|Vice President—Content/Editorial Director, Ruthanne Terrero Ruthanne Terrero, CTC Vice President—Content/Editorial Director|
I love the array of individuals we get to profile when we venture into our annual 30Under30 issue of Travel Agent magazine, now in its fifth year. Some have stepped out of the country for the first time only quite recently, others traveled extensively as students and see their fledgling careers as an extension of a lifestyle they couldn’t live without.
Some say a desire to make each vacation a dream trip for their clients is what makes them jump out of bed every morning, while others are very focused and organized, traits that enable them to forge effective operational processes that help them work efficiently. God bless those who have both people-passion and organizational skills; they’ll outshine us all. One talent all of our 30Under30s have? They’re all multitaskers, used to looking at a computer screen while reading their iPhone or Android and speaking to a supplier on a land-line to get vital information on a product for a client who’s sitting right in front of them. The best part? They’ll still have the energy to run into their manager’s office halfway through the day with a new concept for marketing or with a new idea for handling an office process that’s been done the same way for years.
Some of our latest young advisors came into the travel business cold—they’d never considered it until fate threw them into it out of the blue. Then there are those who grew up in families that owned travel agencies, who never considered the business when they were just starting out because it was too close to home. After trying other fields, they came back to the fold and embraced the chance to work with parents or siblings, realizing that avoiding a career in travel seemed rather foolish considering its opportunities.. I love that Miriam Geiser got her job at MoonRings via Monster.com. Since it was the only job she applied for, it’s clear that a travel career was in her stars.
We’re having a youth wave...
You may notice several travel agencies that have more than one new member of the 30Under30 club. VIP Vacations and Frosch Travel have clearly forged a youth wave and we commend them for that. All-Inclusive Outlet, Beach Bum Vacation, American Express Travel and Tzell have year after year had a good showing on our lists, proving that they are dedicated to bringing new talent into the industry.
What are the challenges of those on today’s 30Under30 list (which, by the way, is for the second year in a row actually 35Under30 since there just too many good candidates to turn down, plus, we want to encourage as much youth in the industry as we can)? They’re the same as your challenges. A client goes to an OTA and claims they’ve gotten a better price from what you’ve offered them, leaving you to explain that the room you’ve booked them has better value, a more favorable view and includes breakfast and transfers. Or a customer has to make a last-minute cancellation, throwing to waste all of the work you’ve done for them.
Yet you spend hours helping them out of their unfortunate mess and try to get them as much money back as you possibly can. Then there’s the unrealistic client who wants to spend $4,000 for a Tahiti vacation. Do you talk them into something else or turn them away?
Enjoy reading about our newest rising stars; we hope you’ll be encouraged to bring the next generation into the travel agency business so that it will have a strong foundation for years to come.