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A Source of Inspiration

November 23, 2009 By: Ruthanne Terrero Travel Agent

If you don’t have time to read all the 30Under30 profiles as soon as you get your hands on this issue of Travel Agent (and you should), save them for when you need some inspiration. As you go through each personal tale of how these young people came into the travel agency community, embraced it and grew, you’ll start smiling and probably remember how you yourself came into the business. You’ll find that the common note is the enthusiasm they describe when they craft an itinerary they know will actually change the way their clients see the world. They find joy in creating memories for families and in finalizing the most minute details that though small, will make a huge difference in the overall success of the trip.

As I neared the end of the profiles, which are arranged in alphabetical order by last name, I realized that there was another similarity to most of them. They have strong managers who don’t hesitate to allow their young advisors to develop their business styles in their own way—with exceptional guidance, of course. They’re willing to let them think out of the box, to be creative and to trust them with important decision-making. Some have even handed over their most treasured clients to these young folks. One owner uses her “under 30” agent to book her personal travel. What greater endorsement is there than that?

Here are some snippets to give you a taste of this year’s 30 Under 30 roundup, which we initiated last year to inspire those who are considering entering the travel consulting business.

How could one not be inspired by comments such as these?

Luke Breaux of TravelCorp International: “Every step of the planning process excites me and makes me want to work harder, learn more and breathe new life into this wonderful industry.”

Katie Brower of American Express Travel: “I enjoy creating interesting and complex, high-end itineraries for my clients, but the best part is helping make memories, from children’s birthday parties to 25th wedding anniversaries. I am there for it all.”

Listen to some of the managers speaking of their rising stars:

Tara Dillberg of Garber Travel “has the innate sense to really listen to what her clients really want…she is a perfect example of what the young can do to a travel organization that has been around for 62 years.”

Michael Distler of Admiral Travel International “can—and will—get the job done well…When I see some of our industry veterans asking Michael (the youngest member of our team) for input and advice, I know we are on the right track, and helping bring the next generation into the industry.”

Caitlin Dobson of En Route Travel “has been a catalyst for change for the rest of us in the office to start thinking outside the box in the way we approach business.”

Joanne Fegan of VIP Vacations “always takes the lead in online training, attending seminars and using social networks to her advantage.”

The travel agency community has a strong future in front of it. Give others who are just starting out in their careers a chance to try their hand at the business. Who knows, you may see them featured here in next year’s 30 Under 30! In the meantime, read on.

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