FEATURED ADVERTISERS Travel Agents, this May It's all about you! Smaller corporate agencies and independents with corporate clients – listen up! INCENTIVES | CONTESTS | WEBINARS | PODCASTS | EVENTS | JOBS
A self proclaimed travel addict, Sue Flemming figured being a travel agent was the best fit for her ‘can’t sit still’ lifestyle. With 30 years of experience in the industry, she loves connecting with clients and introducing them to new experiences or challenges. Her career as led her to have some amazing experiences like kayaking in Antarctica and gorilla trekking in Uganda.
We all know it’s been a bumpy last two years, but somehow the COVID pandemic hasn’t taken away from Sue’s ability to stay positive and bring that energy to changing lives through travel. She’s an outdoor enthusiast who literally lives the adventures she sells, having been on five G Adventures tours to date with I’m sure many more to come. Sue is a pleasure to work with and whether we’re dealing with cancellations or re-bookings, she brings so much light into the conversation and interaction. The team at G Adventures can’t wait to see what she does in 2022 as we all work together to encourage the return to travel.
Tell us a little about yourself and how long you’ve been in the industry?
I am a self proclaimed travel addict and figured being a travel agent was the best fit for my ‘can’t sit still’ lifestyle. I have been in the industry for over 30 years working for an airline and then as an independent agent. In my early career I decided to move towards specializing in adventure and active travel as that is how my husband and I chose to travel. That decision has led me to some amazing experiences kayaking in Antarctica, cycling in Europe and gorilla trekking in Uganda.
Why and how did you decide to become a travel advisor?
My husband and I moved to Australia just after we were married for a short term work contract. After raising two little Aussie kids I decided it was time to go back to school and take the Travel Advisor course in Brisbane. Lucky for me I was offered a job with Air Nugini right out of school. This job gave me the opportunity to visit some really “wild” places. A few years more in Brisbane and it was time to move back to Canada so we decided to return home via Africa. Our first safari experience in Zimbabwe solidified my passion for adventure and I started working then as an Independent Agent.
What’s your favourite part of being a travel agent?
I love connecting with clients and introducing them to new experiences or challenges. It is so rewarding to have clients return from a trip and describe their first experience seeing an elephant or the exhilaration they felt biking to the top of a steep climb. If I can convince someone to step outside their comfort zone just a little and have an amazing adventure I have done my job.
What got you through the pandemic?
Wow, what a tough few years! I think realizing that this was something that was beyond my control and we were all in the same situation made things a little easier. Once the major panic of getting clients home and helping rebook and make insurance claims was over I was able to reset and take some time out to enjoy a quieter life. We have spent the majority of our time in the mountains skiing, hiking, biking so it didn’t really feel like we were missing out on life. I have been able to come back to work renewed and refreshed and excited to be working again.
What trends are you noticing from the bookings you have?
Bucket list, bucket list, bucket list. People are looking at taking those once in a lifetime adventures. I think we have all realized that the gift of our life on this planet is finite and we need to make the most of it while we are still able to.
What’s your biggest piece of advice for travel advisors right now?
Trust that the world of travel will return and you will be in the forefront of helping those clients who are ready to explore. Take the time to treat each client as you would your best friend and realize that we are all a little nervous to get out there – it will be so worth it!
Can you share a special travel memory and what travel means to you?
In 1995 we took our first trip to Africa with our two young children. A leopard walked across a dirt path in front of us and scrambled up a tree to dine on an antelope. We all sat in silence in the 40 degree heat with sweat dripping off our brows and never wanted the moment to end. Creating memories like these with friends and family is what travel is all about. I always suggest to my clients that taking their kids out of school to travel and experience wildlife and new culture is the best education you can give them.
What’s still on your travel must do list?
I am planning an Arctic expedition cruise to see the wildlife of the northern hemisphere and hopefully get in some kayaking with a whale or two.
|Travel Agents, this May It's all about you!|
|Smaller corporate agencies and independents with corporate clients – listen up!|
|INCENTIVES | CONTESTS | WEBINARS | PODCASTS | EVENTS | JOBS|