Lyn McNaught Travel salutes 37 years in business

By Liz Mellino

Thirty-seven years in business is a feat not many business owners achieve, and for Mooroopna's Lyn McNaught Travel it was certainly one worth saluting too.

The business marked the milestone on Monday with owner Lyn McNaught having a glass of red and reminiscing on the years gone by.

“It's been an amazing 37 years, I absolutely love this industry,” she said.

“As we all know it's ever-changing and ever-evolving, so it throws up challenges such as the big one at the moment, but we’re a pretty resilient lot, we’ve been through lots over many years.”

With plans to originally become an air hostess, Ms McNaught has always had an interest in the travel industry.

However due to air hostesses originally not being able to be married, her career in the field took a different path.

“I sent in my application to Qantas however I never heard anything . . . in the meantime I got engaged and on the morning of my wedding I got a telegram from Qantas saying I had an interview in Sydney,” she said.

“The only thing was you weren’t allowed to be married - it turned out the guy I got married to was in travel and so when we got married we moved to Bendigo and opened a travel agency, so that’s how I got into the industry - I married into it.”

Due to the fluid and ever-evolving nature of the industry, Ms McNaught has worked through dozens of industry changes.

The biggest she said was the introduction of the internet, which has allowed travel agents to deliver information quickly and efficiently whenever and wherever needed.

“When I first started, there were no computers, I had to write everything down - I had a typewriter on my desk and two telephones,” Ms McNaught said.

“We used to have to ring every single airline to make a booking and you had to write every ticket out - it was a lot more time-consuming than today, we can do things a hell of a lot faster now.”

With more than three decades worth of experience under her belt, Ms McNaught agreed the future for the travel industry was looking bright.

While the industry is currently feeling the effects of the coronavirus pandemic, she acknowledged once it passed, business would continue to operate as normal.

She encouraged the community to support local businesses during tough times such as this, so they could ensure they would be around for many more years to come.

“It's a very exciting industry with lots of fabulous destinations - we get to meet lots of interesting people who we never know where they’re going to go,” Ms McNaught said.

“Generally speaking people are in a happy frame of mind when going on holidays, it has been really nice to deal with very loyal and amazing clients over the years and hopefully that will continue - it's all positive.”