1. Describe your professional situation before joining 360?
Prior to joining 360, after a decade of experience at Abercrombie & Kent, I launched my personal travel business My Native for the past 3 years. Mainly working with young families & honeymooners, I planned their safaris, beach holidays, mini-moons, mega-moons, cultural breaks or weekends away at all global destinations. My previous role at A&K as ‘Head of Global DMC Quality Assurance’ taught me that selecting the right partners at each destination is an absolute priority. Equally, I always ensure that all holidays that I arrange are based on sound local knowledge, competitive prices & excellent customer service from the first point of contact.
2. What was your deciding factor in coming on board with us?
After joining 360, having their business infrastructure in place is paramount – everything from their personalised 360 Hub (CRM system) to an efficient Flights team and Concierge service for documentation during busy periods. As a small business, I was juggling social media, product discussions, marketing, my website, documentation and most importantly client liaison. Clients always come first in my book, and I knew that 360 would enable me to focus on them. 360 also has a very similar ethos to mine by only working with industry partners who excel in service delivery – so it’s a good match!
3. How are you currently managing your travel business to prepare for the re-launch of travel?
Speaking to my lovely clients about their travel options in an incredibly unpredictable environment has been at the forefront of my past year, especially what will make the greatest difference when they travel in 2021 & beyond. Many of them are prioritising flexible cancellation terms, smaller hotels, exclusive villas, real adventures, outdoor learning for their children, and continuing to tick off their bucket-list destinations.
While postponements, cancellations and refunds have taken up a considerable amount of my time, in looking ahead to when borders reopen, I have prepared for the inevitable upsurge in travel demand by redoing the content on my website so that it is clear and straight-forward for clients to book, as well as focusing on up-to-date hotel, product & destination knowledge through exclusive 360 Huddles, Zoom-training sessions with key suppliers.
Until recently, I was able to travel for business reasons so my December consisted of exploring Swedish Lapland lodges, and last summer, I ventured to Greek islands that I hadn’t yet arrived at. I always prefer recommending somewhere that I’ve experienced first-hand so as soon as borders reopen for business travel, I aim to plan more exploratory FAM trips – as a 360 Partner, this is another perk of the industry which they can provide with their trusted contacts.
4. What excites you most about growing your business with 360?
360 offers access to a brilliant network of industry professionals, contacts and knowledge. Once my clients are able to travel again, they are choosing to travel less frequently but more meaningfully. I can now communicate with 360’s team of travel professionals to get their opinion on a hotel or a place they have been recently, which is so useful and allows us to cover the world, while providing a truly unique service to our clients. Similarly, when the borders reopen and passenger numbers surge, My Native will be better placed to provide an efficient service, great value and unparalleled knowledge within the industry.