Want to work in the Travel and Tourism industry? Do you have a genuine passion for travel and new experiences? Are you able to communicate effectively and provide great customer service?
If you answered YES to all of the above then a job in Travel and Tourism would be a perfect match. We spoke to Managing Director of Full Circle Travel to find out exactly whats it takes to do/steal his job.
Name: Niall Douglas
Job title: Managing Director
Company: Full Circle Travel
What does your job role entail?
I help people plan and book luxury trips and holidays, combining every element that they want and need to have an amazing and memorable time with friends and family.
Day to day, I work closely with my clients to show them holiday options that fulfil the ideas they have. This might include favourite destinations or new places to explore, the type of accommodation they’d like to stay in, activities and tours they can take, as well as talking through any specific requirements such as private chefs, guides or transport options. I also give personal recommendations, and making the process as easy and simple for them as possible!
Because we supply very tailored and bespoke solutions, I provide a very personalised service to our clients, so I spend a lot of time with clients and they know that they can get hold of us at any time for advice or to answer any questions.
I also manage partnerships with hotels and travel providers, and travel the world to review destinations and accommodation so that we can give first hand recommendations.
Describe your working day or week?
If I’m not travelling to see a new resort or hotel, most days are spent either in the office or visiting customers. I’ll manage enquiries from clients and meet with them to discuss their travel plans. A lot of the time is spent planning clients’ itineraries.This means talking with flight companies, hotel providers, tour operators and even organising things like entertainment and childcare. Sometimes we help organise really special events abroad such as weddings and honeymoons – they’re a lot of fun to work on.
When we visit a destination to review accommodation, it’s usually an entire week out of the office. While it’s still work, and I’m kept very busy jumping from place to place, it’s amazing to be able to travel to different places around the world as part of my job.
What key skills do you need to do your job?
The most important skill is customer service and attention to detail. You need to be able to communicate effectively with clients and always understand the individual needs and requests from customers.
You also need to have a genuine passion for travel and new experiences – I really enjoy matching my knowledge with the personal requirements of a customer – I know what will suit a family or individual which gives overall confidence that the trip will be hugely enjoyed.
What made you decide to go for this job role?
I love travelling. I’ve always enjoyed seeing new parts of the world and experiencing different cultures and have always wanted to open those doors for other people. I also believe you can strike a really lovely balance between authentic, cultural experiences and luxurious ones. I love bringing the two together to create unforgettable experiences and memories.
Best part of your job?
There’s two parts that stand out:
- Being able to travel as part of my work and experience new places and meet so many wonderful people from all corners of the globe.
- Hearing feedback from clients after they return from their trip.
Worst part of your job?
I wish I could take my family on every trip I take!
Most memorable moment at work?
We arranged a wedding for a young couple and their immediate family in Thailand – it was a really magical itinerary which included a beach dinner the day before and activities in the week following. Catching up with them and seeing their photographs afterwards was very rewarding.
If I’m choosing a course to study, what type of course suits this job best?
Travel and tourism units would certainly come in handy, along with some business and communications modules, and even marketing. An understanding of the travel and tourism sector will be vital – you can’t learn good customer service entirely, you need to be a people person too!
Does work experience really help you to get the dream job?
I think work experience always helps – in any industry. If you’ve been in a client facing role then that will definitely be a bonus, even if it hasn’t been in the travel industry. As long as you can show a passion for travel, as well as match the values of the agency you’re wanting to work for, you should be able to get your foot in the door! To reach the role of Managing Director, you will need to work hard, and get as much experience under your belt as possible. You will also need to develop your business model, USP, financial and strategic acumen as these are really important!
Give us a tip on how to steal your job.
Soak up as much information and experience as you can. That involves travelling, meeting new people, asking questions and saying yes. Reach out to travel companies you’d like to work for and offer to volunteer or do work experience to get your career off to a strong start.