Speaking at WTM, three members of this year’s 30 Under 30 programme offered advice to young people looking to begin or advance their careers within the travel industry.
The event, chaired by TTG Media managing director Daniel Pearce, welcomed Jamie-Lee Abtar, founder of Be Distinctly Different; Gemma Budd, retail marketing manager, Flight Centre and Nathan Cable, co-founder of Party Hard Travel.
Topics discussed included the importance of WTM as a platform for making connections within the travel industry.
Abtar told the audience that it was only through networking WTM that she had the chance of working for the Caribbean Tourism Organisation.
“Several years ago I was just were you are. Through exploring WTM I met some amazing people and saw some fantastic destinations; it really inspired me. Afterwards I just wanted to jump right in and begin working in the industry.”
Discussing education, Cable revealed that university was ‘not necessarily’ always the best option.
“I studied at the University of Portsmouth but If I was starting off in travel again, I would go down the apprenticeship route. An apprenticeship in travel means you can really learn in a working environment as supposed to cramming revision from a text book before an exam. We actually have three apprentices working in Party Hard Travel.”
Budd added that learning contuned to play a large role in her career.
She said: I think it’s really important to keep learning. I’m always looking for courses, events and conferences to keep me up to date on what’s happening within the industry.”
The seminar concluded with panel explaining the importance of learning from mistakes.
“You must have the courage to trial something in travel. In doing so you release what works and what doesn’t. When it doesn’t go right you then can learn and avoid that mistake in the future,” said Budd.
Cable revealed that it was only through a ‘mistake’ that his business grew to be stronger.
He said: “Our expensive mistake was launching our first website [Student Getaways] too quickly. The technology platform was poor we lost a lot of money. However, we learned from that and developed a state of the art website which has been doing quite well.”