May 28, 2024

Why I love working in travel

Three travel professionals share their career stories and the reasons why they choose to work in this sector

A warm welcome back 

Tara Jerrard, Head of Sales and Marketing, ACE Travel Management

“I started my travel career with KLM, then joined Ian Allan Travel where we faced challenges with SARS and 9/11. After four years I went back to airlines, working at Alitalia then Etihad. In 2015 I joined TBR Global until 2019 and then returned to the TMC arena joining Traveleads six months before the pandemic. Sadly, due to the lockdowns, most of the sales team lost their positions. As travel was halted I looked at industries that were in demand and ended up working for a funeral directors. You could say I was still in travel but to our final destination! As travel opened up again an opportunity arose to join ACE Travel Management and to return to an industry I am passionate about and where I can fully utilise my commercial skills. Working in travel I’ve built up a strong network over the years. At the recent Business Travel Show it was great bumping into so many familiar faces and getting a warm welcome back. The pandemic has shown, once again, the resilience of the business travel sector. Recovery will bring new exciting opportunities. I know it was the right decision to come back.” CASE STUDY

It’s never boring

Julie Cope, Managing Director, TakeTwo Travel Solution

 “I love this industry, even though it’s full of challenges and can be bonkers at times. I have thought about throwing in the towel several times, especially when yet another global disaster impacts negatively on the travel industry. But I can’t see myself working anywhere else. One thing is for sure, it’s never boring. You can learn so much and grow professionally as there are so many different aspects and sectors within business travel. I started my travel career typing invoices and itineraries, then I learnt how to make bookings – a very manual process in those days. I was actually very good at bookings and was soon asked to look after VIP clients. I was always asked to take on more and more responsibility wherever I worked. I guess I just thrived on it all. Now here I am. This industry is full of amazing people. I know so many people at different companies who I consider to be friends, not just because we may have worked together at some point in the past but also because our paths cross at industry events. Plus, I love the interaction with our clients. Even on days that are busy and challenging, this industry is fun to work in.”

A way of life

Jane Norton, Lead Consultant Agiito

“Due to Agiito having to make redundancies in 2020, I chose to take voluntary redundancy. I’d been in the industry for over 15 years and it was the right decision at the time. However, this type of profession never leaves you. It was always a way of life, never a job. After taking time out and exploring other opportunities, such as holiday lets and catering for primary schools, I felt the need to return back to where I belong. I’ve always kept in contact with work colleagues and when the industry was looking like there was a good chance of returning, I made the decision to see if there were opportunities for me. I’m very happy to say that there were and I returned in April 2022. It’s a bit of a cliché, but a lot of why I wanted to return to the industry is to do with my colleagues. Working alongside like-minded people makes for a good day. It’s a fast-paced business that changes all the time. Due to the pandemic there is definitely a feeling of being in it together between Agiito, our suppliers and customers. Passion is an over-used word, but it’ so true for this business. It can be challenging but so rewarding.”