What better location to celebrate the success of our top performing Travel Counsellors than the UAE’s exotic and enticing Ras Al Khaimah? After another fantastic year for the company, our Annual Gold Weekend is an opportunity for our high-flying business owners to enjoy a well-earned break to recognise their incredible hard work and celebrate their achievements in style.
The palatial, five-star Waldorf Astoria’s Ras Al Khaimah resort set the scene for a three-night stay to celebrate the achievements of the company’s top-selling “Gold” Travel Counsellors in the last 12 months. Over 70 of our franchisees from across the globe were joined by partners, sponsors and members from our 400 strong support team. This included Gold Travel Counsellors from the UK, Ireland, South Africa, UAE and the Netherlands.
The luxury long-haul trip was supported by the Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority and offered Travel Counsellors the chance to experience first-hand the accommodation and excursions available in this up-and-coming area of the Arabian Peninsula.
Amongst the weekend’s activities the group braved an adrenaline-fueled ride on the world’s longest zip line, “Jebel Jais Flight”, on the UAE’s highest mountain in Ras Al Khaimah, and experienced the thrills and spills of “Ice Land” waterpark, with an unforgettable dinner in the desert at the Bedouin Oasis Camp.
The "Gold" weekend culminated in a Gala Night and glittering awards dinner at The Ritz Carlton Al Hamra, which celebrated the success of individual Gold Travel Counsellors, congratulating them on their business milestones and the contribution they make to the success of the company. The group also had the opportunity to visit and take part in workshops at Doubletree by Hilton Marjan Island Resort & Spa, Rixos Bab Al Bahr and Cove Rotana.
A welcome dinner at the DoubleTree by Hilton Resort and Spa Marjan Island kick-started the celebrations...
Travel Counsellors discovered all that Ras Al Khaimah has to offer at our Gold Conference courtesy of our sponsors including the Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority, Celebrity Cruises, Air Charter Service, Regent Seven Seas Cruises, DoSomethingDifferent, Emirates...
*Travel Counsellors dined in the Desert for an Arabian themed evening... *
Our Gold Dinner concluded the weekend, where guests took a boat transfer to the Ritz Carlton Al Hamra Resort Pier to enjoy a meal on the beach...
Amongst the guests on the trip were three Travel Counsellors who achieved our highly sought-after Gold status for the first time – Christian Mascarenhas, Stephen Bellingham and Jan Palmer.
Christian joined Travel Counsellors in October 2017 and has spent the past 18 years in travel, working within his family business. When the reigns of the business were passed to Christian, he decided that becoming a Travel Counsellor would give him the support to continue to offer to very best service to his clients. Breaking all previous records, Christian achieved our “Gold” status in just 99 days, with over £1.3 million in sales.
Stephen has been a Travel Counsellor since September 2009 and has always aspired to be “Gold”. He set about on his mission to achieve his goal last year, with a positive mental attitude no matter what was thrown his way. Stephen prides himself on treating every customer in the same way, hand-delivering tickets which has created more enquiries and bookings. He also found that verbally asking for referrals has made a massive difference to his business, which has increased by 57% last year. He thanks his Travel Counsellor buddies Jane Zollo, Lisa Hillyard, Diane and Carl Breton who have all helped his tremendously.
After spending 10 years working for a leading tailor-made tour operator, Jan Palmer started her own business for a better work/life balance in October 2016. She loves every aspect of being a Travel Counsellor and the lifestyle it has given her. She has been able to move away from the city to the country, and buy a renovation project with her partner Bill, their two cats, two dogs and three chickens. She also loves that she can spend longer with her clients and see them for lunch, something she was so restricted on in her previous role. Jan is a big fan of our in-house booking system, Phenix, with over 80% of her business being made through it. After making Gold within 10 months of joining, she has never looked back.
She said, “As a Gold Travel Counsellor I’ve worked hard to grow my business from strength to strength, and now I’m here, I couldn’t be happier. The support and guidance I have received from my fellow Travel Counsellors and head office colleagues has been unbelievable, and I couldn’t have done it without them. The opportunity to go on a trip of a life time to Ras Al Khaimah and celebrate each other’s achievements and passion for the company has been phenomenal. I’m so proud to be able to call myself a Gold Travel Counsellor”.
The luxury long-haul trip was proudly sponsored by a range of partners including the Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority, Celebrity Cruises and Emirates. These strong connections throughout the travel industry are a key reason why Travel Counsellors can offer the world-class getaways that we do. Their continued support empowers our business owners to deliver the best possible experiences to their clients.
CEO at Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority, Haitham Mattar, said; “We are delighted to have the opportunity to host Travel Counsellors’ Gold weekend and showcase all that Ras Al Khaimah has to offer. It’s one of the hidden gems of the UAE and one of the fastest growing destinations in the world. Ras Al Khaimah offers magnificent landscapes, breath-taking coastlines and rich terracotta desert planes, and has solidified its position as the UAE’s increasing destination of choice in the Middle East. Travel Counsellors Gold Weekend allowed us to showcase our natural assets, including pristine beaches, wildlife reserves and magnificent mountain terrains, and supports our strategy to welcome 1 million visitors by the end of 2018, and 3 million visitors by 2025.”
Trips like these are just one of the ways in which we recognise and reward our Travel Counsellors for the outstanding contribution they make to the company. Their hard work, passion for travel and knowledge of the industry is what allows us to deliver the incredible personal service we’re renowned for.
We’d like to thank everyone who made the Gold Weekend possible, as well as our wonderful guests for making the weekend such a huge success. We look forward to our next getaway to glorious Cyprus where we’ll be celebrating the achievements of more Travel Counsellors.