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Wayne Szczambura on road rage, Roald Dahl and his Eurovision aspirations

Wayne Szczambura, Balkan Holidays’ regional sales manager, speaks to TTG about a range of topics, including turbulent satnav relationships, hitting the road with Roald Dahl and dreaming of entering the Eurovision Song Contest.

TRFBLI
Wayne Szczambura, Balkan Holidays’ regional sales manager
Wayne Szczambura, Balkan Holidays’ regional sales manager
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Wayne Szczambura on road rage, Roald Dahl and his Eurovision aspirations

Describe your typical week.


I try to do four days of agent visits and one day of admin, but my plans change quite a lot in this job. I do love a travel show, so they always get added to the schedule where possible.


How big is the sales team?


I’m one of two regional sales managers: my colleague Lynsey Jones has the north-east, Scotland and Northern Ireland, while I have everything from South Wales to Norwich.


How many times did it take to pass your driving test?


I passed on my second attempt. I only got one major on my first test by not turning at a filter light. My instructor still argues to this day it should have been a minor.


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What gives you road rage?


It’s my first time back in the UK in 19 years as I was a part of the Balkan Holidays overseas team, so my knowledge of UK roads is pretty terrible.

 

My GPS, which I have named Shirley, does get screamed at a lot. I hate bus lanes. They seem to love Shirley – she always puts me in one!

 

Which historical figure would you like to join you on the road for a day?


Roald Dahl. Imagine what our two wacky creative minds would come up with! It would be a magical day
on the road together, that’s for sure.


What’s the best service station you’ve experienced?


As I haven’t been on the road for long, I am yet to find a favourite, but I do love the ones that have a Greggs.


You can’t beat a sausage roll when you’ve been stuck in traffic for hours.

The Balkan Holidays team with Szczambura
The Balkan Holidays team with Szczambura

What’s your signature treat to deliver on agent visits?


Everyone loves our fluorescent yellow lip balms and of course the Post-its – I like to call them our secret weapon.

 

And when there’s a chance to go all crazy, I love a themed visit.

 

At Halloween, I gave out ghoul eyes and jelly spiders, and this Christmas my agents got advent calendars.

What are your hobbies?


I love my telly, especially reality shows, so I have a good catch-up with that.


If you weren’t in travel?


I would love to be a soap star! I always thought I could be a long-lost member of the Dingle family in Emmerdale.


What’s on your bucket list?


I really want to enter the Eurovision Song Contest – I don’t care which country I represent.

 

For my travel bucket list, it has to be Latin America. Argentina is my ultimate dream.

 

I want to embrace the amazing culture of this beautiful country by being in the middle of the hustle and bustle with the locals, eating delicious food and, of course, dancing the night away to great music.

What are your company values?


Our values are represented by the fact that we’ve been around for 54 years and agents have been selling us all that time.


What key messages do you try to convey in an agent visit?


We have so many. The ones I always ensure I convey are our low deposits of £49pp, that we are a specialist tour operator with charter flights from 18 UK airports and that we offer the best value beach and ski holidays to a country that I worked in and loved for many years, Bulgaria.


What’s your advice for agents who don’t currently sell your product but are keen?

 

Our products are easy to sell and suit all requirements.


If you’d like one of us to come and see you, then give us a call. We’d be happy to spread the Balkan love further.

TRFBLI
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