Jess Horne, marketing executive – private clients and trade at Abercrombie & Kent, on the importance of embracing sustainable travel and grasping opportunities.
What inspired you to work in travel?
I’ve always been fascinated by exploring new cultures and meeting new people. It began when I was lucky enough to visit Pakistan at a young age. Having grown up on a farm in Devon, it was a world away from what I was used to.
One experience that stood out was visiting the Wagah gates at the Pakistan-India border. The difference between the two ceremonies was so varied it sparked my desire to learn more about their cultures and the history behind them. From there, I went on to study a degree in theology and then seek out a career in travel.
How did you find out about the role at Abercrombie & Kent?
I previously worked for a smaller luxury tour operator, so I was very familiar with A&K. When a recruiter told me they had an opening, I jumped at the opportunity.
What are your day-to-day responsibilities?
I look after the marketing activity and business development for A&K’s private client division, dedicated to our ultra-high-net-worth clients. My days involve seeking out new partnerships for client acquisition and organising events to help us get to know our clients on a more personal level.
Until September of this year, I was also looking after marketing for our B2B sector, but the recent change will allow me to focus my attention and help support the growing private client division.
Tell me about the events you’ve planned and executed.
The events I’ve organised have varied hugely, from hosting 200 clients at the Natural History Museum for a private showing of the Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition to culinary experiences at Michelin-starred restaurants.
As a foodie, a highlight for me was meeting Marcus Wareing at his restaurant in The Berkeley. I also thoroughly enjoyed hearing from Jake Meyer, the youngest Briton to climb Mount Everest.
Sadly, I can’t attend all the events I organise. With more than 70 scheduled for 2019, It would not be good for my social life!
What’s your favourite part of the job?
Working with the A&K product is always exciting with new projects being taken on constantly. I’ve recently been involved in developing our ultra-luxury product range, which focuses on the truly unique and exclusive experiences A&K’s worldwide offices have access to. Ultimately, I love working with people, so any part of my job that allows me to get out and meet clients and partners is when I’m at my happiest.
Have you had the luxury of travelling in your role?
I travelled with A&K to Cape Town last year as part of a rewards trip. I’ve always wanted to go, and doing it ’the A&K way’ definitely didn’t disappoint. Anyone interested in wine should head to Franschhoek and take the tram, which allows you to jump on and off to visit different wineries.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?
Say yes to everything. Offer to help where and when you can. You never know when a small favour might turn into a whole new opportunity.
What are you hoping to glean from the 30 Under 30 programme?
Meet new people, learn more about the industry and hopefully make connections that I’ll value for years to come.
Where do you see the future of travel?
Travel needs to seriously address and encompass sustainable travel. Without it, we will ruin the places we value the most and our industry will suffer. I would like to see us doing more to help protect and preserve the local cultures that make travelling so special. I would love to be more involved in supporting these efforts and ultimately manage a team.