- How long have you been working with The Goldman Group?
Many, many years in both my former hotel life, and now in cruising. I first met Tom Goldman and Ian Pryer in my early 20s – seems like yesterday!
- Can you outline the advantages of working with a brand whose businesses encompass a range of travel segments, ie corporate travel, leisure travel, cruising?
While my focus is on leisure travel/clients, working with a business that is exposed to all travel segments allows greater exposure of my brand to clients.
- In your view, what are the most significant travel trends in the current Australian market? Do you believe they are likely to be short or long-term?
Australians are taking the travel world by storm! While we are casual in our outlook, we have a great taste for the finer things in life. We appreciate wonderful experiences, fabulous food and wine, and exceptional service – and we don’t mind paying for this. We are also hardened travellers and think nothing of a 17-hour flight! We have matured as travellers, and this is here to stay, it’s not a trend.
- Despite popular perception, do you believe clients genuinely save money booking their own travel online versus using an experienced agent? Why, or why not?
Absolutely not and I am adamant about this. Travel arrangements are complicated, and you can’t possibly have the same knowledge as someone who specialises in travel. A great travel advisor will provide you valuable tips and guide you towards wonderful new experiences that you will treasure forever.
- Luxury travel, value for money, unique experiences and destinations? What are Australian travellers looking for in 2018?
We still have a wonderful love affair with Europe, and this never seems to fade. The Mediterranean is always popular, as has been The Baltics – of late. Iceland and Cuba have been hugely popular in 2018.
- What’s your hot destination tip for 2019?
I am very happy and excited to return to beautiful Turkey, an amazing country with so much to offer. Japan is also a hot destination for 2019 – all of our Japan Cruises have long waiting lists.
- Describe your ideal holiday (and pretend you’re not paying)!!
Hanging out with my family and a great group of friends, beachside or on the water. Eating and drinking without putting on any weight! My personal travel experiences are always about catching up with people, I have friends all around the world whom I miss dearly.
- With Australia’s cruise sector still expanding rapidly, where do you see the next phase of growth coming from? Ie new retirees, multi-generational groups, families with children, luxury cruising, extended voyages, repeat passengers?
Luxury cruising is very popular and there is still much room for growth. We currently have four ships, with a fifth ship arriving in Q1 2020. Regent Seven Seas Cruises enjoys a high repeat guest rate, with more than 20% of our business (Australia and New Zealand) extended to sailings and grand voyages. In addition to this, we are seeing the average age of our client become younger.
- With multi-generational travel a growing trend, which destinations are the most popular for family groups, and why?
We see a trend in closer to home sailings such as the Pacific and Asia with multi-generational travel.
- How are Australian travellers different from our counterparts overseas?
We’re very relaxed travellers and don’t tend to complain unless it’s something serious. I also feel that we are very adventurous travellers and we enjoy discovering new destinations, and of course the distances that we must travel to get to most destinations make us unique.
- What’s your must-have travel accessory – that one thing you can’t leave home without?
My iPhone, it is my everything – phone, camera, computer, kindle reader, encyclopedia, destination directory, maps…the list goes on! I would be utterly lost without it.
- If you weren’t in travel, what would you be doing?
I can’t answer that, as I honestly love what I do and I could not imagine being in any other industry. I always say, “I am in the happy industry!” And whilst we’re not saving lives – I do hope we are enhancing many.