“The great difference between voyages rests not with the ships, but with the people you meet on them.”
Amelia E Barr
When asked to write a blog for our Website, I had a couple of different topics in mind, and so I thought I would write about what stands out most to me… and that is the relationships and friendships that shape our industry. Being in a career that certainly takes us places, from hotels, to lodges, by road or air, I realized that without the special people out there, our industry would be rather dull.
Starting off as a junior consultant learning to plot itineraries with various Holiday Africa colleagues, I already realized that this new career path I had taken was the right one indeed. The passion that my colleagues and management had for tourism, and their graceful way of dealing with clients and working together with suppliers, set the tone for me going forward. Learning to respect people’s knowledge and then in turn learning from this has motivated me to always be a better professional. Each day we meet new people, and each day we make new friends – from our international clients to our supplier and office colleagues.
I am not sure that there is any other industry that allows one the chance to meet so many people – the receptionists at the hotels and lodges, the concierge, the game rangers, our contacts in reservations and of course the sales people who call on us and keep us up to speed with all the latest developments. Whilst I believe a lot of people think what we do is glamorous (and some of the time, it is), it is often simply about the relationships you have, and your drive to make things work.
Having worked with so many youngsters (and I can say that now that I am in my mid 50’s), one of my greatest pleasures has been imparting knowledge – from being a mentor to learners, who came into our business with a passion to learn about tourism, to working closely with my team mates, it is so rewarding to eventually see these people, working together as a team, but most importantly having the confidence to work with our clients, their guests and our suppliers. I always say you can never stop learning – and in our industry we have gone from rates on faxes, to STO rates on email, and now of course, dynamic rates online…. What’s next ???
Being adaptable, being willing to change, and to have a ,is vital to making this career a success. And having the ability to grow and establish relationships is paramount.
The book by Dr Seuss, “oh, the places you’ll go…” and my take on this is also “the people you will meet” ….and I look forward to reconnecting with so many of you!
Diane and team