“We have worked closely with the team at AmeriCan Adventures for many years and are extremely proud of the work they do for us. Day in, day out, they are completely focused on delivering our brand’s experience and constantly strive to improve our passenger’s enjoyment ratings.“
1. How did you end up working in the tourism industry?
I first noticed a print ad for TrekAmerica in the Chicago Tribune whilst visiting some family on a cross country road trip. The ad was looking for ‘enthusiastic people that loved the outdoors and were proud of America and wanted to show it to foreign visitors’…sounded perfect.
2. What was your first tour like – and what has changed compared to your most recent?
Interestingly enough, very little has changed from the first trip that I led to the trips we operate today. Fortunately, Health & Safety plays a much greater role in how we operate tours and manage the business than it did in my early days on the road. And whilst it has taken some of the fun out of the job, it is incredibly important in protecting our clients, and our own business, to ensure we can continue to provide these sorts of experiences to future passengers (and tour leaders).
3. What part of the company are you most proud of and why?
Our reputation as a fun, but professional, tour company – ‘funfessional’ as some call it. I also believe we live to our values and attract like-minded individuals that help support those values – every day. I’m extremely proud of the entire group of leaders and office staff and the amazing experiences we provide to our customers.
4. What do you feel sets your company apart from other DMC’s?
Our ability to adapt to our brand partner’s needs whilst covering a massive continent. We attract, train and hire a special type of tour leader that is constantly looking for new discoveries, and always trying to learn more about this fascinating landscape and culture. We operate hundreds of different itineraries, so we have to maintain a wealth of knowledge in our business to be able to deliver such consistent experiences (for more than 40 years).
5. What does a standard working day look like for you?
I am not very good at routine, so I try to change up my work week with a varied schedule of meetings, phone calls, emails and out of office visits. I particularly look forward to trips to meet our various suppliers and overseas partners at their offices. This is the only way to fully understand their business and get to know as many of their staff as possible. Of course, it usually involves a nice meal and a few drinks, and hopefully a bit of sightseeing as well.
6. What gets you out of bed in the morning?
I thoroughly love the travel industry and the people that work in it – and at this company. I’m not aware of any other type of business that provides such a balance of challenges and experiences. There are highs and lows every day, but solving problems is what keeps us motivated and provides a great sense of accomplishment.
7. What keeps you up at night?
There’s a host of things that can go unexpectedly wrong in this business, so you have to have the right structure and practices in place to help maintain a work-life balance and manage any out of workplace stresses. Ultimately, the safety of our clients and staff is what concerns me most. That’s something I live with every day. Beyond that, it’s the usual concerns for Sales growth and business performance.
8. What other CEOs do you look up to and why?
I have always had a fascination and held huge respect for Richard Branson. I admire how he seems to balance drive and passion for his business, with a constant sense of adventure and discovery. And he was recently hosting our ex-President Barack Obama and his family on his private island in the Caribbean – so I’m not alone in my admiration.
9. Where do you see the company in 5 years?
We’ve seen the greatest injection of new enquiries and business from tour operators in China and Japan. I believe there is still room in the Australian market for their own home grown tour businesses to flourish and develop more US based products. We’ll also continue to adapt our offerings with more unique and modular experiences. Clients will continue to want to do more for less, so this is our ultimate challenge.
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