UP AND AWAY: The team from Flight Centre at Booval Fair.
UP AND AWAY: The team from Flight Centre at Booval Fair. Rob Williams

Travel experts spread wings

TRAVEL plans for locals just got more exciting with a store relocation and expansion of Flight Centre at Booval Fair.

Given the number of Australians travelling overseas each year, the local market is on the move overseas and around Australia.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics states that in 2012, 8.2 million Australians travelled overseas, and the number is growing dramatically each year.

Locally the Flight Centre at Booval Fair is supporting the travel plans for many Ipswich people.

The business has recently moved to a larger shop within the centre to take advantage of higher foot traffic.

According to Flight Centre, the move is a sign of the growth of the Ipswich region.

The new store features the latest in-store design and increased capacity for travel consultants.

"We opened in the new location on December 14 last year, so with five weeks of settling in it is a great spot," Andrew Walker, Flight Centre Booval Fair manager said.

"It is superb for our clients, we have had very positive feedback on the new location and design. It is about twice the size of our former location," he said.

A new feature of the store is the Discovery Zone, it is part of the interactive marketing in store.

"Customers can research their holiday and find inspiration, alongside over-sized digital screens displaying the latest deals in high definition.

"The Discovery Zone includes an interactive map that consultants and customers can draw on as a visual representation of travel plans as they evolve during the planning phase," he said.

The higher level of engagement with customers is already proving to be a winner.

"Most times we are working with people's dreams, people save up over years to have this once in a lifetime holiday.

"We live the dream with our customer and it really is a joy to be part of," Mr. Walker said.

"At this time of year Europe remains a focus.

"It starts in September but frankly now is good for travel anywhere. The United States is big and the Islands and New Zealand as well as Asia are popular all year round," he said.

Cruises are very popular, "It is the biggest growth area in travel with all of the cruise company's coming into Brisbane. P&O have introduced two new ships, Royal Caribbean, Princess, Carnival and Cunard Lines. It is popular from the young to the elderly and covers most budgets," he said.

Travel planning on the surface seems straightforward but get into some of the detail and you soon understand why you use a travel expert, like Flight Centre, to assist. "There are so many deals and we can help a customer navigate their way through the options. You can go from five star to budget and we have the knowledge to tell you what to expect."

Mr. Walker said that Flight Centre offers support while you are on holiday either directly to your consultant or through the 24 hour Seven day a week helpline. Travel insurance, which is a must, also is supported so travellers do so with peace of mind.

The Australian market is still very popular with tourists locally. "Tasmania is always a hot spot as is North Queensland," Mr. Walker said.

The one thing that is constant is the rapidly changing market that is tourism, and Flight Centre team members pride themselves on customer support and expertise. Local travel is now hands on, interactive thanks to the sensible innovations that are in place at Flight Centre Booval Fair.