and athletes frequently travelling all over the world for events, photo shoots, meetings and competitions (often to tricky destinations with oversized luggage such as surf boards), Meagan is the multimillion dollar surf brand’s go-to travel expert.

Taking the time to understand the company’s needs has made Meagan invaluable to the Rip Curl team. Her can-do attitude and flexible approach means she can deliver the type of service the company needs: a reliable, professional travel agent who provides exactly what they want, often on short notice.

Word of mouth is incredibly powerful for Meagan, who has been able to build a business with the help of referrals from happy customers. Repeat business is also a significant contributor to Meagan’s success, with many loyal customers opting to book their travel with Meagan year after year.

“I like to look after my existing clients because they’re the ones that actually make my business grow,” says Meagan.

Going above and beyond is all in a day’s work for the proactive, solutions-orientated Travel Counsellor who has personally flown interstate to deliver visas to her customers so they could board their flight in time and not miss out on their overseas trip. Try doing that while working in a retail travel agency!

“Success for me is seeing very happy clients. When people recommend my service I know that I’ve actually helped someone have a happy experience, and that truly does make me happy. The thank you and look on their faces is priceless…”