ETB News: When and why did you join the industry?
I joined 14 years ago. With a background in online, I was contacted to join Amadeus in Europe in 1999 to take care of their online initiatives; they called it “new technologies” back then. It was a fun but interesting time – trying to convince senior travel executives to move to online just after the Internet bubble had burst. I enjoyed the challenge and have continued to enjoy it ever since.
ETB News: What do you like most about your job?
You can’t beat the variety of situations you deal with. Every day is different in online travel and it never gets boring.
ETB News: What’s one of the greatest achievements of your career thus far?
I pride myself on having a healthy work/life balance. Doing my job whilst still having a solid family life is really important to me.
ETB News: Who do you admire and/or see as a role model in the travel industry?
I genuinely do admire Richard Branson, although it sounds a little cliché! I like his approach to business, his flair for great opportunities, and his vision and leadership skills. His determination is unparalleled and he remains such an influential personality in the industry.
ETB News: What would you like to see improve in the industry?
More investment in performance marketing and Big Data. I think we are just scratching the surface -never before have we had access to such a huge amount of data and the new possibilities are vast. We just need to make sense of it all. As an industry, we need to invest in data analysis and concentrate on finding methods and ways in which Big Data can be used to create true innovation.
ETB News: What destinations are on your travel bucket list?
Myanmar & Mongolia – however, I might wait for a few years for my youngest daughter to be able to come with us. She is only two and I’m not sure she would appreciate the trip just yet!
ETB News: Name one memorable travel experience you’ve had (good or bad).
One of my most memorable trips was actually here in Australia when I went into the desert with some mates. We enjoyed nothing more than a good old 4WD. You can’t beat it – we went to almost every single area of the red centre that was possible in six days. Amazing!
ETB News: What are three things you always carry with you when travelling?
– A drawing from my oldest daughter to make sure I would think of her while travelling!
– A portable battery for my mobile phone.
– Something good to read – it is the only way to make any long waits disappear.
ETB News: Name someone famous (dead or alive) you’d love to travel with and where you would go.
I would try to convince David Attenborough to take my family on a wildlife tour of the world… we would see some incredible places!
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