November 4th 2009
Ali opens her new business
With over 10 years on Magnetic Island as the face fronting bookings and reception counters of many Island accommodation houses, Ali Angus of Picnic Bay has finally taken her wealth of experience and training and opened Discovery Travel and Internet Magnetic Island, a new shop where Ali can advise Islanders of the best to be had on their holidays away and for visitors to find the best to be had on Magnetic when they arrive.
Located in the IGA shopping area near the Nelly Bay Harbour Terminal, the shop also includes a spacious Internet den where customers can go online on 14 machines using a card that records their online times and enables left over amounts to be drawn upon at later dates. The shop is also an air conditioned oasis for laptop-carrying users who can use its hotspot access too.
And while Ali sees the internet access as about 50% of her operation, her travel services are all about what Ali believes the Internet doesn't know. Ali is acutely aware of the impact online sales have had on airline travel agents of the past and simply isn't in that sort of business. “As a travel agent I know everyone's products. I know all of my products – like Magnetic Island car hire, I know all of what is available. I know the competitor's products and what makes one a bit better than the other to close the sale. The Internet doesn't know that”
Ali is speaking with some authority. Apart from her years on the reception at Bungalow Bay, Sunferries, Magnums and the International Resort (now All Seasons) she is fully qualified in International retail travel sales, tourism operations and has completed studies in business administration. “I had this plan for about 5 years and now it's working,” she said.
The shop is still looking rather spacious but Ali is soon to add the souvenirs section and is keen that Island businesses do themselves a favour and keep her stocked with brochures and information. “I urge Island business people to be in touch with all their material,” she said.
Ali is assisted by another well-known local, Karen Gill, who, with Ali, will help keep the shop open for 365 days per year.
For the record, Discovery Travel and Internet Magnetic Island is open Mon- Sat from 8am to 6pm and Sundays from 8am to 3pm. Internet costs are $4 for 1 hour, $3 for 30 minutes and $2 for 20 minutes.
Story & photo: George Hirst
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