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How to complain about a travel company

Travel Rants - Sun, 16/09/2012 - 18:53

As a travel consumer blogger I receive a lot of emails from consumers asking how to complain about a holiday company, so I put together this guide in the hope that it will help people. Some companies are better than others when handling customer complaints, in an ideal world, every company would have their complaints

This post was syndicated from the Travel Rants Consumer Blog.

How to complain about a travel company

Domestic tourism spending recovers

NZ Ministry of Tourism News - Tue, 06/12/2011 - 10:22
Media Release   Domestic tourism spending recovered in the year to September 2011 to high levels last approached in 2009.  New Zealanders spent $9.4 billion on trips within New Zealand, a 10.7 percent rise from the previous year. The Ministry of Economic Development’s latest Domestic Travel Survey has found that business travel and related expenditure increased particularly...

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A call for your WAA election support

I’m afraid that today I am hijacking the pages of this blog and taking the opportunity to make my stand about why I want to earn members votes in the current Web Analytics Associations elections.  And why I also hope you will support my tireless board colleagues like June Dershwitz and Alex Langshur who are also up for re-election.

So what have I been doing for the last 2 years?

I believe that my key contribution has been to help professionalise the leadership of this organisation – meaning members money and sponsorship revenue has been used as effectively as possible to deliver meaningful benefits in the form of things like education programs and research.

You don’t want to hear about calls with corporate lawyers, agm & election processes and policy reviews.  So here are 10 important contributions that I have made (though by no means alone) in my two years on the board:

  • turned the member podcasts round from loss making activities to a valuable source of revenue and member satisfaction
  • professionalised the board and operational management through proper training and resourcing, culminating in the recruitment of an ED specialised in running organisations
  • brought globalisation from being isolated in the form of the “international committee” into being a strategic goal and an aspect of every committees agenda – such as with the European team of the research committee
  • set a strategic focus on key WAA delivery goals, of which certification is the foremost.  Certification launches in May.
  • created a tactical European WAA management post, tackled admirably by René Dechamps Otamendi and now in the safe hands of Aurelie Pols
  • facilitated membership revenue share back scheme for global country groups
  • weathered appalling economic conditions without dramatic membership and revenue loss or curtailment of activities seen by many membership associations
  • dare I say create a series of member meetings, both face to face and online, that were informative and well received
  • ensured that the board remains strategic, rather than tactical in its deliberations and meetings while building an set of operational processes and resources that allow effective tactical delivery.  Now to get nimbler…
  • relentlessly tackled the questions of member value and communicating member value – I’m not claiming we’re there but we have made significant progress
Lessons learned

I came to the board table thinking I’d be able to tackle the challenges of education, globalisation and member value in no time at all.  In reality I had no idea about the complexities, responsibilities and emotional as well as time demands of running an volunteer based organisation like the WAA, even though I run my own small business.

I can’t deny that at times it has been a frustratingly slow process, or that at other points it has been exhilarating as we have been able to maturely and professionally explore and debate critical decisions and then make necessary decisions, however tough.  I will even admit feeling that on occasions it has been a no win situation where rightly or wrongly we have attracted criticism from all angles, despite our best efforts.

But the amazing board development training I’ve experienced, led by Virtual, as well as an intense close working relationship with people I respect absolutely – such as President Alex Langshur, chairman Jim  Sterne, Board Director June Derschwitz and EDs Clare Madden and Mike Levin have transformed my skills, confidence and belief in myself as a board director.  So much so that I know there is so much more I can contribute as a WAA board director if I am given the opportunity of another term.

But I won’t make an empty but potentially popular promises that I will single handedly tackle this issue or that issue and heroically resolve it alone.  The WAA board currently works very effectively as a team, providing the strategic leadership and a responsible pairs or hands to guide and preserve the organisation for the maximum benefit of all its members.  The WAA as a whole works as an organisation serving its members and as a board we have to agree a course of action, communicate and earn the approval of the membership based on that strategy and then provide the resources to make it so..   It is not about simply promoting our own personal interests.

In two years I have seen this organisation professionalise significantly in terms of staff and operations and as secretary much of my day to day involvement has been in this area.  We still have a long way to go in overcoming the challenge of better getting from strategy to delivery – and we need to better our communications -  but I believe we have built the management team and systems that will take us from being the little start-up to a major professional organisation.

What I would bring back to the board if re-elected

If feel the WAA has invested a lot in me and I have invested a lot in myself over the past 2 years.  I’m ready to tackle whatever the next two years throw at me as the organisation grows substantially and professionalises further.  I believe I have a duty to ensure a smooth transition with the new Executive Director and in seeing the path we have set begin to unfurl – but challenges to ensure our membership can still be as involved and passionate as they want to be.

The secretary’s role, one that I have filled for the last 2 years, is a backstage one but it has been a challenging one too.  I’m perfectly happy working outside the spotlight and hey, someone needs to enjoy spending hours on the phone with corporate lawyers and the ED – and I do, very much.  I hope that shows to those of you that have met me and in the quality of work I have quietly delivered for those who have not.  I attend to ensure your money and your organisation continues to serve your professional needs efficiently, meaningfully and legally!

So, being a Brit, I’m on the Non-North American part of the ballot.  Only one of us will be elected.  I would like to ask for your support.  Members will be receiving their ballots today.  Not a WAA member?  Well join up and vote for me anyway

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