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Journeys : Oct Nov 2011
It was a strong year for RACT Travelworld, with many Tasmanians who had delayed overseas holidays due to the global financial situation taking up their travel plans again. A new joint venture between RACT Travelworld and the Hunter Travel Group was a positive feature of the year’s success. April / MAy 2011 NEW ZEAlAND AFriCA EUrOpEAN riVErS rAil JOUrNEyS WOrlDCrUiSiNG New Zealand will welc ome you pages 56, 57 and 62 African Safari page 54 Mitre Peak,MilfordSound,SouthIslandNewZealand Chief Executive Officer’s Report 2010-2011 has been a productive and important year of achievement for the RACT. Changes at the leadership level, the opening of our new $17 million R ACT House in Hobart, a major new service for our members in RACT Health Insurance, were all set against a backdrop of a sluggish economy and negative consumer sentiment. Yet our core businesses – R ACT Insurance, R ACT Travelworld and RACT Membership, which incorporates our Roadside Assistance service – all performed at or above expectations, and contributed to a group operating surplus of some $3.8 million after ta x. RACT Insurance again led the Tasmanian general insurance market. It is now an instantly recognisable name when people think of their insurance needs and this recognition level, together with the trust factor that is associated with RACT Insurance, was reflected in a 9.5% increase in gross written premium. Retention of existing policy holders was also very high, indicating a strong validation among policy holders of our insurance products, premiums and service levels. RACT membership increased during the year. For the first time since the RACT was founded in 1923, membership has surpassed the 190,000 mark. This includes Access and Roadside members. Access members enjoy a range of non-Roadside RACT services such as travel and insurance and also enjoy the benefits of belonging in terms of programs such as our very successful Show Your Card and Save. Roadside Assistance membership rose by 2.7% and there was a further increase in our premium Ultimate level of Roadside membership which was up by 5.4%. Nearly 50,000 Tasmanians now have this level of membership which provides a complete suite of assistance measures in the event of a breakdown in Tasmania or elsewhere in Australia. During the year, we held functions in the north and the south of the state to honour more than 160 Tasmanians who have achieved 50 years of membership during this year. That’s a combined membership of over 8000 years. When these 50-year members were honoured this year, I couldn’t help reflecting that when they first joined the RACT, Eric Reece was Tasmania’s Premier, Robert Menzies was the Prime Minister and Dawn Fraser was doing Australia proud in the Rome Olympics. It is a strong ratification of the RACT’s efforts over the years that so many members remain so loyal for so long, even after some of them have stopped driving. We expect these 50-year functions will step up a pace in the years ahead as baby boomers join the ranks of our honoured long term members. Like our other core businesses, R ACT Travelworld enjoyed a good year. Two years ago the RACT undertook to support it through the global financial crisis when travel slumped. This decision was fully justified this year when R ACT Travelworld experienced a 15% increase in revenue. People who had put off travel plans during the turmoil that began in 2008 returned to the market, encouraged by a high Australian dollar which made overseas travel an attractive proposition for people holding Australian dollars. A new joint venture between RACT Travelworld and the Hunter Travel Group was also an important component in Travelworld’s success. The joint venture commenced from July 1 and helped to enhance supplier relations. It provided significant benefits to our delivery of packaged holidays and “RACT Health Insurance is a major initiative in our evolution. It will rank alongside RACT Travelworld and RACT Insurance as complementary services to augment our foundation service of Roadside Assistance.” 60 October / November 2011
MNJ Aug Sep 2011