Rail Plus today named Sydney travel agent Chris Wilde as the 2014 ‘Dux’ of its celebrated Global Rail Expert program – the second consecutive year that a Flight Centre Warringah Mall team member has taken out the honour.
A select group of 50 travel agents were invited to take part in this year’s program, which was sponsored by Malaysia Airlines, French Travel Connection, Monaco Government Tourist and Convention Bureau, German National Tourist Board and stylish Italian rail operator Italo.
Wilde topped the 2014 class by scoring 100% in each of the 10 training modules agents completed over a 10-week period. As this year’s winner he receives a $500 gift voucher and a spot on an extraordinary famil to France and Germany, where he will be accompanied by four other Global Rail Expert graduates.
Flight Centre Warringah Mall has now produced two Global Rail Expert winners and Wilde says he was inspired to apply after learning of the program from his colleague, 2013 winner Brett Dee.
“I knew I would be crazy not to apply because I saw that this was a program that offered huge incentives if you successfully expand and apply your knowledge,” says Wilde.
Despite recording a perfect score, Wilde says the course was challenging.
“I’m not the speediest, so I just took my time and obsessed over some answers to make sure I would hit 100%. I also knew the competition was fierce so I had resigned myself to perhaps scraping into the top 10. That made finding out I had won, that much sweeter.”
The ACT’s Jamieson Travel can also now boast two high-flying rail specialists, with Kirby Saunders and Amanda Howard taking out second and third place respectively in this year’s program.
In addition to a spot on the European famil, the two agents receive tickets, flights and accommodation to attend the annual TraveLeague Christmas luncheon in Melbourne in December.
This year’s list of Top 10 graduates also included:
- Rose Jones, Flight Centre Katoomba (NSW)
- Kathryn McMahon, Flight Centre Geelong (VIC)
- Owen Scully, Flight Centre Bundoora (VIC)
- Philip McIntyre Phil Hoffman Stirling (SA)
- Greg Loton, Alpha Travel (WA)
- Annie Redgrove, Itineraries Travel (QLD)
- Lianne Reid, Harvey World North (WA)
Rail Plus Chief Executive James Dunne described the Class of 2014 as one of the highest-performing groups to ever undertake the Expert program.
“As a result of their dedication and hard work all of our graduates can now offer their customers genuine expertise on global rail products,” says Dunne. “This will inevitably result in them enjoying a significant uplift in their sales.
“Of course none of this would be possible without the assistance of our partner sponsors and on behalf of Rail Plus and all of this year’s Global Rail Experts I thank them sincerely for their support.”
The 2014 graduates all received a Eurail Global Pass and personalized Rail Expert gifts, which were presented at series of graduation dinners across the country this month.
Another of this year’s graduates, Kris Heinceslater from Flight Centre South Yarra, will take part in the Expert famil to France and Germany as a reward for completing the program and being one of Malaysia Airlines top sellers during the 10-week training period.