2009 Winner

2009 Scholarship Winner: Lisa Upton

2009 Winner: Nigel Rodighiero

3rd Harvey World Travel Agent to Receive Prestigious Award

13 October 2009: Lisa Upton from Harvey World Travel Noosa in Queensland today joined an elite group of Australian travel consultants by winning the 2009 Avis Travel Agent Scholarship of Excellence.

Upton was named the recipient of the 13th annual scholarship, which recognises travel consultants who demonstrate a commitment to the highest quality customer service, during a ceremony at Sydney’s Four Seasons Hotel.

As the 2009 winner she receives two Qantas business class return tickets to New York and six nights’ luxury hotel accommodation, as well as:

  • Seven days’ car rental from Avis
  • American Express foreign exchange products valued at $1,000
  • A personal online behavioural profile and three consultation sessions with a Polonious Resources business coach
  • Four ICCA cruise training modules
  • A one year honorary position on the Avis Travel Agents Advisory Board
  • A tour of Avis’ World Headquarters in New York and site visits to US agencies.

Upton was chosen from six finalists, all of whom presented to members of the Avis Travel Agents Advisory Board during today’s final judging session in Sydney.

Avis Travel Industry Manager Russell Butler said that despite a difficult trading environment over the past 12 months, this year’s finalists showed enormous confidence in the value travel agents continue to provide Australian travellers.

“All six agents demonstrated a commitment to delivering the support, knowledge and personalised experiences inherent in excellent customer service,” said Butler.

“They also showed a desire to use feedback – both positive and negative – as an opportunity to learn more about their clients and increase their understanding of the travel industry.”

Butler said that in addition to passion and pride in her work, Upton displayed an intense focus on establishing and maintaining long-term relationships with clients and suppliers alike.

“It is clear that Lisa treats every customer who walks through the door as an important individual with unique needs,” he said.

This year’s finalists included:

  • Jillian Murray – Manager, Southside Business and Leisure Travel, Woree, QLD (Magellan Travel Group)
  • Angelina Stimson – Team Leader, Globetrotter Corporate Travel, Nedlands, WA (CT Partners)
  • Kylie Afzal – Corporate Travel Consultant, Corporate Travel Management, Brisbane, QLD (CTM)
  • Leanne Downie – Travel Consultant, Spencer Travel, Surry Hills, NSW (Travelscene American Express)
  • Carine Ernest – Corporate Travel Consultant, Corporate Travel Management, Sydney, NSW (CTM)

All finalists enjoyed a night at the Four Seasons Hotel and took home an Avis weekend car hire and a $50 American Express Foreign Exchange voucher. They will also receive a personal online behavioural profile and consultation session with a Polonious Resources business coach.

Past Winners

The past Scholarship winners are:

  • 2008 – Kim Hatherly, Southside World Travel
  • 2007 – Adrienne Witteman, Trendsetter Travel
  • 2006 – Tracey Lees, Harvey World Travel
  • 2005 – Jeanine French, Harvey World Travel
  • 2004 – Patricia Lane, American Express
  • 2003 – Michelle McNamara, Phil Hoffmann Travel
  • 2002 – Anna Powell, Australia Zoo
  • 2001 – Gary Seignior, Jetset Malvern
  • 2000 – Penny Spencer, Spencer Travel Sydney
  • 1999 – Jane Hammacott, Cairns Travel Professionals
  • 1998 – Fiorella Angelo, previously American Express
  • 1997 – Robyn Sinfield, RACT Travelworld