About the Scholarship
Avis Travel Agent Scholarship
Since its launch in 1996 the Avis Travel Agent Scholarship has evolved into one of the most valuable and prestigious awards offered to Australian travel professionals.
One of the reasons this unique program has endured is because it has never waivered from its original objective: to encourage, recognise and reward outstanding customer service.
I’m proud to say that Scholarship winners have come from all parts of Australia and represented many of the major leisure and corporate travel groups. They have been junior consultants, office managers and respected business owners. All have shared a passion for exceeding their clients’ expectations.
Thanks to the ongoing commitment and generosity of our sponsors, Scholarship recipients have enjoyed some extraordinary travel and education prizes. But the benefits of the Scholarship have not been limited to an elite group of winners. Hundreds of travel agents across Australia have grown professionally and personally just by taking part in the Scholarship process.
Applying for the Scholarship will help you identify your strengths and weaknesses. You will come to appreciate what makes your approach to customer service unique. And you will be exposed to new ideas that will contribute to the ongoing development of your career or business.
It may be cliché, but it is still true to say that every travel agent who takes part in the Avis Travel Agent Scholarship is a winner.
National Travel Industry Manager
Are you passionate about customer service?
Then it’s time your efforts were rewarded!
Great travel agents come in many different shapes and sizes, but they all have one thing in common – an ability to deliver outstanding customer service. If you are a travel professional who enjoys exceeding your clients’ expectations, then the Avis Travel Agent Scholarship of Excellence is for you.
Each year this prestigious program recognises and rewards Australia’s finest travel consultants with some truly magnificent prizes, including an unforgettable journey to the Big Apple, university tuition and one-on-one business coaching.
Just by taking part you will develop a deeper understanding of customer service excellence and greater confidence in your own abilities. And if you win you’ll join a small but distinguished list of Scholarship recipients whose careers have been enriched by the experience.
If you believe you have what it takes, then I encourage you to take part in the 2016 program.
Some Things Never Change
Much has altered in the Australian travel industry since the Avis Travel Agent Scholarship was first launched and today consultants operate in a more complex and competitive environment than ever before.
At the same time, thanks to the internet, consumers are more informed and demanding.
By delivering an unrivalled level of customer service, some travel agents have not just survived but thrived in the face of these challenges.
Excellence in customer service manifests itself in many different ways – sometimes it’s a dramatic act that goes well beyond the call of duty, other times it’s a series of small but memorable gestures or an unwavering attention to detail – but it is almost always underpinned by:
- a genuine respect for the client
- a willingness to take ownership of a problem
- a talent for finding innovative and creative solutions
- a determination to constantly exceed expectations
- a personal touch
- a desire to continually improve
These are some of the characteristics we look for each year in Scholarship finalists and winners.
Who Should Apply?
Casting a Wide Net
The entry criteria for the Avis Scholarship are simple: you must be an Australian travel agent and be committed to delivering exceptional customer service.
Yet every year talented and passionate consultants talk themselves out of applying for the Scholarship because they mistakenly believe they don’t fit the bill. Here are a few of the most common misconceptions:
- Avis preferred: The scholarship is open to all travel agents, regardless of whether they sell Avis products.
- Age and experience: Scholarship winners as a group have offered vastly different levels of experience – from young consultants with just a few years’ experience to senior managers and business owners with many years’ knowledge.
- Leisure versus corporate: Over the past 18 years, corporate and leisure focused travel agents have been equally successful. Judges take into account the unique challenges presented by each environment and focus on the innovative ways candidates respond.
- Talented wordsmiths: Judges are looking for substance, not style, which is why candidates can send in their submissions electronically, eliminating the need for any costly or elaborate printing and/or binding.
- Great public speakers: If you become a finalist you will need to effectively communicate your customer service philosophy to a panel of scholarship judges, but that doesn’t mean you need to be an accomplished presenter. Judges aren’t looking for a polished performer; they are looking for someone who can show passion and enthusiasm.
- Time poor: We’re looking for quality submissions so we don’t rush the process. Applicants have up to 12 weeks to prepare their responses – plenty of time for even the busiest of consultants.
Don’t Give Up
Many previous Scholarship finalists were only successful after trying on several occasions. And a number of winners were second- or third-time finalists. So, if at first you don’t succeed, try again – no one has ever lost points for showing perseverance and self-belief.