John Gunning, Sales Manager for Down Under Answers and the three different brands within the company, goes in depth about his experiences in the travel industry, the beautiful places it has taken him, and what he has learned along the way.
Growing up on a small country property in central west New South Wales (Australia) who knew what lay ahead when I packed my bags and headed off to London in 1998. This was to be the beginning of my love and dedication to travel.
If someone had asked me 25 years ago where I saw myself, I would have never imagined my current life. After graduating from school in the Netherlands, where I was born, I was accepted at a management-training program with Hyatt International in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. At the moment, I wasn’t even aware where Puerto Vallarta was and I had no plans to end up staying in Mexico. Little did I know!
When I arrived in Mexico, I did not speak the language and I learned it in three intense months. After four months in Puerto Vallarta, I had fallen deeply in love with Mexico, its people, and its culture, and knew I was never leaving. Read the rest of this entry »
It was a busy afternoon at the Career Fair which I, at the last minute, decided to attend. As I was walking around and glanced over the different booths, I wasn’t entirely sure what I was hoping to find. I wanted to stay in the hospitality industry, but try something new. I suddenly spotted the Image Tours, Inc. logo printed on a large banner and headed for the table, instantly intrigued to know more. I remember thinking how interesting it was to find such a unique company that was very relatable to my personal interests, yet still very different than any other job I’d had in the past. That’s where I met and spoke with Mike, the company’s president. From there I was contacted for an interview, and started working within a month! Read the rest of this entry »
Having majored in Communications in college and with a solid background in radio, you might say talking just comes naturally to me. There is certainly no lack of opportunity in my role as BDM Western USA for Goway Travel for the past four years. Roaming the Pacific Northwest and the Rockies from my traditional base in Seattle, my show is now on the road in California, Arizona, and other warmer climates.
I joined the travel industry about twenty years ago now, and over that time have had the good fortune to visit beautiful and exotic destinations like New Zealand, Australia, Tahiti, Fiji, the Cook Islands, Ecuador, China, South Korea, Hawaii, the Caribbean, and Mexico. I do love to talk story, and there are many wonderful Goway stories to tell. Education on the destination is very important to both me and Goway, and I love “getting educated” and creating new travel dialogues. Read the rest of this entry »
Must love travel agents
Unlike the John Cusack movie with a similar title, you must really love travel agents to work at Sky Bird Travel & Tours. I don’t necessarily have a specific love for travel – preferring to spend my vacation reading on my deck – but I’m passionate about helping agents grow their business.
When I started working for United Airlines in 1986, airlines and agents were truly partners. The airlines owned the CRS systems, and you learned a lot about an agency’s business plans when you were negotiating contracts. Talking with agents was the best part of the job, and relationships developed beyond our vendor/seller roles. Read the rest of this entry »
There’s never a boring day for me! I’m always busy and always thinking of new ways to support our Travel Leaders Franchisee’s! My focus is to help them grow their business by supporting and developing programs and tools for their Host Agency program. I interface with multiple audiences that include existing Agency Owners, Managers, and Independent Contractors (ICs), as well as prospective ICs, industry Host experts, and vendors. Not to mention a smart and proactive internal team at TLFG! I am most proud of the newly launched Travel Leaders Hosts website which links ICs to Owners. I love being that middleman and seeing the success stories emerge! Read the rest of this entry »
I can’t believe it was 26 years ago that I got my first job in the travel industry. My parents had just returned from a big trip overseas booked through Austravel and noticed they were advertising for an administrative assistant in their Bristol, UK office. We always traveled a lot as a family and it seemed like a good fit for a young 18 year old just starting out in her career. I applied, got the job, and never looked back! I quickly moved into their ticketing department and spent a year there, but always yearned to be more involved with the customers and the process of planning their holidays. I moved into sales and was hooked. I enjoyed sharing my experiences with potential travelers and also loved the travel that we got to experience. Read the rest of this entry »
I began my career in the travel industry in 2002 as a sales person for a hop-on, hop–off trolley tour company in historic Boston. Prior experience in the hospitality industry and spending the previous 23 years in Beantown made me a good fit for the position. I grew up here, went to college at Northeastern University, and was (and still am) an all-around Bostonian. My favorite part of the job was welcoming people from different parts of North America and all over the world to “my” Boston. I appreciated that they chose to visit my city on their vacation, and I wanted them to leave saying the people of Boston are friendly, helpful, and welcoming. Read the rest of this entry »
I was born in Marcona, Peru, in a mining camp where my dad, a Wyoming native and ex-Navy warrior, met my mother, a mild mannered, flower loving, ex-middle school teacher (talk about opposites attract,!). As a family of three we moved to Venezuela when I was 6 and set roots there for 20 years. My dad traveled the world as a Mining Consultant and my mom was a Travel Agent, and together we had our share of amazing adventures. No surprise I chose travel and tourism as my career! My professional career started right after high school working for American Airlines, going to college and getting my Travel and Tourism Management degree. I bring about 20 years of experience to Europe Express, combing the back-end knowledge of a world class GDS, Amadeus and the front-end experience in Sales from Carnival and Norwegian Cruise Line. Read the rest of this entry »
In my 6th grade yearbook, where other kids speculated on their futures as Olympic athletes, fire fighters, and millionaires, my career ambition was to be a Travel Agent. I didn’t re-discover this until recently and, looking back, it seems I was destined for this profession! I loved watching and reading about other people and cultures as a child; as a teen, I took my first international trip to Paris and I was hooked! Read the rest of this entry »
One of the things I like most about working at OASIS is my boss KeIly Bergin and our marketing director Lisa Baron. I love working with both of them and helping our agents; there is never a dull moment.
