Lizelle Joubert joined us in May and is jumping straight into a team. She's partnering with Chris van den Berg to build a successful business. Let's get to know Lizelle.
What is your background?
I completed my diploma in Travel and Tourism in 1995 and started my career as a corporate travel consultant in 1996. Based in Pretoria, we managed accounts such as the Department of Foreign Affairs, Police Head Quarters, Dept of Trade and Industry, a few Embassies and corporates, and leisure clients.
Then I relocated to Johannesburg and worked at a leisure agency. It was a great learning experience as we had corporate and leisure clients, ticketed for a tour operator, and worked closely with airlines for which the holding company was the GSA. We specialised in round-the-world fares, which I really enjoyed.
My next position was at the Multichoice/M-Net in-house, a high-pressure environment, where I managed the travel arrangements for the M-Net and Super Sport commentators and crew.
I left the travel industry for a few years when we relocated to Heidelberg, Gauteng, and worked with my husband building his business. We moved to Cape Town, where we owned and managed a small boutique guest house. By joining Travel Counsellors, I have returned to what I love doing, managing my clients' travel arrangements.
Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I live with my husband in Fish Hoek in the Western Cape. I have two daughters in their early twenties who live close by. We are truly blessed to live in such a beautiful place where we can enjoy the activities we love; hiking in the mountains, swimming and snorkeling, having meals at lovely eateries and spending time with friends and family. We have two small doggie children who love their walks and swims just as much as we do. In my spare time, I love to read, listen to music and cook for friends and family. Art, nature, traveling, exploring and experiencing new places, food, and meeting new people are some of my favourite things to do.
I have been to Madagascar, Maldives (twice! I love this piece of heaven), Mauritius, the United Kingdom (Scotland is a favourite), Belgium, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Botswana, Namibia, and Zimbabwe, and explored our own South Africa extensively.
What does becoming a Travel Counsellor mean for you?
Being a Travel Counsellor and having an independent business with exceptional systems and support is ideal. I can manage my time and enjoy life while building my business. I have the best technology in the industry available to me and support from the global community of TCs, and the wonderful head office team.
What motivated you to start your own travel business?
Working independently as a Travel Counsellor is much more rewarding than working as a consultant for a company where I feel you are unappreciated, no matter how hard you work or how many hours you put in. When you have your own travel business, your hard work is rewarded.
With the flexibility to assist clients when they need me, backed by the support and technology of Travel Counsellors, I can offer exceptional service and work in the industry that I have always been passionate about. It makes every working day so much more enjoyable.
What are you looking forward to most about being a Travel Counsellor?
I'm looking forward to the rewarding experience of bringing my clients' travel dreams to life, according to their unique requirements, while also continually learning. Seeing their excitement and hearing the stories on their return is incredibly satisfying. Being a Travel Counsellor is a very fulfilling and exciting career path.
Have you set yourself any goals or milestones for what you want to achieve in your first year?
I will work with Chris van den Berg in a team, assisting him with bookings and growing the business together. My goals in the first year are to successfully work as a team and achieve our team's objectives: growing a client base and obtaining regular travel business.
Have you started planning how you will grow your business/find new customers, and if so, how?
My first step would be to advise all my friends and family that I am now a Travel Counsellor and request them to forward my details to their friends, family, and colleagues. I will also contact my acquaintances and former colleagues to encourage referrals.
What do you love most about working in the travel industry?
- Days are never the same and always interesting.
- I always learn about new destinations and experiences in a constantly evolving industry.
- I love working with people and helping them, and I have a passion for travel, so this industry is perfect for me. I can do what I love while learning and sharing what I know.
If you could travel anywhere, where would it be and why?
I fell in love with Scotland and would love to return ( and include Ireland!) The breathtaking landscapes, lochs, the Highlands, and coastlines take your breath away. Scotland has so much history and culture and has so much to discover and explore, from art galleries, beautiful cities, and battlefields to traditional music, dance, festivals, and the great outdoors. The people are warm and friendly.