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Amanda Morrison developed a passion for travelling at a young age. At 17 years old she came across a Travel Consultant program in a college brochure book in high school and knew immediately that was what she wanted to do.
Amanda is a wonderful advisor for her clients, always keeping their best interests at heart. She loves the experiences that travel brings and shares that passion. It’s always a pleasure to see Amanda and talk travel.
Can you tell us a little about yourself and how long you’ve been in the industry?
I went into the Travel Consultant program at Grant MacEwan college right after high school. I have been in the industry since I graduated from the program 20 years ago. I have had the opportunity to travel to many places around the world since I graduated including six months spent in Europe, trips to South Africa, Tanzania, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Galapagos, Peru, Australia. These first hand experiences have not only helped me during the sales process but they have also reaffirmed to me why I love being in this industry.
Why and how did you decide to become a travel advisor?
At the time I was only 17 when I decided, I had travelled quite a bit by then and I had the travel bug. I remember thinking “what do I love to do and how do I make it a job?” I came across the Travel Consultant program in one of those college course books in high school and I knew that was what I wanted to do.
What’s your favourite part of being a travel agent?
I love talking to clients about their dream trips and what they would like to experience while on it, then turning it into a reality for them.
What’s a key thing you learned during the pandemic?
Document everything. I have always been good about keeping notes on agents’ names that you speak to when calling a supplier. But having documentation with regards to conversations or emails with clients can make a big difference. There have been a few clients that did a chargeback on their credit card and due to our agency’s documentation the credit card company favoured us and reversed the charge.
What will be your first post-pandemic trip and why?
The trip will be with my husband and son, and definitely near water after being landlocked in Alberta for two years. However the destination hasn’t been picked. I do know I want it to be an active adventure style trip. A few ideas that have been tossed around is kayaking in Croatia or renting a houseboat on the canals of France.
Do you believe more people will use travel advisors after COVID-19?
I do believe that there will be more people who will go for bigger bucket list trips and complex itineraries. Most clients don’t want to book a multi-piece itinerary online. However, I don’t think there will be a lot that book pre-packed sun type holidays online moving to booking with a travel agent.
From charging fees to re-evaluating which suppliers you will work or won’t work with in the future, how have you changed the way you work since the pandemic hit?
Definitely now I look at suppliers very closely and naturally want to work with those who were most supportive of us. I also look closely at the destination itself as every country has had its own way of dealing with the pandemic and its own set of protocols. Naturally entry requirements are also important to take into consideration so apart from the day to day itinerary there is a lot more to take into consideration.
What’s your biggest piece of advice for travel advisors right now?
Stay the course. We have been through a year of this and if you are still in the business you don’t want to throw away that investment of your time or effort.
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