We caught up with Vanessa to learn more about her journey in the travel industry and then the culmination of becoming a Travel Counsellor.
What is your background and where did you work before becoming a Travel Counsellor? I studied travel and tourism back in 1994 -1997 thereafter I worked in the hotel industry for a couple of months. I then started my journey as a travel consultant working for African Link Travel for 3 years. Here I gained knowledge about domestic /international ticketing, Bsp, Finance and bookings. Tickets and Mpd's were still handwritten back then. My hubby was promoted and we moved to Richards Bay / Empangeni and I got a job at a corporate agency and it was not long after I was headhunted by another corporate agency. It was fast-paced and very pressured. I learned so much here as most travel was UK, Netherlands, Canada, US, Australia and Mozambique and involved visa's, train tickets, car bookings, accommodation and flights using negotiate airline fares. The company then was taken over by a larger corporate agency. I transferred to Durbs with my family and continued to work for this corporate in-house.
Tell us a little bit about yourself
I have a wonderful husband and 3 kids. We love dogs and currently have a pit bull. The kids are always ready to adopt more. I have travelled extensively in South Africa. Our favourite family holiday is the Eastern Cape Umgazana which is so remote with untouched beauty. I have travelled to Germany, Austria, Italy, Switzerland, Orlando, Hawaii, Kulula Lumpa, Boneo, Dubai, India and Mauritius.
What does becoming a Travel Counsellor mean to you?
I have always wanted to own my own business and now that I have the opportunity to do the things that I was not able to do when working for someone else. I have the flexibility to do what I love doing which is making my clients dream holidays come true. Plus, I can still focus on my family life, especially my kid's milestones. I know being a TC will bring me a happy life and happy business goals.
What motivated you to start your own travel business?
Covid was not kind to the travel industry and this was just a push for me to venture on my own.
What are you looking forward to most about being a Travel Counsellor?
I love that I will be able to make my clients dream holidays a reality and that I can fulfil my dream of running my own company.
Have you set yourself any goals or milestones for what you want to achieve in your first year?
I would like to have a profitable working business with at least 2 corporate clients and servicing leisure clients as well.
What do you love most about working in the travel industry?
I love travelling and making my clients travel as seamless as possible. I love meeting new people and always being open to new possibilities. I love being able to offer suggestions and travel plans that will make my clients lives easier.
If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?
Australia or Canada or Europe. I honestly would like to travel everywhere, the world is my oyster. On a serious note, I would love to travel to Greece. I love the blue caves on Zakynthos Island. My family and I love the ocean and natural beauty, Island hopping and just enjoying the greek culture and food.
Can you relate to Venessa's journey in becoming a Travel Counsellor? If you have experience working in the travel industry and perhaps you are contemplating whether this is the right move for you, then we would love to chat with you.