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WILL THEY WIN? Meet the NTIA finalists!


The National Travel Industry Awards are tomorrow night and while everyone’s calming their nerves with a pre-party champers, we chat to a few of the finalists.

 

First up we have Richard Waugh from P&O Cruises and Kat Nitarsky from On The Go Tours.We then chat to Avalon Waterway’s Walter Nand and Karen Newbury from APT.

 

Get to know them before the night of nights and you may just come away with some truly awesome tips and find out where’s hot direct from the horse’s mouth!

 

WHAT’S YOUR BEST TRAVEL TIP?

RICHARD: When it come to cruising, ensure you talk to the staff onboard, they can turn your experience from a good experience to an amazing experience just by striking up a conversation. Most staff have been working with us for many years so they have so many stories to share. 

KAT: Take an extra moment to get to know your guide. In my experience tour guides are some of the most amazing people on earth and there is no better way to learn about a place than to get to know the local people.

 

Richard Waugh

 

WHAT ARE THE BEST AND WORST PARTS OF YOUR JOB?

RICHARD: The best part of being a BDM for P&O Cruises is that everyday is different. There’s constantly something new to talk about with P&O, newer ships, new ports, opportunities to grow agents’ business with the growing cruise market. The worst part would have to deliver bad messaging, sometimes things don’t go the way they are planned so to have to deliver an unsavoury message while still trying to maintain and develop relationships is a hard skill to perfect.  

KAT: What I love most about my job is the company that I work for. On The Go Tours has such an amazing supportive family culture, and an incredible product, which has taken me to many faraway places! On The Go lets me be my quirky self so every day is an adventure!  The worst part is definitely repping in the rain!

 

IF YOU WEREN’T IN YOUR CURRENT ROLE, WHAT WOULD YOU BE DOING?

RICHARD: After seeing the amazing partnerships P&O have forged over the years I would really love to be a Partnership/Relationship Manager or I would take a step away from travel and embark on a journey as a PE Teacher/Coach working with the athletes of the future.  

KAT: I love managing events - so I guess throwing lavish parties and events somewhere?

 

WHICH PLACE DO YOU THINK MORE PEOPLE NEED TO VISIT?

RICHARD: Definitely the SNOW, If only we could cruise there :) 

KAT: There are so many places but I don’t think I can go past Egypt. Such incredible history and culture, mystery and intrigue, with more and more being discovered everyday..  it really has to be seen to be believed!

 

DO YOU PREFER A WINDOW OR AISLE SEAT?

RICHARD: ALWAYS a window seat. I love to just zone out and watch Netflix, so many interesting series/documentaries to watch with NARCOS being my favourite. 

KAT: Aisle all the way! Sitting still is not my strong point so I need to be able to get up and stretch my legs as often as I can!

 

Kat Nitarsky

 

WHAT CAN YOU DO FOR YOUR CLIENTS THAT THE INTERNET CAN’T?

KAREN: The internet can only give you the facts and the figures.  It can not share all the amazing experiences and wow factors that one gets from a staying in a particular hotel, going on a particular cruise, tour or to a destination. More and more travellers today are seeking personalised travel experiences. We are experts in the travel industry and can build the holiday of their dreams for them and provide them with great customer service. We can make them feel special.

WALTER: An important part of my job is doing presentations on River Cruising. No matter how much research you do on the internet, nothing compares with listening to a knowledgeable and passionate presenter who can answer questions you didn’t even know to ask.

 

WHERE’S THE NEXT ‘HOT’ DESTINATION?

KAREN: I believe it’s here on our door step – Cruising the Kimberley Coast. I was lucky enough to do this last year and was absolutely blown away. I knew it would be great but it was out of this world! The water is pristine, beaches are beautiful and the red rock landscape, with its Aboriginal artwork incredible. The dramatic beauty of King George Falls,  the exhilarating fast boat ride through Horizontal Falls (which David Attenborough describes as “one of the greatest natural wonders of the world” and experiencing Montgomery Reef rising out of the ocean like Atlantis all unforgettable highlights of this trip.

WALTER: Not a destination but ‘Experiential Travel’ is growing dramatically. Even on a luxury river cruise through Europe, passengers are looking to tailor-make their own experience and are researching the towns and villages we stop in like never before. Most are not satisfied to simply ‘follow the herd’ and I believe this trend will continue to grow.

 

Karen Newbury

 

WHAT’S YOUR BEST TRAVEL TIP?  

KAREN: Travel light. Pack your bag and then take out half of it because you probably won’t wear it. Enjoy and soak up every moment of your trip as “Travel is the only thing you buy that makes you richer”.

WALTER: Plan the basics of your holiday but always leave room to explore, get lost and discover hidden gems. My best travel memories occurred by accident.

 

WHAT ARE THE BEST AND WORST PARTS OF YOUR JOB?

KAREN: I love it when I am in my uniform in the street, at an Expo or anywhere and people who have travelled with us  come up to me and say, “We have just come back from an APT  trip and had the most wonderful time”. I know we have a fantastic product and it’s so nice to be part of a company who delights its passengers. I also get a thrill out of seeing my agents do well and kick goals. The worst part of my job is not being able to take my husband to some of the wonderful places I am so lucky to travel to. 

WALTER: The best part of my job is talking to clients after they have come back from an amazing Avalon Waterways River Cruise and hearing how fantastic it was. The worst part of my job is the long hours and working so many evenings and weekends.

 

Walter Nand

 

IF YOU WEREN’T IN YOUR CURRENT POSITION, WHAT WOULD YOU BE DOING?

KAREN: I wouldn’t work anywhere but in the travel industry. If I wasn’t doing the job I love I would be spending more time with my seven grandchildren. 

WALTER: I would be riding the world on an Indian Motorcycle.

 

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Published: 18 July 2019


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