Six months ago, Managing Director of Jayes Travel, Michelle Barker, was inspired to create the region’s first industry-specific co-working space dedicated to the tourism and travel industry.
Having spent seventeen years watching the industry evolve, Michelle’s progressive approach to her industry led her to move Jayes Travel to a larger CBD premises, opposite the Market Street Lawn, where she has now made her vision a reality.
Michelle said the space now provides a welcoming team environment for independent consultants to work, meet clients in a secure and professional setting, and accelerate their careers as travel agents, whilst benefiting from a flexible work setting.
The office features hot desks for consultants, permanent desks for staff provided by Jayes Travel that support consultants, break out lounges and tables for client meetings, and a receptionist who adds an additional level of service for guests.
“As travel consultants progress in their careers, they often make the move to work independently or as mobile agents as that’s where they can really grow their income,” Michelle said.
“I wanted to create a space for consultants with extensive experience in the industry who want to work their own hours and enjoy flexibility, and still have access to a team environment, professional setting for client meetings and support staff who can help them propel their consultancy forward. Our space is ideal for consultants who operate with repeat and referral clients.
“I grew tired of seeing agencies with people sitting behind desks, avoiding your eyes and hiding behind computers. Our office is open, fresh, sunny and in a space in Newcastle that will be easily accessible as the infrastructure evolves. It’s part of our commitment to a more customer-focused and collaborative approach to travel and tourism services.”
Jayes Travel currently has five mobile travel consultants using the space, combined with the existing four team members.
Michelle was recently awarded the Group Touring Consultant and F.I.T (not done as a member of a traditional guided tour) Travel Consultant of the Year at the Council of Australian Tour Operators (CATO) 2019 National Travel Industry Awards.
Michelle took home two national awards from a total of four inaugural categories at the awards ceremony held earlier this month in Sydney, recognising her extensive experience and leading approach to travel consulting.
Michelle’s passion for doing things differently has also led Jayes Travel to be one of the only local travel agencies that provides regular women only guided tour options.
“We operate very differently to other agencies at Jayes Travel, because we believe barriers should be removed for clients and consultants to make travel an easy and unforgettable experience, even before you step foot on an airplane,” Michelle said.
IMAGE | Managing Director at Jayes Travel, Michelle Barker won Group Touring Consultant and F.I.T Travel Consultant of the Year at the inaugural National Travel Industry Awards. Photo: Lee Illfield Photography.
Jayes Travel is a boutique travel agency that creates amazing (hassle-free) travel experiences for families, businesses, groups, couples and solo travellers.
Their passion is for providing a service that exceeds expectations and for creating holidays that provide a deep and meaningful connection between you and the places, people, food, cultures and parts of the world you wish to experience.
Jayes Travel also provides corporate travel booking and management services to local businesses and operates a Jayes Travel Women arm that provides like-minded women with the opportunity to join organised tours and experiences.