Paige Lewis, 27
The travel industry is a dynamic one, vulnerable to the changing economic and technological tides. Skeptics claim the Internet has engulfed the industry, affecting sales, but that doesn’t bother Paige Lewis one bit.
“Often, I hear something along the lines of ‘I didn’t think travel agents existed anymore’ or ‘Do you find that the Internet has impacted sales since most people can book trips themselves?’ To that, I chuckle a bit inside and explain that the industry is booming,” says Lewis.
Shortly after moving back to the U.S. after living and working abroad in Melbourne, Australia, Lewis landed a job as travel specialist at MAD Travel, a Travel Leaders agency in Naples, FL.
Just 14 days after starting there, she was tasked with planning a month-long, multi-continent, luxury business and leisure trip. The couple went on an around-the-world adventure, roundtrip from Boston to Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne, Adelaide, Hong Kong, Dubai and Paris, and they stayed at top hotels.
“No one in the office was familiar with around-the-world tickets so, on top of learning the basics — what a PNR was and how to create one, all the formats and codes, how to sell a flight, etc. — around-the-world tickets were thrown into the mix,” Lewis says.
She adds, “To this day, they are still some of the most convoluted tickets I’ve ever booked.”
Not only were these trips interesting, but also profitable. Agency owner Lisa McCarthy tells us that Lewis has moved her annual sales above $1.5 million dollars in just three years.
“Paige came to MAD Travel three years ago without any travel agent experience. In that time, Paige has met every challenge with confidence, professionalism, a willingness to learn and, most importantly, a smile,” McCarthy says.