The primary focus of my job is to train our agents on our proprietary booking engine and reporting tool. Every booking that the agents make must be reported so that we can track and pay commissions. Our booking engine also shows rates and promos for all major cruise lines, and my training helps our agents find the perfect cruise for their client. It is a one-stop-shop, if you will, which makes booking a cruise very fast and convenient.
Unitours, the oldest and most respected name in Catholic group pilgrimages to Europe and the Middle East, is expanding its sales force throughout the country. If you are an active Roman Catholic, love to travel, and have sales experience, you may qualify to join the elite team of successful sales representatives. What can you expect in working with Unitours? Read the rest of this entry »
I have been very lucky to be with a company for 19 years as the Business Development Manager in one territory. Through the years the territory has gotten bigger and smaller, and we have adjusted to the nature of the travel industry. It is amazing to see how our industry has changed. I remember years ago when our business was based on brick and mortar store fronts. I could travel to a city and spend a week just in that city and surroundings, simply by calling on the many store fronts. Read the rest of this entry »
My passion for the travel industry all started after I graduated from High School back in 1983 and shortly after, attend Travel Education Institute in Southfield, Michigan. It was then that I realized I was living in a “geographically undesirable” area if I wanted to pursue a career in the travel industry, specifically the Cruise Industry. In 1986 my girlfriend and I packed our bags and headed to Florida to begin our careers in the travel industry.
Before Joining OASIS, I was fortunate enough to have worked in various areas of the travel industry. Previous positions with Sampson Tours, Sun International, Ocean Cruise Lines Pearl Cruises, Laker Airways, Orient Lines, Norwegian Cruise line and International Conferences/Cruise Planners helped shape me into a well rounded individual, who has a passion for the travel industry, as well as a great understanding for the needs of our valuable travel agents who make vacation dreams come true. Read the rest of this entry »
Vicky Puig is an integral part of the Member Services team, a group of six employees that acts as first level support for the general Nexion Membership. The department’s primary function is to handle incoming phone calls from the members and provide support on Nexion products and service inquiries. They also coach agents to help them grow their home-based businesses.
I joined Nexion in 2011 after our company had moved to our new offices. Though new to Nexion, I’ve been in the travel industry since 2007, working for Sabre as a trainer and customer service business analyst. It was this experience that made me the first new Montevideo employee to become part of Nexion’s six-person Member Services team.
Less known than Nexion’s Dallas office, but absolutely crucial, our office in Montevideo, Uruguay is where a group of dedicated in-house employees – including me – strive to provide the extra edge to over three thousand North American travel agents. Read the rest of this entry »
Heidi is the Reservations Manager of Blue Sky Tours. She has one of the most difficult jobs in the company as the reservation department is the life blood of the operation. She keeps everything running smoothly by coordinating schedules, answering client questions and working on customer service with the travel agents. Without Heidi Blue Sky Tours would not run as efficiently as it does.
I joined the Blue Sky Tours Team in June of 1998 in reservations. I instantly fell in love with the job and the people within this company. Loving your job makes it very easy to come to work each day! My first trip to Hawaii was in September of 1998 on a Fam trip. I was hooked! Having been to Hawaii more than 20 different times now, it’s exciting for me to be able to share the experience with others. There is always something new to discover no matter how many times you have been to the islands.
This week TRO launches a new column highlighting the men and women who are the first line of support for travel professionals: res agents, help desks and business development managers.
Casey T. Law has been with Vacation Express since July, 1997. Having started out as a Reservations Coordinator and working his way up to Group Department Manager, his duties and responsibilities have varied from intercepting heavy call volume and offering high-level customer service to managing and leading a team that organizes itineraries for various types of groups including leisure and corporate incentive clientele and weddings.
Working at Vacation Express is like being part of a family. Everyone works together as a team in order to provide the best possible product and customer service in the industry, and each of us is appreciated for our strengths and contributions to the company’s success. Knowing that all of my colleagues strive to be personable, professional and productive makes it easy to come to work every day to share in the experience of the fast-paced travel business and ultimately exceed our clients’ expectations.