Kier Matthews is the Vice President of Sales at Europe Express, where he is responsible for travel agent sales. Prior to his job at Europe Express, Matthews was a Manager of Member Sales & Service at Virtuoso, the travel industry’s leading luxury travel network.
After completing his studies at Shaw University in Raleigh, North Carolina, Matthews worked for Starwood Hotels & Resorts as Front Office Manager at The Palace Hotel in San Francisco and the Westin Seattle.
Before Matthews entered the travel industry, he was a leading influencer in the political arena. Matthews joined the presidential campaign of former Governor Bill Clinton, which lead to a full-time position in the Scheduling Office at the White House, working directly for the President, Vice-President and the First and Second Ladies. Prior to that, he was the personal assistant to Florida Governor Lawton Chiles.
Today, Matthews spends much of his free time participating in civic service activities. In 2008 he was honored as one of 30 Outstanding African-American Fathers of Puget Sound. Matthews is the proud father of Isabella (8). When Matthews is not busy with her, volunteering and work he enjoys reading a great business book.
TRO: Tell us about your role at Europe Express.
KM: I’m VP, Progress (Sales). My role is to educate travel advisors on how they can work with us, how we can serve them and the value of creating customized vacations.
TRO: What aspect of travel inspired you to work in the travel industry?
KM: I wanted to work in this industry from the time I was a teenager. I traveled often with my family as a kid. I know, first-hand how travel changed my view on the world.
TRO: Tell us a little bit about the types of services Europe Express offers.
KM: Established in 1990, Europe Express specializes in providing high-quality, affordable travel to Europe. We create customized itineraries at competitive prices for all of your needs including air, hotel/villa, rail and car rental, sightseeing and pre/post cruise packages. With over two decades of experience, buying offices in Europe and a knowledgeable reservations team that has experienced the destinations first-hand; you are assured to have an outstanding experience every time you work with us. We have also managed over 6,000 custom group trips so we understand the complexity associated with group travel as well as the need for quick turnarounds. Our groups department specializes in multi-city and multi-country trips for 10-600 people and will help build an itinerary to fit any budget while organizing all signup deadlines, travel documents and payments.
TRO: Does Europe Express offer Group Travel? If so, tell us a little bit about the types of groups that travel with Europe Express.
KM: Yes. Whether it is taking a family trip to Paris, an educational group to Barcelona, or a church group to Rome we can build an affordable, European trip tailored to your clients’ interests. From single city itineraries to multiple cities and countries, we can help you create custom tours for groups of 10 to 600 people.
TRO: What are some of the fundamental principles that keep Europe Express running successfully?
KM: A strong commitment to our travel agent only distribution. Knowledgeable and well-traveled staff. Our desire to offer all the services travel agents need to arrange a FIT or group travel logistics to Europe through one supplier – to be a one stop shop for seamless travel.
TRO: What is Europe Express’ relationship with travel agents?
KM: We are 100% travel agent only distribution.
TRO: What is an aspect of Europe Express that makes you all so successful with travel agents?
KM: I would say again it is our 100% travel agent distribution.
TRO: Is there anything exciting to come in 2014 for Europe Express?
KM: A redesigned website. It will be AMAZING! The modifications will create a much more user friendly site than what is in place currently. It will be a great addition to unveil once all of the testing is finished.