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BUSINESS ADVICE AGENT PROFILE


Q&A: JANE WILLIAMSON


Agency: Travel Box Holidays Years in travel: 29 Years at this agency: Three and a half


How did you get into travel? In year 10 of secondary school I did one week’s work experience at my nearest Lunn Poly Holiday Shop in Sunderland. I really enjoyed my week and loved the whole atmosphere of the shop, where every day was different, so I applied for a Youth Training Scheme and was offered a two-year placement at an independent, family- owned agency called Tates Travel in Sunderland. Aſter working there while studying hard at college, they employed me full-time as a sales consultant.


Proudest moment in your career to date? When my close friend, Rebecca, approached me to manage and set up a new travel business with her following redundancy. Rebecca had trust and faith in me and we are a now a full member of the Global Travel Group and have been trading for three-and-a-half years. We moved from office premises to a shop within the first year and we took on our first apprentice in customer service and sales, Lauren. She was named Apprentice of the Year in 2018 by New


38 TRAVEL TRADE GAZETTE 09.09.2019


College Durham. It takes me right back to when I first started within the travel industry.


Most satisfactory booking you’ve ever made? Planning a family wedding in Cyprus. It’s a pleasure to be part of someone’s special day. Every client deserves to feel special, wherever the destination and whatever the reason for their holiday.


Best fam trip you’ve ever been on? It was in November 2018 to Universal Orlando. It was an unforgettable experience as we had exclusive evening access to Harry Potter‘s Diagon Alley. The whole trip was incredible and it had been years since I went on rides. You can’t beat first-hand experience, top tips and recommendations for clients.


Favourite coffee break treat? Always a Double Decker or a Curly Wurly.


What would you be doing if you weren’t a travel agent? I would have been a journalist as I loved writing


and was very creative when I was younger. I may have even ended up at TTG, who knows!


What’s a typical day off? Mostly, I like to relax and spend time with my family when not at work. I love watching a good film at the cinema and shopping with my two daughters.


What’s


your favourite destination?


Mexico, where I went on honeymoon. I have amazing memories from the trip, including when I first paraglided.


Best advice you’ve ever been given? That as an agent, we can’t know everything, but we need to know where to look for the answer. Be honest if you need to research first, and treat every client like a member of your own family.


What’s the secret to delivering excellent customer service? Listening to your clients, understanding their enquiry and delivering


on their expectations. We pride ourselves in giving a personable service that you cannot find online, offering a full concierge service from parking, lounges and table reservations to special requests, check-in and printing boarding passes.


Cruise, fly-and-flop or adventure holiday? Definitely cruise. There are so many options – incredible new ships visiting fantastic destinations with amazing itineraries, which can be combined with a city or beach stay.


What advice would you give your 18-year-old self now? To follow my dreams, travel the world and have one big adventure but most of all, be happy.


Who do you admire most in travel? All the independent agents who are opening on the high street every week and making a difference, providing amazing customer service. Our industry can be challenging – there’s not a lot of situations I haven’t dealt with in nearly 30 years. I am looking forward to the next 30!


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