James Scott, business development manager at Norwegian Cruise Line tells Andrew Doherty how an inspirational mentor helped him make waves in cruise.
I wanted to gain as much experience as possible from a young age,” says 25-year-old James Scott from Southampton.
“Not only has being selected for the TTG 30 Under 30 programme been my one of the proudest moments in my career yet, it’s also a great opportunity to meet and learn from my peers about the wider industry outside cruise.”
A focus on travel and tourism in secondary school, coupled with an inspiring mentor who secured Scott work experience at Carnival UK, kicked off a passion for the industry.
“After completing college, I made the decision to delay university and travel in New Zealand – this is when my love for travel grew deeper.”
Arriving home in 2014, Scott abandoned higher education to take up a role with Holland America Line and Seabourn as reservations cruise consultant, advancing to international air-sea consultant and business development representative in 2016.
“My dad always told me to aim for the stars. I may not reach them, but I’ll hit the top of the tree, rather than aiming for the top of the tree and only hitting the bark!”
To fine-tune his skillset, Scott temporarily left the cruise sector and joined Southampton Airport as a customer experience executive for eight months.
“This job gave me the experience to take up the role as a business development manager at Norwegian Cruise Line in September 2018. It’s a position and brand that I’m incredibly passionate about. I’m responsible for growing and maintaining relationships predominantly in the south of England, as well as exceeding revenue targets of more than £11 million.”
Spending three days visiting agencies and two in the office to catch up on admin, Scott’s day-to-day tasks include educating agents on the latest Norwegian Cruise Line product and promoting the brand at trade shows across the UK.
“I love getting out on the road. People do business with people, and regularly meeting agents helps build stronger relationships that a phone call never could.”
As for young people thinking of a career in travel, Scott offers sage advice.
“Put yourself out there – it’s something that I’ve always done. Get involved in anything that will give you experience and help you to grow.”
Nick Hughes, sales director, tour operations – B2B Europe at Gold Medal and Travel 2, sponsors of Tomorrow’s Travel Leaders, says:
“I’m a great believer that sometimes people need to find their way in the world by going off to travel or taking in completely different experiences.
Taking time out in New Zealand allowed James to work things out for himself, coming back to the UK with renewed zest and focus.
“It is refreshing to see that he hasn’t been afraid to switch companies to gain experience. This is a great way to hone skills and decide what you really like to do.”