With borders opening and restrictions lifting, the travel industry is slowly kicking back in.
Indigenous-owned and managed boutique travel company, InTravel Group, has moved through the pandemic and is pushing to continue creating space for First Nations success in the travel industry.
InTravel Group CEO, Dwayne Good, is a proud Bundjalung man born and raised in Tweed Heads, New South Wales. He is currently based in Melbourne, Victoria.
A self-professed travel industry veteran, Good has spent almost 15 years working in travel; beginning his journey at Flight Centre in 2007.
“I started my travel career back in 2007 as a leisure holiday travel consultant at Flight Centre, helping people book holidays. I climbed the ladder at FC and went into corporate eventually, I stayed there for about seven years. It’s an industry I have really enjoyed,” Good said.
“I then decided I wanted to open up my own travel company because I am entrepreneurial by spirit and I wanted to also do more around Indigenous employment inside the travel industry, which I noticed no one really did.”
From this entrepreneurial spirit, InTravel Group was born almost six years ago.
“InTravel Group is 100 percent Aboriginal-owned, we are a corporate travel agency so we manage travel for a lot of other businesses. Companies that wish to travel around the country and around the world to do their work,” he said.
“We manage our clients’ flights, accommodation, vehicle hire, we pride ourselves on delivering a highly personalised service.”
The travel industry took a hit during COVID-19 restrictions, with InTravel Group struggling.
“Pre-COVID-19 we were on a bit of a roll. We were managing record levels of travel across more than 70 small to medium sized clients, who were based in all states and territories across the country,” Good said.
“We had come out of five years of business and were at that point where we were really ready to expand.
“It was nearly [a] 100 percent decrease in sales … it changed the business dramatically.”
The company had to make adjustments to survive the dry spell.
“We were at a standstill, we had to make adjustments to the business. We had to, unfortunately, stand a lot of people down or make people redundant,” Good said.
“We had to do what we could to reduce cost and make sure the business made it through the other side of the downturn.
“[JobKeeper] has helped us bring a number of staff back into the business thankfully. We’ve brought people back in to handle the trickle of enquiry for the clients who are not impacted by travel restrictions, we are also working on some exciting projects that help make us more efficient and improve user experience.
“[We’re also] working on strategic outcomes that are going to help us be even bigger and better on the other side.”
A mover and shaker in the travel sphere, InTravel Group is committed to continuing their work in advocating for Indigenous employment and success.
“We’re open for business; we’ve been challenged but we are really excited for the upturn of the travel industry. We are ready to go and get back on the trail to achieve our vision,” Good said.
“We’re really proud of our contribution to the travel industry because we are a purpose-led business.
“We’re strong advocates for Indigenous economic development and advancement and we feel like we lead the way in the travel industry and that we influence others.”
“We show other travel businesses, other non-Indigenous companies, that they should do more around Indigenous affairs. I’m noticing companies coming up with more employment initiatives, they employ more Indigenous people in their supply chain.
“I feel like we have played a big part in that and that has been one of my personal missions; to show the industry that they have got to do more around Indigenous affairs. I feel like people are noticing our social impact outcomes and doing more so that is something that I’m proud of.”
Moving into the coming years, Good has a plan to see InTravel Group continue its success.
“It is an incredibly rewarding and interesting industry to work in. I want other blackfullas to come and experience the same, by first and foremost working for us, but also even working elsewhere,” he said.
“[I’m] hoping other blackfullas are looking at us and knowing they can open their own business or do these big things too.”
By Rachael Knowles