Lyndsey North has been with The Mark Travel Corporation for nearly 10 years. She has held marketing and supplier relationship management roles with Funjet Vacations, ATA Vacations, Midwest Airlines Vacations, and MGM Mirage Vacations.
In her current role as Senior Manager of Marketing for Blue Sky Tours, she leads the overall engagement efforts and supplier relationship strategy for the brand.
Travel Research Online: What was your earliest travel memory you can recall?
Lyndsey North: The earliest vacation I can recall was a summer road trip to South Dakota as a child. My family stopped at all of the big sites – Mt. Rushmore, the Crazy Horse Memorial, Badlands National Park, and Wall Drug. While I remember that it felt like we were in the car for days, it was incredible to see how dramatically the landscape changes over just a few hundred miles and, really, who doesn’t love spending days driving in a hot car with their siblings?
TRO: What inspired you to work in the travel industry?
LN: I have been drawn to travel for as long as I can remember. I was always curious about different cultures, trying new foods, and experiencing what life is like in other parts of the world – so travel was a natural fit. And what a privilege it is to work in this industry. Time after time I am by the incredible experiences and people I meet as a part of this industry and it just continuously reignites my passion for what we do here.
TRO: What is your role at Blue Sky Tours?
LN: I lead the marketing efforts for Blue Sky Tours. I am fortunate to be working with an incredibly talented, knowledgeable and passionate team who truly understand and exude the Hawaiian spirit. There are some exciting things happening at Blue Sky Tours and I am thrilled to be a part of it.
TRO: What is your favorite Hawaiian destination? Tell us about it.
LN: On a trip to Maui, we did the drive to Hana one day. Though the weather was overcast, it was a perfect day for the drive since there was hardly anyone else on the road. Early in the trip we stopped to enjoy the view from the shore of the Ke’anae Peninsula. We were the only people around, and it was such a humbling experience to watch the waves crashing against the rocks. It was one of the most peaceful and breathtaking things I have experienced – one of those moments that make you realize how small you are in the universe.
TRO: What makes Blue Sky Tours a unique travel service?
LN: Our Hawaii expertise and commitment to travel agents set us apart. With decades of experience, you won’t find a company that knows more about Hawaii – all of our reservation agents are Hawaii specialists and experience the islands first hand. Our team uses this expertise to work closely with travel agents to ensure that the customer goes to the best island for the experience they want and guarantee a repeat client for Blue Sky Tours, the travel agent and the destination of Hawaii. And travel agents never have to worry that Blue Sky Tours would be in competition with them for their clients as we only do business with travel agents.
TRO: Blue Sky has been around for nearly 3 decades. What do you think has prolonged its success in the travel industry?
LN: I think there are several driving factors. First, we sell one of the most incredible destinations in the world. Hawaii is a destination that everyone wants to visit at least once in their lifetime, but there is so much diversity in the destination that you could visit every year and experience something new. Second, Blue Sky Tour’s unique business model directly drives our continued growth. From our commitment to customer service and destination knowledge to our focus on relationships and travel agent support, Blue Sky Tours is a natural choice for anyone looking to book Hawaii. And most importantly is the support from the travel agent community. We are a company that sells only through travel agents and without them, there would not be a Blue Sky Tours.
TRO: Why is Blue Sky Tours a beneficial tool for travel agents?
LN: Our knowledge of the islands is hard to beat. Our agents are among the best resources in the industry when booking Hawaii packages. We are focused on providing as many tools and resources to the agents to help them sell Hawaii, serving as an extension of their Hawaii knowledge. Our emails can be passed on to the customer to give them an idea of what great specials are available. We provide training through our master specialist fam trips to help agents develop the knowledge to become specialists themselves in the destination. Our customer service is very important to us and we want to make sure that the vacation is successful end to end.
TRO: Which Blue Sky Tours destination would you most highly recommend to travel agents?
LN: As you know Blue Sky Tours only sells Hawaii so of course we would recommend the islands of Hawaii. All kidding aside it is difficult to pick the best island in Hawaii. Each one of them is so unique and offers such a different experience. Hawaii is really six destinations in one. Each island has its own character and charm. What is great about Blue Sky Tours’ reservation agents is that we can help qualify the customer and get them to the best islands for them and that guarantees return customers. For the first time client it is nice to see O’ahu as you can get two different experiences. You have the great beach and night life of Waikiki as well as the quite outer island feel of the North Shore. It is also nice to do a two island experience if you have over seven nights in Hawaii. O’ahu and Kauai or Maui and the Big Island are great ways to experience a mix of night life, adventure and culture.