Anthony Walker uncovers one of Australia’s best-kept travel secrets that’s been 19 years in the making
What’s the one thing a luxury traveller needs to know above anything else? Is it a hot new destination that hasn’t yet appeared on the radar, the newest ‘it’ boutique resort, a once-in-a-lifetime cruise experience or where to gain a stack of status credits that open the door to every first-class airport lounge around the globe?
If Don Beattie, CEO of MTA – Mobile Travel Agents is correct, it’s a highly experienced travel expert who knows you, what you like, and what’s going to make your next trip an unforgettable experience.
Someone who can create the perfect travel itinerary, organise it from start to finish, and ensure your first-class business trip or coveted luxury holiday goes off without a hitch. Enter MTA, one of the best-kept secrets in the Australian travel industry for bespoke luxury experiences.
The company may not be the biggest name on the public stage – you won’t find the MTA brand in any shopping mall or on your local high street – but behind the scenes, MTA sits comfortably with the knowledge it has been the reason literally thousands of Australians have seen their travel plans come to memorable fruition.
To describe this award-winning luxury travel specialist as a “quiet achiever” would be very much an understatement given the company’s almost 19-year history.
“MTA is not a travel agency in the traditional sense,” says Beattie, “but our ability to assist every one of our clients as if we were designing our very own travel experience is what sets us apart from the pack.
“We understand that every luxury traveller is different,” he adds. “There’s no such thing as a one-size-fits-all travel experience – we design experiences for each traveller individually and irrespective of the requirement.”
According to Beattie, that might be seeing the rainbow witnessed by only a favoured few during the night of the full moon at Brazil’s Iguazu Falls; enjoying a Bellini while watching the sun sink into the Venetian lagoon, or discovering a completely different side to France aboard a luxury canal barge.
“We cover the spectrum,” says Beattie, “group travel, conferences, entertainment, niche product, bespoke and experiential travel.”
MTA and its Australian home-based travel consultancy model is the brainchild of Roy and Karen Merricks, who founded the award-winning company in 1999 while watching their young children playing in the sand on a Gold Coast beach.
What has evolved from their dream of creating a completely different way of delivering highly personalised travel experiences has, for close on two decades, seen MTA’s member numbers grow to 400 like-minded ‘dreamers’, all of whom manage successful home-based businesses.
All MTA members must have a minimum of 10 years’ experience before joining the company’s ranks, so clients can rest assured they are in highly proficient hands.
The company is also aligned with several of the world’s top luxury travel brands, including Virtuoso, Belmond, Hyatt, Mandarin Oriental Hotels, The Peninsula Hotels, and Shangri-La Hotels & Resorts – another good reason to book your travel with an MTA member.
Industry peers, too, have recognised the company – MTA was
named Best Travel Broker Network at the recent 2018 National Travel Industry Awards (NTIA).
Another advantage is the financial security that comes when dealing with MTA and its unique Zero Flight Risk product.
“If you’re travelling with an approved MTA supplier – and there are literally hundreds, from airlines to a small tour operator who might walk you around a city – we will guarantee against insolvency, at no extra cost,” says Beattie.
And for the luxury travel connoisseur who likes to stay ahead of the game, what’s the next big thing?
“It’s not so much what’s the next big thing,” says Beattie. “It’s what’s your next big thing? We might be looking at Belize because we know you like trekking and wildlife and natural experiences. Or it might be Ethiopia because we know you’re interested in tribal culture and archaeology.”
“There are no limits,” he adds. “Luxury is a forever journey.”