Jackie Kritzinger, based in Benoni, joined Travel Counsellors in April 2023. She's excited about her future with Travel Counsellors and took some time out to tell us a bit more about herself.
What is your background?
I started in travel when you still had to write out tickets, basically when Noah built the Ark. I have had the opportunity to get to know several Travel Management Companies and have seen technology evolve over the years. It has made me a lot richer and more knowledgeable.
I enjoy getting to know my clients and still have contact with some of them from many years ago. Travel is an investment in yourself; what you gain from travelling cannot be bought or stolen. The memories last forever and enrich you. I enjoy traveling and have seen many parts of the world. It is the same when clients share their travel tales with me; I might as well have been on the trip with them.
That is what makes it so satisfying.
Tell us a little bit about yourself
My hubby and I have been married for 16 years. My first husband and Henry's first wife passed under tragic circumstances. We have five children together; the oldest is 27, and the youngest is 16. We have four boys and a girl, and we are very proud of them. Megan and Khenry, the youngest, still live with us.
We live on a farm in Petit, just outside Benoni. I have lived on this property for most of my life; a huge privilege. I enjoy the quiet and tranquillity. We have three dogs and two cats, and they work with me, close to my feet all the time. I make sweet chilli chutney, sew kitchen covers and work in my garden to relax.
I have travelled to the USA, Germany, France, Switzerland, the Caribbean, the UK, Mauritius, and Zambia, but still have lots to see. I love to watch travel programs to broaden my knowledge. I also enjoy reading a good book.
What does becoming a Travel Counsellor mean for you?
COVID has changed the landscape of travel. I love being able to tend to my house and garden and also be able to spend quality time with my customers. It was daunting to return to travel after leaving a year ago, but it seemed a no-brainer when friends, family, and corporates kept asking me to assist them.
The systems by far surpassed my expectations. I am excited to start this journey with Travel Counsellors and to make this my final chapter in travel. May there be many more years of travel experiences to share with my corporate and leisure clients through Travel Counsellors. Watch this space!
What motivated you to start your own travel business?
I was retrenched over a year ago and have had difficulty getting back into the industry. Starting my own business seemed to be the best option.
It has not been an easy choice, as money has always been an issue. I contacted Bianca before but did not have the means to get the ball rolling. My situation has now changed, and I have the right mindset, which is the most important.
What are you looking forward to most about being a Travel Counsellor? To use the amazing systems which will enable me to easily give my clients what they need, with all the back-office admin taken care of. I am one tough cookie when making travel arrangements, but admin is not my strong point. Knowing that I have the support of the Head Office team makes me excited to start this journey. I hope that ten years from now, I will read this message and be able to thank the team walking this road with me and smile.
Have you set yourself any goals or milestones for what you want to achieve in your first year?
I have one corporate client and many family and friends ready to start this new chapter with me. In my first year, I want to grow my corporate business to at least five corporates and a good selection of leisure customers. The rest of the goals will come as my business grows from strength to strength.
Have you started planning how to grow your business and find new customers, and if so, how?
No, I have not. I want to get going and use the tools provided to find new customers.
What do you love most about working in the travel industry?
- It is never the same. You must be one step ahead of all the changes happening in the world.
- Not one trip is the same.
- Every booking is personal, and being there every step of the way.
- It is not always easy with last-minute changes due to many factors, from weather and economy to politics, but that makes it so exciting.
If you could travel anywhere, where would it be and why?
Well, that will be the entire world! I will revisit the places I have been and would love to explore new places. I love the adventure of getting to know new cultures and new countries. As long as my passport is valid, there is very little stopping me.