1. How did you end up working in the tourism industry?
I love travel. When I was little, and was asked what I wanted to be when I grew up, I
answered – “I want to be a holiday maker!”. And so I became!
I’ve been in the travel industry for over 10 years – I’ve seen the inside of a major airline, a leading adventure tour operator, and now enjoy building our Sydney-based inbound DMC. When studying in sunny Brisbane for half a year whilst doing an MBA back in 2002, I fell in love with the land Down Under which I proudly call home now.
2. What inspired you to start this company?
Our company has been in business for almost 25 years, operating as an established, successful but mainly outbound travel agent. When I got involved with the business and took responsibility for business development, strong growth of Australia’s inbound tourism directed my thinking process. With the inbound travel industry dominated by larger corporations, we easily found our niche in the market where quality and speed of service, personal partnership-style relationships and competitive pricing go hand in hand.
3. Describe your first sale/customer?
The idea of entering the inbound travel industry fast-tracked when the tour operator I worked for contacted me with the question whether I could help them out. Finding a single operator that would take responsibility for a tour covering many corners of beautiful but vast Australia had proven to be a showstopper for them.
We took the challenge on with both hands and worked with them on further product development. We now operate frequent group departures of this itinerary that quickly became the leading Australia-tour in its market.
4. What was your first tour like – and what has changed compared to your most recent?
What brings people to Australia is still pretty much the same: Sydney with its Opera House and Harbour Bridge, Ayers Rock the largest monolith in the world, the underwater world of the Great Barrier Reef, and of course so much more. However, the way people want to experience our country has changed and will continue to evolve. We are a continuously learning organisation and we should be!
5. What part of the company are you most proud of and why?
It may sound cliché, but I’m really proud of the company as a whole; of how we have been developing as a team, praised for its expertise and service, and of how each of us contributes to the future success and sustainability of our business.
6. What do you feel sets your company apart from other DMC’s?
Let me summarize by saying we’re driven by passion for what we do and delivering memories for our guests to take home, rather than by volume.
7. What does a standard working day look like for you?
I wouldn’t know how to answer that; I’m happy I don’t work ‘standard’ days!
8. What gets you out of bed in the morning?
Starting the day on my veranda, with a fresh brew in my hand, enjoying the lush tropical view, the Australian sun and the sound of breaking waves in the background.
9. What keeps you up at night?
The time difference we have with parts of the world we do business with… Other than that, not much, I’m fortunate to be a good sleeper.
10. What other CEOs do you look up to and why?
I get captivated by stories on companies and their CEO’s that have changed the rules of the game in their industry, or even completely invented a new industry. Very different but as captivating, CEO’s that have succeeded in extending the life cycle of their product or brand. I’ve taken there’s much to learn from these, for small businesses too.
11. Where do you see the company in 5 years?
I’m confident the future will present us with ample opportunities to develop relationships with a growing number of overseas tour operators. As such, our business is set to gradually expand, providing a secure and fun workplace for a growing number of staff.